Interview: Didirri’s ‘Caught in the Act’ Is a Debut Full of Feeling, Healing, Intimacy & Intent

Didirri is 'Caught in the Act' © Ian Laidlaw
Didirri is 'Caught in the Act' © Ian Laidlaw
Australian singer/songwriter Didirri opens up about his debut album ‘Caught in the Act,’ an achingly intimate, vulnerable, and soul-stirring soundtrack for life’s moments of stillness and wonder.
Stream: ‘Caught in the Act’ – Didirri




Our obsolete mechanical bodies will inevitably fail. Until that time I want to love and work hard at making art that I see as beautiful, and not waste time chasing arbitrary goals.

Didirri Peters doesn’t really care what you think of his debut album.

At least, that’s how he feels these days: Free. Free of external pressures, and free of others’ judgments and expectations. The Melbourne-based singer/songwriter, known to most simply by his first name, left all pretense behind while making his largest work to date. Opting for emotion over energy and authenticity over big hooks and sexy one-liners, Didirri found his voice anew in a softer space: One where vulnerability and rawness reign supreme.

“This album was a rebirth for me,” the 28-year-old Warrnambool native says. “It changed me permanently. A completely new approach to music and songwriting, and I am all the better for it. I have so much gratitude for this album in me. I needed it.”

Caught in the Act - Didirri
Caught in the Act – Didirri
Here we are now
Sitting there smiling on your mother’s couch
Is this the last hour?
All things die, all things sour
You couldn’t know the road ahead
Or those battles to be fled
Our love is unspoken
I’ll hold you to forever in my head
Quit holding onto things you think we should be
Control is not the road to feeling free
And don’t you want to feel free?
Don’t you want to feel free?
– “Often Broken,” Didirri

Released August 4, 2023 via Liberation Records, Caught in the Act truly is an act of liberation. At once achingly intimate, tenderly cinematic, and seductively smoldering, Didirri’s debut album is a soul-stirring soundtrack for life’s moments of stillness and wonder.

Arriving three years after his acclaimed sophomore EP Sold for Sale – which Atwood Magazine praised at the time for its “uncompromising vulnerability and enveloping waves of warm, ambient folk-tinged rock” – Caught in the Act sees Didirri working with producer Rob Muinos (Julia Jacklin, Nat Vazer) to create a breathtaking collection of songs full of soul, brutal honesty, and whatever else the singer/songwriter was feeling at the time.

DIDIRRI BLENDS HEARTBREAK & HOPE IN STUNNING ‘SOLD FOR SALE’ EP

:: TRACK-BY-TRACK ::



“This album is RAW, all recorded live with musicians listening to each other,” Didirri shares. “This was completely new for me and a welcome change. There is an energy captured when you turn all the mics on and see what happens. You can’t capture that with a computer ticking away the bars. Let it all hang out.”

Even the album’s title speaks to Didirri’s newfound philosophy – that unapologetically unfiltered nature.

“I was pretending,” he explains. “We all present a ‘self’ to the world, but it isn’t real. It’s always some level of act. The more you can break that mask down, the more ‘truer’ relationship you can have with the world. The truer you can be in your expression, and for me my music.”

“[This album] represents where I was artistically at a certain point in my life,” he adds. “It will stand on its own forever now, but it doesn’t introduce me; I will always be changing and hopefully growing. I realised that holding onto your first album for that key moment of artistic summary was a pointless act. It doesn’t need to represent me forever, just for now.”

Didirri © Ian Laidlaw
Didirri © Ian Laidlaw



Caught in the Act opens on a self-assured foot, with a declaration of intent: “I choose to fight for the light that I see slipping,” Didirri sings on “Obsolete Machine,” his voice a lightning rod of heartfelt passion as he delivers a gospel of integrity and inner strength. “You forget your heart when you’re aiming for the end, not aiming for the start. You could fall down; you’ll get there and you won’t know where you’ve been, be the master of the obsolete machine.

