by Thomas Bedward December 02, 2021
Hailing from Newcastle, Elaska Young has developed his own unique blend of electronica with indie-pop vibes, and with new single ‘Weekend Wars’, he's well and truly made his mark. The track fuses his passion for creating soundscapes with intimate vocals and honest lyrics that shine a light on his personal struggles with addiction.
“I grew up in middle class suburbia and had everything I ever wanted in life. But somehow, I still managed to go off the rails in adulthood and fuck everything up" Elaska explains, "In this song, I really wanted to capture the angst and nostalgia of middle class youth and the things that we did to feel alive. We would go spray paint empty lots in the new estates that we lived in or steal things that we could have afforded to buy - I think this is summed up in the line “I stole a handbag on the weekend and it cost less than the thrill”. Despite all our privilege, there was still a lot of pain.”
‘Weekend Wars’ was produced by former Glass Towers guitarist, producer Tinker (Chris Bristow), mastered by Elaska and mixed by Swedish musician and producer Björn Wennerborg whom he met online.
“The producer, Tinker, and I met working at JB Hifi in Aus, then ended up hanging out and making music in the UK" she added, "He sent me the music exactly as it appears in the song and I wrote and recorded the lyrics and vocals sometime later at my mother’s house in Newcastle, Australia, without changing any of the structure. The funny thing is, we ended up losing the project file with the original production. So the version that you hear is actually just my vocals mixed over an Mp3 of the music. I don’t know how much cred this gives me, but it goes to show: when you have something to say or a song you need to get out there, you do what you can to make it work.”
Directed by Elaska and Tom Roberts, the video for ‘Weekend Wars’ perfectly captures the vulnerability of his subjects and illustrates the struggles of young middle class kids who seemingly have it all, but sadly, are subjected to bigotry by their judgemental families.
Speaking of the video, Elaska added, “The idea with the music video was to subvert the classic boy-meets-girl narrative with something closer to the lived experiences of my youth. I went to a performing arts highschool in Newcastle and I was the only guy in a group of about ten girls and seven of them were gay. Everyone came from nice middle class homes, whose parents could afford to spend money paying for acting and music lessons. Yet I would frequently hear about some new kid who had come out to their family, only to have them disowned and kicked out of home."
"It amazed me that there was still this bigotry behind the white picket fences. The redeeming fact was that usually the parents of some other kid from our school would take them in and often they would spend the rest of their highschool life living with another family. The film clip I’ve made is trying to capture the essence of these stories.”
Elaska Young is now crushing the music industry solo after previously being in the band Nova and the Experiences which saw them win ANZ’s Blue Stage national band competition, and win a special prize at Commercial Radio's First Break Competition. The band were also invited to play at SXSW and CMJ in America.
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