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Welcome to LOVER’s Rookie Era. The Sydney-based pop artist’s Rookie Era EP was created over the last year, a collection of cleverly crafted lyrics with nostalgia-infused pop production. We dived into the EP with LOVER aka Oliver Kirby and talked growth, inspirations and what's next:

We recently discovered your new EP and we love it. It has a really nostalgic, poignant feel to it.  Where did you begin with it? What did you hope to convey through this collection of songs? 

“Thank you so much for saying that! I really tried to capture that feeling. These songs all started on acoustic guitar, it’s been really inspiring to try and just strip back my songwriting to chords and melodies and build the production around that. After I had some time to live with the songs, these were my favourite five that I felt suited each other. They were then polished up with some very talented collaborators! In these songs I am trying to provide a snapshot of my life at that moment - create a sonic time capsule of what, when, who I was thinking about. Even though these songs are personal experiences I hope the feelings are universal.”

For sure. Why ‘Rookie Era’? And if this is your Rookie Era, how does it feel? 

“The wordplay of rookie era / error is a good encapsulation of my music and life at times haha. The title has an edge to it that feels really human. It’s my way of displaying the concept of being yourself and accepting all the good with the bad, the rough with the polish! This could be my Rookie Era, my Flop Era, my Blow Up Era - I feel pretty comfortable whichever way to be honest, it’s out of my control how people perceive or connect with me as an artist and person - I guess time will tell!”

How does Australia influence your sound? 

“There is a definite Australian sensibility in these songs. I try to perform as naturally as I can and not take it too seriously in my vocal delivery, a lot of the vocals are yelly or more soft and spoken - not many melissmas in this one haha. Lyrically it has a lot of elements of the nostalgic, almost childlike view of the world that is common in Australian art. My collaborators Nick Ward, Chris Lanzon and Campbell Burns (Vacations) are all NSW production superstars as well, so the local scene impacted the sonics strongly too!”

Who inspires you musically?  

“There are sooo many great artists that have an impact on me locally and globally. I’ll just put my more recent inspirations here. Dijon just released his record ‘Absolutely’ which is already influencing how I see performance and recording. I am loving the attitude and songs from Remi Wolf, Omar Apollo and Paris Texas. Closer to home I feel artists like Mallrat, Nick Ward and Golden Vessel are pushing their own unique voices and the songwriting culture around them further and further!”

That Dijon album is amazing. Who would you love to collaborate with?

“Mk.Gee is a producer i’ve been looking up to lately, being able to work with them would be a dream. I really want to get over to Nashville as soon as possible and work in person with Les and Sam, who produced Forever and Palm Reader. I would also like to work with more voices and features, I think a collaboration with someone like Sycco or Lawson Hull could be really interesting!”

How do you think you’ve grown since It’s A Wild World? 

“The writing and collaboration on that first EP has definitely informed where I am at now. I like to think of Rookie Era as taking the core palatable elements of that first EP and turning them up to 11. I just wanted everything to be bigger louder faster stronger, and I hope that comes across.”

What are you most proud of on Rookie Era? What did you learn about yourself making this EP? 

“The songwriting and the production choices across the tracks, to me it has a great variety whilst still having a through line in the songs emotionally and thematically which I’m super proud of. Throughout the process of putting it all together the main takeaway for me was that I should be focussing on enjoying the process and being present, not worrying about if it will ‘do well’ or what people will think.”

We like your style. If you could have one brand dress you for tour, who would you love to work with? 

“IDEA, Polar Skate Co and Rhude have some really cool pieces out at the moment. If I could source local from an independent store / designers it would be through Chinatown Country Club (Sydney) and Sucker Co (Melbourne). If anyone can get me onto New Balance that would be great, i’ve put too much money into their collabs and classics haha.” 

What’s next for you? What are you working on? 

“What’s next is for me to keep pushing myself as an artist; write better songs, create better videos, polish up a bigger and better live show. I think just continuing down the rabbit hole and expanding the world is important. So expect more music, more videos and hopefully an exciting live arrangement in the not too distant future.”

And for those who are new here, why ‘LOVER’?

“I hope I have a unique perspective to offer people in my artistry! There’s a lot of content to explore in the LOVERverse and so I hope people can dive into the music / music videos / video content and find something they enjoy!”

Listen to Rookie Era HERE.