Ex-Snakadaktal vocalist, Sean Heathcliff, has ditched his former mysterious solo alias, Kagu, today releasing his first material under his own name, A Boy And His Rose EP.
While his Kagu EP showcased a splatter of different sounds, from thumping, minimal pop-electro to rhythm-n-bravado to more traditional folk-rock, A Boy And His Rose primarily zooms in on the latter, expanding the acoustic-base with a far-denser sonic palette. Lead single, "Ordinary", and closer "Too Far", both highlight how far Heathcliff has come, with his vocals effortlessly flowing through the expanded, pop-based backings. Between which, "Hunter" and "Coco Shaded Eyes" turn inwards, the introspective snapshots perfectly complimented by Heathcliff's passionate delivery.
We recently caught up with the Melbourne-based singer-songwriter for his own explanations on the origins of the songs on A Boy And His Rose and what they mean to him. Below which, the EP is available to stream in full.
All words below by Sean Heathcliff.
"A Boy And His Rose"
"This track came about within a day if I remember correctly. It was when I was living in an old butcher, which ended up being part energising and part terrifying. There was a week where I was just making short songs for this little story I had been working on. This one in particular felt like it sat well with 'Ordinary', so it made the jump onto this EP. Hopefully one day I'll get all these short songs together on their own release."
"I think this is just an everyday pop song, but I like the feel and calm nature of it as well. I guess it's a song of encouragement to a close friend who's a writer. She is absolutely brilliant. I've always felt uneasy about singles and how manipulated they are to fit onto radio, but this track was never meant to be anything more than what it is. For me that's a nice relief."
"This is one I'm really excited to perform live. It's a pretty organic song, which makes it hard to record. Having it sound the same every time goes against its nature. I just think it's truly a live song and that's where it'll be most enjoyed and really find its home. I wrote it over a few weeks in the place I lived before the butchers, which was an old surgery. It was a lot less terrifying there, and really beautiful household to be a part of actually. I guess that played into the track since I felt very safe writing 'Hunter' there. I can easily see it being very difficult in a different environment. Anyway, I think this song is best listened to loudly."
"Coco Shaded Eyes"
"This was a really hard song to record, and to be honest, I think I'll have another try at some point. I do like where it's at, I just believe it could be recreated or reimagined a bit. It's a very simple song musically and lyrically it's really an odd cocktail of moments that impacted my life. Hard song to write and record I guess."
"This song was just a lot of fun. It's a very over the top pop song. It all came together pretty quickly as this out of control, call and responses, continuous track. It was a nice change to let the music be a little off and silly. But when it came to recording the final version there was a bit of work to get the verses into shape and structuring the outro chorus. The lyrics lean towards a friendship that felt like it was fading away at the time. I guess it was more just the fear of losing someone you care for. But I hope people enjoy it and stuff."