Across the span of isolation, musicians with a little more free time due to a lack of touring have started passion projects that range from bread-making to entire concept albums. For Perth-based brothers Tyler, Joshua, Brandford and Conrad Fisher - known more widely as rising indie-pop four-piece COTERIE - a lot of this time was spent building new material and pushing their creative limits, carving a trajectory that has quickly seen the band blossom into newcoming favourites amongst Australia’s indie world.
Their new single ‘Say Goodbye’ is one that keeps that trajectory aimed upwards; a song that reflects the brilliance of the band and their drive to keep creating through various means, whether that be in the context of music, or another passion project that has occupied their time over the last few months, in renovating a run-down bus for them to tour in. In the video clip for the single, COTERIE swap out power tools for their instruments as they perform the single within the bus’ stripped-out insides, flanked by leafy plants in a moment that proves that for an act like COTERIE, simply showing their craft is enough to get their charm across. “One afternoon we literally sat around talking about ideas, and the idea of playing in the bus came up…,” continues Tyler. “We filmed it the next day.”
In essence, ‘Say Goodbye’ is a testament to the songwriting and storytelling that has underpinned COTERIE’s rise through Perth’s indie and pop worlds, especially throughout the last twelve months. It’s a single that’s rich with emotional potency; a storm of reflection that carries a similar sense of awareness as shown by their debut single ‘Where We Began’ late last year, and again with their 2020 follow-up ‘Salvation’ back in February. “We wrote this in our lounge-room with Hauskey - who is absolutely brilliant - and honestly, it was just a song that fell out. It all happened in about half an hour,” Tyler says. “It’s about the humanity of everything in this life. Nothing is forever... Saying goodbye is inevitable in a fleeting world. We wrote this song with that in mind; everyone knows this feeling - we all ‘Say Goodbye’ at some point.”
This intimate songwriting is something you can hear in the core of ‘Say Goodbye’, from the lingering guitar and the gentle keys that dance around it, right through to Tyler’s almost angelic-like croon, which moves at a softness that’s reminiscent of long-time influences including indie and rock’s most defining names, right through to modern-day contemporaries such as label-mate Matt Corby and Gang of Youths frontman Dave Le’aupepe.
This songwriting is the central part of what makes COTERIE’s music so appealing. It’s something you can lose yourself in - a vessel that allows you to wallow in your emotions for a minute, then overcome them and arise the other side empowered and on-top. It comes naturally to the band being four brothers with a close connection since birth, but it’s something COTERIE are able to emphasise with everything they do, and that takes talent.
It’s something that’s clearly working, too. COTERIE have blossomed into one of the year’s most exciting break-outs, with radio adds and millions of streaming plays amongst their credentials, despite just two major singles in their discography. On the live stage, they’ve grown into favourites that fill out some of Perth’s best live music spaces with ease, selling out a month-long residency at Scarborough’s El Grotto in February before bouncing back with sell-out shows at Perth institutions The Bird and Indian Ocean Hotel in the late-Winter. There’s also a growing audience internationally, one that they hope they’ll soon be able to visit once restrictions ease.
In the meantime, however, COTERIE fans have plenty to look forward too. They’ve kept busy over the last few months, refining and showcasing a live show that continues to capture fans both in-person and online (their online Tastemakers series, which pairs them with artists plucked from around Australia for filmed live performances, has been a runaway hit). There’s also more music they’ve been working on, alongside merch that shows their creative flair - something they’re really excited for the world to see.
Until then, take the time to find yourself a quiet space and dive into the emotional depths of ‘Say Goodbye’. You might just hear a message you’ve been needing to hear in the process.