Howlite: Sophisticated and experimental dream-pop from Melbourne

Tammy Walters October 20, 2020

Melbourne’s answer to London Grammar comes in the form of experimental dream-pop giants, Howlite.

Rolling into the music thunder dome in 2016 with single “Storm Chaser”, Howlite have crafted a unique sound built around melodrama and an indie ethereal lead by brooding vocalist Alison Thom. There was no calm that followed “Storm Chaser”, it was quickly accompanied by 5 sister tracks on the group’s debut EP “Reasons” later that year. “Reykjavik” stole the spotlight with its empowering opening monologue, enchanting harmonies, goosebump-inducing piano footpath and dramatic swells of synths. “Reasons” led to an invitation for Howlite to perform at Canadian Music Week and BIG SOUND Australia.

2017 saw the release of the haunting ‘Gothic Romance’, a track that played into the divine angel number, coming in at 3 minutes and 33 seconds. It’s fitting that Thom sounds every bit angelic on this piece with heavenly harmonies. Single “Saviour” filled out the rest of 2017, standing as a clear indicator that Howlite had sunk into their sound and ‘Orchestra’ cemented that.

Last Friday 16 October, Howlite released their highly anticipated second body of work, EP “Not Here”. Some heavy teasing and intense anticipation had been building across 18 months prior to the big day, starting with the mammoth hit ‘Reducer’. Sonically, Howlite etched further into their dark, brooding trip pop realm and the reception was unparalleled to anything they had released prior.

Howlite dropped masterpiece triplets into their orbit, starting with the dark yet seductive “Olympia”, catapulting with the dreamy ‘Infancy’ and getting weird with the mighty gospel-esque ‘Stranger’ which was partnered with a haunting black and white music video.

To celebrate the release of “Not Here”, Howlite gifted fans with the infectious “Canary”, rounding out their single campaigns. But for a massive delight, ensure you listen to “Blood Type”, the closing track and only unreleased track from the fantastic album. This one takes on a very Billie Eillish, carnival form and ends on one heavenly crescendo, completing the ethereal experience of the honourable Howlite.

While touring in Australia has come to a halt (thanks Covid) the trio have big plans in the future for a German visit, specifically with their sights set of Reeperbahn Festivals Aussie BBQ. Get in first to experience Germany’s new favourite imports.     

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About The Author

Music publicity, artist management and event management firm Managing Director, music journalist and reviewer, magazine editor, gig and festival hunter, and bedroom musician. Hailing from the land where kangaroos roam, music has no bounds for this self-declared music fanatic. Immersing herself in the music business from 14 years of age as a powerhouse front woman in rock bands (turned shower singer) and promoter, her taste in music extends from the deep dark crevices of Norwegian black metal, to the heart of rock ‘n’ roll as a mega Beatles fan, to ultra pop queens Britney and Mariah and everything in between.