For Didirri, this is it. “All you have is one go through life, so you may as well try your best. It doesn’t matter if the world thinks that you will lose the game. Did you enjoy playing?” he says. “We are all going to break down and eventually die. Our obsolete mechanical bodies will inevitably fail. Until that time I want to love and work hard at making art that I see as beautiful and not waste time chasing arbitrary goals or “success.” Why pursue things you will regret?”

Do you remember beginning,
When your face was for a friend
Your best foot’s for your friend in need
And the stats did not apply to your scene?
You were the master of the obsolete machine
Would you mind if I fell, if I fell for you again
Your name was so renowned when pronounced that way
Can you hold me for a day so I can calm down?
You’ll get there and you won’t know where you’ve been
Who told you that your love should be clean?
You’re a slave to the obsolete machine
A slave to the obsolete machine




So begins a record that beats to its own drum, ebbing and flowing with effortless grace and cathartic, captivating candor.

Quit holding on to things you think we should be,” Didirri implores in the heated standout “Often Broken.” “Control is not the road to feeling free – and don’t you want to feel free?”

Further highlights include the bluesy, brooding swagger and emotional lead guitar work of  “Winning Moves” and the spirited, inspiring sense of renewal radiating throughout “Begin Again” – a song that, true to its name, represents a conscious fresh start for Didirri, who feels he started again and didn’t look back:

Now I’m wide eyed and lost again
Babe take me outside of myself again
Found my crying eyes you fell for and then
Begin again, again, begin…

“I really wasn’t happy, and I needed to change,” he admits. “Whenever I sing that chorus, I am reminded of my love for the world, nature and music. There was a chapter there where I saw no beauty and felt a weight holding my head down. “Begin Again” is about letting the colour back in and reminding myself that I do love, and I do see beauty.”




Didirri © Ian Laidlaw
Didirri © Ian Laidlaw

Whether they are my stories or not, I always feel some level of healing when a good song is finished.

Making this album not only rekindled Didirri’s inner light, but it also unlocked a new world for the artist – and he’s just getting started.

For him, the lesson learned from Caught in the Act is to trust your gut, follow your instincts, and stay true to yourself.

The rest will follow.

“If you can read every line with confidence, then you are there,” he beams. “If it makes you feel something, then you are there. It’s about your brain, what does YOUR brain like. Not others, yours.”

Dive into our in-depth interview with Didirri below as he opens up about his debut album and the philosophy that brought it all to life.

Caught in the Act is out now; those in Australia can catch Didirri on his ten-date headline album tour this October. Visit didirri.com for tickets and more information!

— —

:: stream/purchase Caught in the Act here ::
:: connect with Didirri here ::

— —



A CONVERSATION WITH DIDIRRI

Caught in the Act - Didirri

Atwood Magazine: Great to reconnect with you Didirri, and congrats on Caught In The Act’s release! Can you share a little about the story behind this record?

Didirri: Hey, great to hear from Atwood! The record itself was written in the middle stages of lockdowns in Melbourne. I had been touring for years at that stage. It was the first moment of stillness in a long time. When I started writing, the songs seemed a lot more still and less energetic, and I knew something felt different about this work. There was a calmness to the whole process of Caught in the Act.

How has the process of making this full-length album differed from that of making your past EPs?

Didirri: It is a monumental undertaking. I had written 30 songs and cut it down to around 14 with producer Robert Muinos. I committed myself to a philosophy of 1% better. Always 1% better. Somehow, I managed to strike a balance and not fall into perfectionism like I have previously. We focused on feelings, ‘How does this feel?’ If it didn’t make us feel something, then we scratched it from the record.

Your stated mission is to make music for lovers and over-thinkers. Do you mind explaining why that’s the case? What’s important about those two groups, for you?

Didirri: In all honesty, it was an interesting phrase to me. But if I had to draw meaning from it, I’d say people self-identify as hopeless romantics or over-thinkers, and I wanted those people to feel welcome in my space. I too identify in that way and have learnt to embrace it.

