Adelaide alternative pop trio, Fleur Green and The Keepers, launched their debut album When The Tide Rushes In on the weekend. The twelve track album touches on themes surrounding mental illness focusing on the humour, light, grace, love and persistence that can come from it. When The Tide Rushes In became a vision from the age of fifteen when Fleur wrote her first song ever Cherry Blossom, the second track on the album. After that Fleur got sidetracked in the world of virtuoso percussion repertoire, but she’s now enjoying returning to songwriting while still using her percussion skills.

Inspired by a strong desire to find her own musical identity When The Tide Rushes In takes inspiration from a range of sources including Persian poetry, friends, lovers, internal struggle and triumph. Recorded the album at Chapel Lane Studios with producer Tom Barnes (Shaolin Afronauts, Max Savage, Cosmo Thundercats). Although a multi instrumentalist herself, Fleur collaborated with Felicity Freeman and Jarrad Payne who recorded bass, drums, percussion and back up vocals. Fleur did a quick Q&A with Hi Fi Way: The Pop Chronicles about the album.

How exciting a build-up has it been in the lead up to the release and launch of your debut album?
Almost unbearable. I jest. The excitement is palpable. I feel the spirit of Christmas. As if I were a child again.

What was the most challenging part of making the album?
Raising money to make records is tough stuff, but thankfully ARTS SA have supported us all the way. Thank you!

Biggest lesson learnt and what wouldn’t you do next time?
Making three music videos and doing three launches in a space of three months seems a little nutty. And frankly, it is. Though I suppose the title of the album When The Tide Rushes In is seemingly apt! I’d give myself more breathing room next time.

Do you think you achieved your objective of destigmatising attitudes around mental illness?
Ha! I hope I have contributed to the cause. I think we (as a society) have made a lot of progress in that department, don’t you? Still, more discussion and education is definitely needed.

Is there a long way to go still in changing community attitudes?
My former, formidable percussion teacher, Jim Bailey, used to say to me “You live and you learn. ‘Cos if you don’t learn, you don’t live.” I’ve learnt a lot about mental illness through experience and been forced to gain insight. Not everybody has to, but boy, would it be nice if some people had a more open mind to learning about it.

How would you describe Fleur Green and The Keepers to someone who has never heard of the band before?
We are like a picnic featuring a blend of Dresden Dolls/Regina Spektors/ Beatles jamming on sweet and heavy alternative pop melodies. Come and have a beverage with us! Or a sandwich.

How did the band get together?
Through jazz and classical studies merging and friendship.

Do you still remember your first jam session?
I have problems with my memory actually… Life is always new and exciting for me. However I do remember it took place in a city apartment with neighbours above, below and to both sides… Sorry, former neighbours…

What are the shared influences of the band?
Bjork, The Beatles, Tori Amos, Jazz, Local bands, Theatre, The Arts in general…

What does 2018 hold for Fleur Green & The Keepers?
Local gigs, fundraising for touring, rehearsing and arranging newly written tunes and preparing for the next album… And hopefully a few more exciting opportunities that I can reveal further down the track.

Interview by Rob Lyon