Melbourne’s Tiny Little Houses have had quite the run since their inception, touring with Ben Wright Smith, Sticky Fingers and mewithoutYou, as well as receiving airplay on national and international radio stations – all before the release of their debut EP.
We had a chat with frontman Caleb Karvountzis about their recent success, the release of their new single ‘Easy’, and upcoming shows in Melbourne and Sydney.
Tiny Little Houses originally started out as your solo project that’s now grown into a four-piece. How did that musical collaboration come about?
Sean and I met through a mutual friend at a gig and we had the same taste in music. Over the next few months, we would send each other demos on what we were working on and gave each other advice and an open ear. Eventually, we started to write together, I would come up with the general gist of the song and Sean would help arrange and write guitar parts to them. We played for a while with rotating lineup made up of friends Kiel, Jackson Phelan (amazing musician you should check out), Mitch and Max, all who helped us out so much for a long time but unfortunately nothing quite stuck. It wasn’t until Sean’s friend and drummer from his own band joined us and my friend Al filled in that we finally cemented a line-up and recorded our first single together.
What are some key musical influences that have had a hand in shaping the band’s signature sound?
My influences are mostly the lo-fi pop/folk bands of the early 90’s. I love bands like Neutral Milk Hotel, Microphones, The Gerbils, Sebadoh and Eric’s Trip. All these bands have such strong storytelling ability and they’re full of angst and heartache which I’m drawn to. Everyone in the band has pretty wide ranges of influences, but I think this project acts like a Venn diagram for us. We all are massive fans of Modest Mouse, Manchester Orchestra, My Bloody Valentine and Elliott Smith so we’re like minded where it counts.
We were so surprised with how well ‘Every man knows his plague’ went especially since we released it all by ourselves. It’s definitely set us up well for our second single and our upcoming debut EP and we are so grateful for the support we’ve received from local industry and community radio.
The single was released with a great clip, how did you come up with the concept?
Our drummer Clancy got his brother Jordan to do direct the clip. When he told us his idea we thought it was so unique we couldn’t pass it up. Jordan and his team at DPI Productions did such an incredible job and they even won the SoundKILDA Audience Choice award for it at the St Kilda Film Festival this year. Hopefully, we will collaborate on another track soon…
You’ve just released ‘Easy’, the first single off your upcoming EP, and to celebrate you’ve just announced two special shows in Melbourne in Sydney this July/August. Could you tell us about the song – what inspired it and how did you go about creating the track?
The song is about the end of a relationship before it’s even really started. We’ve all been there or been on the other side of it right? I wrote it after a sleepless night and it came together pretty quickly. We did the demos down in Clancy’s hometown of Inverloch inside his mums art shed, but it didn’t sound as great as we thought it could. We tried it again with Steven Schram who recorded the other songs on the EP and he really captured the essence of the track. Steven has a real knack for pulling the narrative out of a song and wrapping the music around it. I had my friend Rosebud Leach offer her vocals during the chorus and she just makes the whole song.
Why did you choose ‘Easy’ as the first release off the EP?
It’s definitely the most accessible and radio-friendly song on the EP so we wanted to go out strong with the first single. We really can’t wait to get the other tracks out there though!
Could you give a hint of what else we can expect from the new EP?
The rest of the EP is pretty thematically the same, it’s all about love and loss during an existential crisis. The next single to be released is sonically a mix between ‘Every man knows his plague’ and ‘Easy’. The last track on the EP is a slow burner, but it’s definitely my favourite one.
Any plans for more shows this year?
Absolutely, we are playing our single launches on the 31st at Waywards at the Bank in Newtown and August 8th at Hugs & Kisses in Melbourne. We will be touring the EP later in the year and might be appearing at some other things that we can’t talk about just yet.