Didirri © Ian Laidlaw
Didirri © Ian Laidlaw



We focused on feelings… If it didn’t make us feel something, then we scratched it from the record.

Musically, how do you see Caught In The Act comparing to Sold for Sale and Measurements? What’s different about this album, in your eyes?

Didirri: This album is RAW, all recorded live with musicians listening to each other. This was completely new for me and a welcome change. There is an energy captured when you turn all the mics on and see what happens. You can’t capture that with a computer ticking away the bars. Let it all hang out.

Why the title “Caught In The Act”? Who caught you, and even more importantly, what were you doing?

Didirri: I was pretending. We all present a ‘self’ to the world, but it isn’t real. It’s always some level of act. The more you can break that mask down, the more ‘truer’ relationship you can have with the world. The truer you can be in your expression, and for me my music.

As your debut album, how do you feel Caught in the Act definitively introduces you and your artistry to the world?

Didirri: It doesn’t. It represents where I was artistically at a certain point in my life. It will stand on its own forever now, but it doesn’t introduce me; I will always be changing and hopefully growing. I realised that holding onto your first album for that key moment of artistic summary was a pointless act. It doesn’t need to represent me forever, just for now.

Before we dive into the individual songs, can you describe this record in three words?

Didirri: Considered, brittle, loving.

Didirri © Ian Laidlaw
Didirri © Ian Laidlaw



ON THE SONGS

You introduced “Begin Again,” the album’s first single, over a year ago last March. It’s since had over half a million streams, and it even got its own remix from Gordi! What’s the significance of this song for you, and why was that the first song teased from the album?

Didirri: “Begin Again” just made sense. I have delved into meditation in a big way and Eastern philosophy. I made huge changes in my life when COVID shook the world. I started again and didn’t look back. “Begin Again” just fit as the first single off the record and suited the start of side B perfectly.

Now I'm wide-eyed and lost again, babe, take me outside of myself again,” you sing in the chorus. “Found my cryin' eyes you fell for and then begin again.” What do these words mean for you? What does it mean to “Begin Again,” and how does it speak to who Didirri is as an artist?

Didirri: I had a very dark chapter of my life touring in 2018/19. I really wasn’t happy, and I needed to change. Whenever I sing that chorus, I am reminded of my love for the world, nature and music. There was a chapter there where I saw no beauty and felt a weight holding my head down. “Begin Again” is about letting the colour back in and reminding myself that I do love, and I do see beauty.



You open the record itself with “Obsolete Machine,” whose very first words are, “I choose to fight for the light that I see slipping. You forget your heart when you’re aiming for the end.” Why start your album this way?

Didirri: We are all going to break down and eventually die. Our obsolete mechanical bodies will inevitably fail. Until that time I want to love and work hard at making art that I see as beautiful and not waste time chasing arbitrary goals or “success.” Why pursue things you will regret?

What does it mean to “be the master of the obsolete machine”?

Didirri: All you have is one go through life, so you may as well try your best. It doesn’t matter if the world thinks that you will lose the game. Did you enjoy playing?



Caught in the Act has what I would call a balanced mix of heavy and light music within – you've got folk, rock, a bit of soul, and more in there. Do you have a certain style that you love to play the most?

Didirri: Honestly just whatever comes out at the time. I listen to a pretty wide range of music, and I think that it just comes out in my work. Who knows, might take up punk next! (laughs)

Diving deeper, which of these songs is your favourite to play?

Didirri: I think “I Wanted It Easier Than This.” It has very little dynamics to the structure, so we really get to sit in it as a band and that always feels good. A nice bed to lay in for a long time.



It doesn’t matter if the world thinks that you will lose the game. Did you enjoy playing?

I think one of my personal favorite songs on this album is “Under Falling Skies.” It’s just so HEAVY – to me, it’s an even more intense version of what “Heaving Chest,” another personal standout. These songs harness sonic contrast to elevate the listening experience. Can you talk about your vision for both of them, and what it was like to bring them to life in the studio?

