Helen Croome, better known as Gossling, is another one of those actually delightful musical entities that has come to us not via the pages of NME or as a recommendation courtesy of our favorite songstress, but via the soundtrack to the likes of So You Think You Can Dance, Nashville, and Graceland… a brand of exposure perhaps best explained by Deboard’s Spectacle. However, as I said, Gossling actually is quite lovely… both sonically and otherwise. Helen Croome hails from Melbourne. She’s released three EPs and one LP, Harvest of Gold, which dropped in her native Australia last year and hit stateside shelves last month. Gossling balances an especially poignant brand of piano pop with traditional folk songwriting and splashes of highly danceable and skippable (That is, inducing you to skip your feet… not the song) electronic pop. This particular amalgam has earned her praise from places like Time and Esquire; drawn her comparisons to Lykke Li, Feist, and even Coldplay; and landed her music in almost countless visual media… which was, coincidentally, her goal in the first place. Gossling is currently in the middle of her first ever US tour, which will come nearly to an end in the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection on October 25th at the North Star Bar. Helen recently took some time to chat with me about her relatively new career and all the places it’s taken her… both literally and figuratively.
“One of the highlights just happened the other day. My album got nominated for an ARIA Award, which is like the Australian equivalent to a Grammy. And being to tour overseas is also a big highlight. I just had three weeks through the UK and am currently on a tour of the states.”
However, Helen sounds most excited when discussing hearing her music in the plethora of TV shows it has made its way onto: “I’d always dreamed of getting to hear a song of mine in a horror film, so when I got to hear my song on American Horror Story that was really incredible. I’m a big fan of a thriller. I love the idea of composing music for horror films because it’s the music in it that makes it so terrifying.” She also admits that getting her “Oh Darling” on the season finale of So You Think You Can Dance was an especially intense experience: “It was so incredibly moving to see a song of mine appear on So You Think You Can Dance, to watch someone create art to my art, which I watched on the internet and I actually cried to it.”
For a relatively young artist, Gossling’s sound has evolved quite a bit since her first EPs. Harvest of Gold is her most sonically playful effort yet, while still managing an admirable and quirky kind of wisdom… not unlike fellow Aussie, Lenka… It grooves in a very wiggle-worthy kind of way, but maintains sincerity throughout. I ask Helen about her latest sounds and tells me that there was certainly an evolution on her first full-length, but that that evolution feels relatively organic: “For this record I went in a bit more of an electronic, synth direction, as opposed to my EPs, which were more acoustic, but it’s still a combining of acoustic sounds with a more synthetic sound, so as to not alienate early listeners.” My personal favorite track, “Challenge,” is a sensually slinky number that rings of ‘80s synth pop fronted by the world’s most luscious chanteuse. When I ask her about that particular song, she tells me that it was inspired by things like Facebook, Twitter, and… well, blogs like this: “That track is about my intro to social media as an artist and the idea that anyone can write anything about you at anytime and this whole notion that you have to toughen up as a contemporary musician living with things like that.”
I ask Helen what can be expected of the live experience on her US dates and she tells me that not only is she going to be including all of her records, but that if you simply stumbled upon her during your favorite prime time entertainment, that you won’t be disappointed: “We’re touring as a three-piece and we’re playing across all of the records and we’re being careful to play tracks that have been played on TV shows, so if people are coming out because they heard a song on So You Think You Can Dance or American Horror Story, we want to be able to cover all those bases.” The tour also has Helen playing a number of different settings, but most of which are notably intimate, something which she tells me she is especially excited for: “I’m very excited about playing places I don’t know much about and getting to see their music scenes, but I actually get the biggest adrenaline rush from the more intimate shows. I get a big adrenaline rush from playing to the smaller crowd, as opposed to a festival… which may sound weird.”