LUPA J finished 2019 on a high with their rite-of-passage debut album, ‘Swallow Me Whole.’ 2020 began with a move to Melbourne and clear sights set on creating an EP that merged the worlds of dark club night dance floors and up-tempo pop. When COVID took away their new found home of the Melbourne dance scene and sent them back to Sydney, LUPA J refused to let it be a pause button. With support from Creative Victoria LUPA J began work on their sophomore album, ‘To Breathe Underwater’ – a collection of pop and techno influenced tracks that became the soundtrack of an introspective journey, showcasing some of their most vulnerable writing to date.
“I wrote the first two tracks Supermarket Riots and Perfect Weekend before lockdown, but the rest of it was written across 2-3 months while spending a lot of time in isolation in Sydney. I made roughly one track per week – some weeks it felt like I had a lot of emotion I suddenly had time to reflect on that ended up being channeled into the more lyrical songs, and other weeks it was just easier to bash out a techno track,” tells the producer, singer-songwriter.
“I named the album ‘To Breathe Underwater’ because in a lot of my recent lyric writing I was unintentionally referencing water a lot… in ‘This Suburb’ I say ‘please just let me float here’, and in ‘Limbo’ (an earlier single that didn’t make it to the album) I say ‘hold me in limbo until I drown’. It kind of subconsciously became this metaphor for what I was trying to tap into across the whole album – realising I have this overpowering part of myself that often desperately wants to become encompassed in another person, but that part of myself also being somewhat dangerous. It was a hard thing to realise about myself, because I never think I’m that needy until it sneaks up on me – ‘To Breathe Underwater’ admits that the level of closeness that part of me wants is an impossible desire.”
LUPA J’s production talents have been impressing audiences in Australia and overseas since they were just 15 years old. A triple j Unearthed high finalist only a few years prior to its release, ‘Swallow Me Whole’ had the music industry and fans floored. ‘To Breathe Underwater’ is an evolution of LUPA J’s talents in a showcase of profound musicianship and production that has been admired on social media by the likes of ALICE GLASS, GRIMES, TEGAN AND SARA and CATNAPP. A display of true growth as an artist, the album is a body of work that saw LUPA J push themselves to explore elements of traditional pop production styles such as autotune and PC influenced synths all while integrating traditional elements of techno and EDM.
‘To Breathe Underwater’ is out now
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With thanks to Hey Charlie PR