UltraViolet is an all-girl band – and that’s the way they like it.
“We first got together in year 7,” says Hannah Brookes (vocals/bass), now 16 and in year 11. “But it wasn’t until we found Olivia (Ritchie (drums), 15) two years ago that we started to take it seriously. She’s our third drummer.”
Now, Hannah, Olivia, Bella Pakes (vocals/guitar), 17, and Chrishine Finkernagel (keys), 17, are writing their own songs and have big plans for UltraViolet.
“We wrote our first song last year for the Young Coasties mini-festival in 2016,” Hannah explains. “We saw that all of the other artists were original artists and we’d had the idea [for the song] in our minds for ages, so we wrote it. That really kicked us off.”
The band now has three finished original songs, which Hannah describes as ‘a creative mix, but all under the ‘alternative rock’ genre’. For the Young Coasties album, they’ve written what Hannah describes as a ‘heavier’ song called ‘Web of Threads’.
“It’s about fading in and fading out of life,” says Hannah. “We are in our senior years at school now and it’s this whole new world. One minute it’s making sense and the next you’re all over the shop and have to find yourself again.”
Asked whether it’s difficult to write a song as a group, Hannah is thoughtful. “We find it more difficult to write lyrics together as a group,” she says. “A lot of the time we start with the music. We’ll have a big improvisation play around and work from that. But lyrics are harder – you need to be open enough not to judge each other when it comes to lyrics.”
The girls agree that recording for the first time with this year’s Young Coasties project was an eye-opening opportunity. “It’s not just playing music,” says Hannah. “You get to hear all the different sounds you can make and it expands your music and lyrics so much.”
So much so that UltraViolet are planning to release their music to the Triple J Unearthed website, and hope to record an EP down the track.
“We find inspiration for our songs from each other,” says Hannah. “The inspiration comes from being together, jamming and creating a piece of music we really enjoy.”
UltraViolet will appear in the free Young Coasties Showcase on Sunday, May 14 at the Burradise Festival at Culburra Beach.
The Young Coasties Song Music Project, thanks to a NSW Youth Opportunities grant, was designed by local youth, musicians and industry mentors to support local young, aspiring and keen musicians who live on the South Coast of NSW to write, develop, produce and record their own songs and music at Culburra Beach.
Over the past four months, participants ranging in age from 13 to 25 have received help, skills and guidance from experienced mentors, including Cam Little from The Vanns, Sivan Agam and Todd Mayhew from The April Maze, Luke Robins, Marcus Adamson for Recording, Ross Portener, Gaye Adlington, John Maratore and others through a series of workshops and online – phone sessions.
The project culminates on 14 May with the free Young Coasties Showcase performance, part of the Burradise Festival at Culburra Beach, and the release of the Young Coasties album, featuring one song from each of the 16 solo artist and bands who participated. You can grab your copy of the new CD album on the day at the merchandise stand.
Find out more at youngcoasties.com.au or to register for your free tickets to the Live on Stage beach gig visit www.culburrabeachfestival.org.au.