Australia’s Eliza & The Delusionals dive inside their dynamic and dazzling debut album ‘Now and Then,’ an irresistible triumph of unapologetic and unrelenting passion – and a bright spark of radiant indie rock on the 2022 landscape.
for fans of Pale Waves, The 1975, The Killers, Paramore, Avril Lavigne, The Big Moon, MarthaGunn
Stream: “Give You Everything” – Eliza & The Delusionals
Dynamic and dazzling, unapologetic and unrelenting, Eliza & The Delusionals’ debut album is a bright spark of radiant indie rock on the 2022 landscape.
Pulsing drums bustle and boom alongside steady, surging bass lines; meanwhile, effected electric guitars sear, sizzle, and soar with cinematic zeal, riding high and sweeping low with a tidal, at times turbulent force. Atop all this charm and churn glows Eliza Klatt’s stunning voice: Singular and self-assured, she captivates with remarkable energy and resounding strength. It’s a recipe for success six long years in the making: Impassioned and immersive, Now and Then is an irresistible triumph marrying catchy lines with cathartic upheaval. It’s an achingly intense record that holds nothing back – and in giving their all, Eliza & The Delusionals ensure their music is permanently seared on our minds.
How long will it last with your head in my hands?
Like you’re all that we had, it’s a lot to swallow
How long do you need to pull me on your leash?
You keep pulling me back and I’m gone tomorrow
Love so lazy
You’re telling me it’s fine
Am I just out of my mind?
Though I’m here tonight
I’m not staying
But what I’d give to try
Am I just out of my mind?
I know that it’s hard to give you everything you want
And I’ve been running circles ’round for months
Had to give you all, I had to give you up
‘Cause I can’t give you everything you want, you want
Released May 20, 2022 via Cooking Vinyl, Now and Then is an inspiring, invigorating debut album – and one that surely cements Eliza & The Delusionals’ deserving place in today’s alternative/indie music canon. Hailing from North Coast in New South Wales, Australia, the band of Eliza Klatt (singer/guitarist), Kurt Skuse (guitarist), Ashley “Tex” Martin (guitarist), and Ruby Lee (bassist) have been hustling and bustling for six extraordinarily long, yet equally exciting years.
“Eliza & the Delusionals are masters of using rock and pop-inflected sound to elicit emotions and pour their hearts out,” Atwood Magazine‘s Nicole Almeida wrote, praising the group’s “lyric screaming as a form of spiritual healing” in a 2020 band interview.
In fact, Eliza & the Delusionals have set themselves apart from the start. 2017’s debut EP The Deeper End, produced with Konstantin Kersting (Tones and I, Mallrat), and 2020’s sophomore effort A State of Living in an Objective Reality both showcased a larger-than-life tenacity that has grown only bolder and brighter on the band’s first full-length effort.
Produced once again by Kersting, Now and Then is a collaborative effort that brought Eliza Klatt and Kurt Skuse together with acclaimed songwriters/producers Sarah Aarons (Zedd, The Rubens, Childish Gambino), John Hill (Cage The Elephant, Charli XCX, Lykke Li) and Keith Harris (Madonna, The Black Eyed Peas). The result is pop/rock album that spans decades and scenes, balancing the spirited fervor of early aughts post-punk revival (The Killers) with strains of pop punk (Paramore) and modern alternative and indie pop (The 1975, Pale Waves, CHVRCHES).
Eliza & The Delusionals describe Now and Then as a record of resilience.
“Now And Then is about reflecting on youth, compared to life in your mid 20s, and how we took so much of it granted back then,” the band tell Atwood Magazine. “It’s about coming of age, and dealing with love, loss and relationships that are a part of that.”
“For me, I think this album was the best thing to come out of the pandemic for us,” Eliza Klatt continues. “The album was kind of born out of the need for us to be in one place for a long period of time. We were touring a bunch and had heaps more to come especially internationally and we were talking about doing an album later that year (2020) when we had finished being on the road, but obviously that didn’t come to be as the state of the world changed drastically.”
“We had just dealt with a huge loss of all of our touring in America, and when we got back to Australia, we both were feeling quite lost and sad. So we essentially came home and started writing earlier than we had anticipated.. We took the opportunity to build a studio at home and bunker down and turn all of the feelings that we had been experiencing for the past two years into songs. It was a really nice way to cope with what we were going through, and to deal with emotions and experiences that had happened in the past few years of our lives. I always feel lucky that I’m able to be in a band, and to be able to write music with my partner as well. We are all very proud of this album though, and definitely don’t think of it in a negative light: It honestly helped so much throughout such a difficult time of life.”
Guitarist Kurt Skuse echoes Klatt’s sentiments. “This album really helped me get through a tough time in my life and I’m really glad I got to do it with Eliza,” he says. “Between not being able to tour and also having to come back to Australia this album and the whole process seemed like the only thing that mattered to us at the time and even though it was an extremely hard place to live in I’m happy to have gone through it and I hope people can hear even a little bit of what we tried to capture: It almost made a little world I could escape into and just write about things that have happened in either mine or Eliza’s life – almost like making a soundtrack to our past experiences. I suppose never having written an album before, it was a new experience, and it honestly couldn’t have come at a better time for us.”
