Brighter Later: On Wonder Woman And Channeling Intensity
After a hauntingly gorgeous 2013 debut, Australian indie-pop outfit Brighter Later return with a new single, “Brace”. Frontwoman Jaye Kranz shares the road to her beloved project starting with childhood role models (from Wonder Woman to Madonna), writing fiction and now gracing the Sydney Opera House stage as Brighter Later.
by: Shannon Kurlander
Was music always the destination? In your life, what were some stops along the way before starting Brighter Later?
Music always there, but I didn’t know it would come to this at all.
I played piano as a kid and wrote my first song when I was twelve. But I stopped playing for a long time, and it wasn’t until much later that it struck me it was something I very much wanted to do. Before starting BRIGHTER LATER, I was living overseas and I immediately moved to New Orleans where my then-boyfriend had an empty apartment. He had piles of classic records and an old white piano that used to stop working when the humidity exceeded 90%. It was there I began to immerse myself in music in a way I never had before.
Other stops along the way: Aside from the usual part-time work one does in one’s University years — including a brief stint with a pyjama magnate, and a time managing a macadamia nut farm whose employees lived in the adjoining caravan park— I was a fiction writer, mainly. I dabbled in scriptwriting and non-fiction, but fiction was my main bag. I published as well as performed. And I worked in radio — first as a presenter, then in production. Making radio docs is my other passion. In many ways, music is such a personal expression and with radio, I like the opportunity to tell other people’s stories and bring that into the studio environment too — assembling the sonic elements in ways specific to every story.
Can you name some female icons you idolized as a child?
Well, thankfully, things change. But back then it was a heady mix of authors, pop stars, fictional bad-girls, super-heroes, and of course, tennis luminaries. These included Enid Blighton, Madonna (in her 80’s groove), Rizzo from Grease, Linda Carter aka Wonder Woman and yes, Martina Navratilova.
Tell us about your new single, “Brace”. Can we look forward to a new album?
“Brace” was one of those songs I wanted to record straight after writing it. Having just been through an album cycle and that traditional way of tracking where you write all the sings first and then book recording time, I wanted to record this while it was still new to me and the band. There’s a certain energy around a song when I’ve just written it and I wanted to see what would come of tapping that intensity. It was a lot of fun and I particularly enjoyed playing with allowing more ‘space’ in the music. Patrick Dunn featured for the first time on this track and it was great to have his touch in there. I hope you’ll look forward to a new album! It’s in the works. Going it one song at a time.
What’s the best, most-underrated spot in Melbourne?
Where I live. Yarraville. It’s a small, charming suburb in Melbourne’s inner-west. Luckily, not too many people know about it because they confuse it with an undulating wine-growing region with a similar name. It’s got the right balance of hip-but-not-hip. I can go to the shops at weirdly early or late hours in my PJ’s (very important given the lofty ambitions contained in the next question). Or get free-trade coffee from bearded hipster’s with the best of them.
Lastly, what’s your news year’s resolution?
To learn how to nap. I tend to go full throttle with everything I do, apparently without an off-switch, so a friend has been gently coaching me through the art of napping, and its various miracle benefits. From all reports, you can get most things done whilst actually napping. I’m game