Lastlings is the imaginative and introspective powerhouse act taking the electronic world by storm. You may have heard of the Gold Coast siblings through their most recent feature on SG Lewis’ hit track, “All We Have,” or may remember seeing them live alongside Glass Animals and Rufus Du Sol before the lockdown bust-down. 2020 turned out to be a year of momentum with the release of their critically acclaimed LP, First Contact – garnering attention from various industry-defining platforms such as Billboard and NME. Now in 2021, the duo is kicking it into hyperdrive with the upcoming release of the First Contact Acoustic EP, out Thursday (pre-save here). They’ve taken a moment to chat with SPIN about their biggest creative and musical influences, the making of their album, being in the spotlight, and much more.
Who is Lastlings and how did you come to life?
Lastlings is Amy and I (Josh), we are a brother-sister duo from the east coast of Australia and we started around mid 2015. Lastlings was a short story I wrote in high school about the last beings on earth. It was a post-apocalyptic story of survivors in a dystopian earth. I was playing with my friends in a band and Amy would come in after we practiced to hang out and we’d just sing covers. We started playing together a bit more and decided we’d write our first song together.
Tell us about your sound – where does your style originate from and what have been your biggest visual, social, and sonic influences?
Our style has evolved over the years from indie pop electronica to more of a house/electronic sound these days. I think as our interests in different artists and bands shifted so did the production and the way we write. We are heavily inspired by visuals whether they be movies, animation, tv series or even documentaries. A lot of our time spent producing we have something playing on a tv screen next to prompt us to make music to that scene or environment. We love anime and the fantastical worlds they explore because they are so beautiful or bizarre and really stretch our imagination.
Was there a definitive turning point to your success? When did you realize the magnitude of your impact within the industry/community?
It really depends on how we are defining success. We’ve been very active in the years we’ve been doing Lastlings and have been consistently touring and releasing new music. For us it’s always been about creating music we love and hoping that our fans and new listeners connect with it. I think a turning point was when people were beginning to message us saying that they would hear our music on the radio or they heard it on spotify and how it’s changed their lives. Hearing that the song brings back happy memories for them from festivals and parties or even how our music has made them happy during some of their darkest times is something that makes us feel like we’ve succeeded.
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You’ve been able to collaborate and tour with some industry titans such as Rufus Du Sol and Glass Animals. How did these relationships come about and what have been the biggest takeaways from these experiences?
For the support slots In most cases it’s usually part booking agent or manager and part band choice. The booking agent or your manager will put you forward to certain bands and it’s up to them whether they like you and if your music aligns with their style. Glass Animals was quite early in our career and we were really lucky to be on that. It was a great opportunity to see how a bigger band tours and they were really lovely people as well. The same goes for Rufus Du Sol. They’re all amazing people, including their crew. We’ve learnt so much by touring with them and seeing how their team operates. The biggest lesson is to stay humble even as you get more popular. It’s been great touring with the RDS team as they are all really helpful and treat you equally.
Tell us about one of your most cherished touring memories.
Playing Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado was definitely a career highlight for us. It’s such an incredible venue and just standing there during the day on the stage when there’s no crowd and looking out is ridiculous it’s such a large space. Looking out into the crowd at night when there’s a crowd is an entire different story. The energy there is so different. It’s out in the open, there’s giant rocks and there’s stars everywhere it feels like you’re on mars.
In what ways do you wish to inspire up and coming artists/producers that are aiming to get their chance in the spotlight?
Not to scare anyone but having a career in music is so hard. It’s definitely not something to be taken lightly. It’s also extremely risky. Your relationships with your partners, family and friends are always tested, you’re away a lot and touring is really tolling on your body. But you know what they say high risk is high reward. Music has been one of the most rewarding experiences we’ve been lucky enough to have. We’ve been able to travel to places we’d never would have gone to and met so many incredible and talented people. We get to do what we love which is to make and play music. To top it off we get to bring all of our fans, friends and family together and see them enjoy the shows, meet new people and create happy memories together. All of that is what makes all the years of hard work and late nights worth it.
What’s one piece of advice you’d like to give aspiring creatives that you either got from a mentor or that you wish you would’ve gotten?
It’s so cliche but I would say just to believe in yourself. We always compare ourselves to other people’s success but if we don’t believe in ourselves and the vision we have no one else will. There’s always room to learn and grow too. We’re continually growing and learning about new production or song writing techniques and I believe we still have a long way to go. But that’s the most exciting part. Also enjoy every moment. I think the ‘journey’ aspect of music is really exciting because you learn so much and once you get to the top or the ‘destination’ where do you go from there? I’ve read about this with a lot of top level actors getting to the peak of their careers and saying that their journey to the top was the most exciting years of their life so I’ve decided to embrace all the experiences good and bad that this industry has to offer.
Despite the curses 2020 brought to the collective masses, it also allowed artists to take a step back, reassess, and reprioritize certain aspects of their personal/creative lives. You managed to release your album, First Contact. Where did this concept of encountering a new world first start taking form and what significance does it carry for you?
The concept of the album was developed around 2 years ago. This was when we started writing a lot of the songs that were going to be on the album. I had just finished school so a few of the songs are about me experiencing things for the first time.
We were watching a lot of sci-fi films at the time, and a lot of those movies had moments where the characters would experience things for the first time. Josh and I found those moments very relatable – and thought that other people would be able to relate to this concept too.
Was there a “holy grail” type of moment where you knew this was a project you needed to complete without question – that you were sitting on something special?
We’ve always wanted to write an LP but we didn’t start out with a clear goal in mind of what the album would sound like. It took a few songs like Deja Vu, Take My Hand and I think I’ve Got You for us to figure out what the rest of the project might sound like. I think it wasn’t until we started putting the demos into a playlist that we started to see the album take shape and started to get excited. On the release day of our album, Josh and I were so excited. We were both really proud of ourselves and what we had created.
Because there are two parts in the whole of Lastlings – what are each of your roles? What does your typical songwriting/production process look like? Is there a set formula or does it consistently evolve and shape-shift along with your ideas?
There isn’t really a set formula. Most of the time we write separately and then bring our ideas together. Josh produces most of the tracks where I write the lyrics and do the vocals.
As we’re looking ahead seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, how are you both planning to propel your career forward in 2021?
We will be writing as much as possible, playing as many shows as we can and working on bettering ourselves as musicians.
Is there anything on the horizon that you can share with us?
We have been spending quite a bit of time in the studio and have started to write some new music – which we are really excited about.
Take a chance now and manifest something:____________.
We will play shows all over the world really soon <3
Any last words for the SPIN-verse?
We hope you all are staying safe around the world in your lock downs and we hope our music is giving you some kind of enjoyment in such a difficult time. Thank you for having us! X
Catch an exclusive first look of their acoustic performance below and be sure to pre-save the EP here. For more exclusive sessions, head over to SPIN TV.