Didirri: “Under Falling Skies” is one of the first songs I ever wrote with politics in mind. Really taking a stab at the untaxed wealth in our society. I knew the song had to fall apart and the more unhinged we felt performing it in the studio the better the result seemed. We physically make the drummer Sam Raines rock forward and backward to find a groove that felt unstable enough for the feeling to be captured. I wanted it to feel like riding the bomb.



I also love the bluesy guitar playing on “Winning Moves” – I can’t help it, it reminds me of John Mayer! Who are some of your favorite guitarists, and did they (or any other artists) have an impact on how you approached your instrumental performances on this album?

Didirri: Rob and I were both listening to a lot of ‘Mule Variations’ by Tom Waits throughout the recording. Marc Ribot, the guitarist on that Waits record, is one of the greats and that vibe really seeped into the studio when we were recording. We definitely didn’t want sweet sounding guitars for “Winning Moves.”



As a lyrically forward artist, do you have any favorite lyrics in these songs? What lines linger with you?

Didirri: ‘All things die, all things sour’ is one of those lines that seemed to write itself and chilled me to the bone when I first sang it. It will stick with me for a long time I feel.

So many of this album's themes come back to self-reflection and sitting with anxiety, insecurity, nerves, and self-doubt. Is songwriting a form of therapy, for you?

Didirri: Absolutely. It’s a way to tell stories that healed me. Whether they are my stories or not, I always feel some level of healing when a good song is finished.

Didirri © Ian Laidlaw
Didirri © Ian Laidlaw



FINAL THOUGHTS

What do you hope listeners take away from Caught in the Act?

Didirri: Breathe. Take your time and don’t let the world rush you. Everyone can wait until you are ready. Your life will be better for it if you take the time your life needs.

What have you taken away from creating this album and now putting it out? What do you hope this record means for you in a year’s time, in five- and ten-year’s time?

Didirri: I know how to work hard now, and I know that hard work feels satisfying. I don’t think I’ll ever lose that knowledge. As for this album: Who knows? Views change. I know I tried my best so I’m sure I’ll always be able to say that about the record even if my taste changes.

What advice do you give to other artists who want to record their own debut albums? How do you know you’re ready, and how do you know you’re finished?

Didirri: If you can read every line with confidence, then you are there. If it makes you feel something, then you are there. It’s about your brain, what does YOUR brain like. Not others, yours.

In the spirit of paying it forward, who are you listening to these days that you would recommend to our readers?

Didirri: Joshua Burnside, his EP Late Afternoon in the Meadow is incredible!

— —

Australian Tour Dates

Didirri’s ‘Caught in the Act’ headline tour
Thu 5 Oct | Belgrave (Wurundjeri Land) | Sooki Lounge
Sat 7 Oct | Anglesea (Kuarka-Dorla) | Sound Doctor
Thu 12 Oct | Melbourne (Naarm) | Howler
Fri 13 Oct | Castlemaine (Dja Dja Wurrung Land) | Theatre Royal
Fri 20 Oct | Brisbane (Meanjin) | Lefty’s Music Hall
Sat 21 Oct | Sunshine Coast (Kabi Kabi) | Solbar
Thu 26 Oct | Canberra (Ngambri) | UC Hub
Fri 27 Oct | Newcastle (Mulumbinba) | King St Bandroom
Sat 28 Oct | Sydney (Eora) | Mary’s Underground
Sun 29 Oct | Woollongong | La La Las

— —

:: stream/purchase Caught in the Act here ::
:: connect with Didirri here ::



— — — —

Caught in the Act - Didirri

Connect to Didirri on
Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Instagram
Discover new music on Atwood Magazine
? © Ian Laidlaw

:: Stream Didirri ::



More from Mitch Mosk
Premiere: Arms Akimbo Ignite with Fiery Grace on “Seven Mirrors”
A viscerally raw and energetic anthem, "Seven Mirrors" captures the euphoric core...
Read More