Taking on 2021 with the Gold Coast’s daste. (Original Feature & Interview)

As the 1-year anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic has come and gone, that familiar cloud of longing and uncertainty has been kicked up once again.

That jovial spirit of bustling gatherings of loved ones seems so unreachable, and the biggest help in keeping us sane are those intimate moments with those close to us. Luckily, the Australian lo-fi trio daste. has captured that comforting intimacy in their latest RnB single, “here with me“, featuring fellow Australian singer DVNA.

daste., hailing from Gold Coast, Australia, is made up of artists Callum MacDonald, Tyler Harden, Braxton Tahi. The three pride themselves on their dynamic work, and haven’t let the pandemic keep them from making music together. Over the last few months they have been busy working on their debut album “dusk / dawn” which is scheduled for release in mid-2021, and between now and then we can expect to see a collection of songs from that album, including their recently released “here with me“.

To learn more about daste., check out our exclusive Q&A sesh below:

1. Who are your inspirations? How would you describe your style?
When we first started writing music as a band I think we used a lot of modern influences from bands around us like LEISURE, Tora, and Two Another. However as we’ve matured we’ve started to draw influence from older artists we used to listen to when we were younger such as Coldplay, The Beatles, Pink Floyd. I don’t think daste. really has a style at this point (maybe never), it’s just what we feel in the moment and that could be from any genre/style/era. If we had to say one style we would probably use the all-encompassing super genre: lo-fi.

2. How has COVID impacted your music/creative process?
I think COVID affected everything outside of our creative process. Mostly the business side. The creative process for daste. has really stayed the same since we started. One of us will write part of a song and then bring it to the the group or we’ll get together and start from scratch. It doesn’t matter where we are. For us, the studio isn’t a place; it’s a people.

3. What led up to your and DVNA’s collaboration? How did you know it would be a good match?
We wrote “here with me” and completed nearly the whole track except for a second verse. From the start of the writing process for the album we knew we wanted to get a bit more collaborative and include features from other artists. We had a chat about “here with me” and thought that a strong female vocalist with RnB/soul influence would fit the vibe of the song perfectly, as well as creating a nice contrast between my voice. We knew the perfect person for the job, DVNA, who is a great friend of ours. We got the queen herself to come in and she wrote her verse on the spot, along with coming up with the idea for the bridge. 

4. Tell me about the song lyrics. What are your favourite lyrics and why? Any particular lyric inspiration? Each trio member can have separate answers.
Cal: ‘you call me up when you wanted to stay home, all upset cause you’re out on your lonesome’. Because it’s super relatable!
Brax: ‘I need you, I need you, I need you’. Because the melody of this bit is like a tickle.
Tyler: ‘I call you up guarantee you come over, cause my world is right here on your shoulder’. Because it’s so cute.

5. Could you tell me about the album art for this single?
The album art for “here with me” was designed by the amazing Hannro Venter. We asked Hannro to do the artwork for all of the singles in the lead-up to our debut album to keep a consistent aesthetic. We gave Hannro some keywords and emotions about each of the tracks which he went away with and came up with his interpretation. For “here with me” in particular we definitely wanted something a lot more dark and moody than the others, and he sure delivered!

6. What do fans have to look forward to from you guys? 
Our wonderful dastebuds (the fans) will be very happy to know that outside of the next 2 singles and album coming out this year we have some more content planned out. Did somebody say daste. podcast?

7. Anything you’d like to add about your upcoming album debut?
Our debut album is coming out mid-year and has 10 tracks in total. The acronym for the album title is DD. If you can guess the title message us on social media and we’ll give you a special daste. reward!

Follow daste. on their Twitter and Instagram here!

If you enjoyed this piece, check out our interview with Blood Cultures!