It’s been a couple of years since Poolclvb unveiled his first single, ‘Here You’re Mine’.
In that time, the Sydney producer has become increasingly renowned around the local club scene for his sunset-tinged tropical electro sets. He’s released a steady stream of remixes and original singles since his debut, and now has finally unveiled his maiden EP, You + Me. The EP features several amazing performances by a slew of vocalists, and has already been warmly received on Poolclvb’s ongoing national tour, which will see him take in Mountain Sounds Festival on the Central Coast this weekend.
“‘Here You’re Mine’ was actually the first single I did as Poolclvb, then I did another one called ‘Move Me’ and I just thought I’d want to do two singles first just to see how they would go and how they would be received,” he says. “Then I wanted to also do a body of work, something a bit more personal and relatable to me. I really wanted to create music, not just for the club or for the radio, but a body of work.”
As is the case for many producers, part of the struggle was always going to be creating a record where each track had a purpose. Poolclvb stresses that one of the reasons the EP took two years to create was because he didn’t want any cuts just thrown in to make up the numbers.
“That was it, I didn’t want to do an EP with just one main single and have the rest of the tracks just go unnoticed,” he says. “I wanted to treat each track as a single, so that was probably the most time-consuming thing – working with vocalists and trying to get it right, trying to get each track to be an A-side. It took about 18 months to put the whole thing together.”
There were other challenges too, like trying to time the release perfectly to optimise listenability. Not only did Poolclvb want to release You + Me in the summer – ideally to be played at the pool club – but also at a time when he wasn’t facing too much competition from Australia’s growing stable of talented producers.
“That’s the tough bit – how do you get noticed among such a sick field of upcoming talent? Especially in this country. The spotlight is on Oz at the moment and it’s about trying to figure out how to punch through that. But as soon as you remove that from your mentality when you’re in the studio, that’s where the true magic will happen.
“I’ve always been a house head, so there are elements there of traditional 4/4 house, but I’ve also drawn elements from the new synth/French-pop/house sound that’s coming through at the moment. Also, being on brand with my name; the pool club is all about the summer time and the sunshine and positivity and love. So I guess another key to the release of this EP and the timing of it was to release it during the summer – that was crucial. Sometimes sticking a record out as summery as this is in the middle of winter might be a bit tough, but on the flip side it could also bring some sunshine to the colder days.”
Poolclvb laments that the growing propensity is for musicians to write songs that don’t necessarily express their own style or feelings, but which are created with the express intention of gaining radio airplay. “As soon as you start to write a record for triple j or for a certain record label, I think that’s where you start to hit some walls. So for me it was all about trying to block all that out and just let that expression of what I wanted to do come through.”
For all his efforts, Poolclvb is pretty stoked with how the new material has been received thus far. “I’m on my second week into the tour, and it’s been great. It’s been the first time I’ve been able to do a tour and play at least 70 per cent of my own tracks. It’s been quite refreshing and exciting to see when you see the crowd singing along to the lyrics. That’s been the most exciting and rewarding thing, especially after working on the EP for a year and a half, and seeing people that dance and know your music is awesome.”
As for Mountain Sounds, Poolclvb struggles to hide his excitement when talking about what could be a breakthrough live performance, which he hints will contain something a little different from the run of club shows that he’s performed so far. “I think I’m headlining the Bus Stage at a pretty good time,” he says. “I think the music is always best served with a bit of sunset, so I’m really excited for that one.
“It’s always great to include a bit of a festival run as part of the tour too. I played Summer Vibes in South Australia and then I played the afterparty at a club called Fat Controller and didn’t start till 2am, and it was very much in club mode then. So I do adapt my set quite a bit from an outdoors environment with the sunshine and the poolside vibes to a dark, sweaty back room – there can be a pretty big shift in my sound.”