I didn’t like you
When you first told me your name
I didn’t want to
When you started to play that game
We could be alright (alright)
If you’d just let me walk away
‘Cuz I didn’t want to
‘Cuz I didn’t want you
Easy when you’re letting me down
But then you need me
I’ve been the star watching you falling apart
I’ve been this far and watched you get to my heart
I know it’s thin you’re out drinking
It’s been so hard to watch you falling apart
For Skuse and Klatt, Now and Then is a record of perspective and nostalgia –
two qualities that can felt almost instantaneously on album opener “Give You Everything,” an alluring overhaul of stirring, seductive pop wrapped up in massive chorus melodies that see Klatt crying out, “I know that it’s hard to give you everything you want, and I’ve been running circles ’round for months.” Heated emotions spill out of her on a smoldering start that undeniably sets the pace for all that’s to come.
And what a roller-coaster (both musical and emotional) this record becomes. Highlights include the tight, driving “Save Me” and the explosive implosion “YOU,” the buoyant and bustling “Lonely,” and roaring hard-hitter “Bed Song,” and the utterly enchanting finale, “Now and Then.”
You said you’re confined
So why’d you wanna cut me off
You called me a liar
So go ahead and cut me off
Tell me you love me
I don’t think you do
It’s someone else
I’ll stay in bed if you keep asking why
I mess with your head when I tell you I’m fine
You say that I’m crazy, but I don’t really care
If you hate me I’m sorry, guess I’ll just stay in bed
– “Bed Song,” Eliza & The Delusionals
“Once we had written the song ‘Now and Then,’ we knew straight away that it tied off the album the way we wanted it to and thought that as a title summed everything up in a way we felt was fitting,” Klatt says. “As our demos were piling up and we were making shortlists of what would potentially be on the album, we really started to notice the lyrical theme was heavily circulating around growing up and reminiscing on life when we were younger compared to now. We really wanted to write a song that basically could tie all the feelings and emotions that all of the other songs encapsulated. We knew it would end up being the closing track for the album.”
All the time I could see it coming,
for me I’m alive, but am I really living baby
All my friends, they’re all getting married
And I know it’s weird, but I’ll still say I’m happy for you
All my life, I guess I had it coming for me
All my friends, they’re all getting drunk and dancing
I tell myself, I tell myself, that I still got time…
Now and then I see myself
I see myself…
Favorites are a difficult topic of conversation for the band, just because every track shines with its own inner light. They notably released seven of the album’s twelve songs as singles, and those that weren’t singles are just as catchy and cathartic as the rest. “I feel like this changes for me constantly but as of right now I would say ‘Save Me’ and ‘Lonely’ are songs that I enjoy playing,” Klatt relents. “As for a highlight from the record, my favorite point was the last day when we finished tracking. It was really sad but I was so excited at the same time! It was a strange feeling that I remember fondly. I think some of my favorite lyrics from the album right now are from the song ‘Get A Hold of You’: ‘You’re stuck in my brain, I get stuck there too.'”
Now and Then truly is an all hits, no misses affair.
Marrying style with substance, movement with moodiness, emotion and passion with flare, Eliza & The Delusionals have burst out of the gate with a record that can light up the darkest nights – and whether we end up turning the living room into an impromptu dance floor, strutting down the street with music-induced suave, or letting the music simply wash over us as we go to sleep at night, the songs on Now and Then are sure to feel as visceral and urgent now as they will in five years’ time. Raw and polished, effervescent and emotive, this album is an indisputable success and a triumph in every sense of the word.
“Honestly I hope whoever decides to listen to the album can enjoy it in their own way and create their own connection with it,” Eliza Klatt shares. “I guess if I was to say one thing I hope people can take away from the album though, it would be that I hope you can feel comfortable with everything that has or is going on in your life and that it is okay to struggle sometimes.” Experience the full record via our below stream, and peek inside Eliza & The Delusionals’ Now and Then with Atwood Magazine as Eliza Klatt and Kurt Skuse go track-by-track through the music and lyrics of the band’s debut album!
Stream: ‘Now and Then‘ – Eliza & The Delusionals
:: Inside Now and Then ::
GIVE YOU EVERYTHING
Eliza: The song was written between tours when we were in Los Angeles in 2020. Kurt had made up some chords and ideas on the tour bus and we had a few ideas around it. Kurt and I took the idea into a writing session we were having with Sarah Aarons and John Hill, and the song really developed in that session. When we got back to Australia, we started building from the demo we made in the writing session and added a bridge and worked a bit more on the structure. It easily became a collective favorite for us out of all the album demos, and still is one of our favorites on the album now. We felt like it was the perfect song to open the album with and set the tone for Now and Then. The song reminds us of something that would be straight out of an early ’00s teen romance/rom com movie, so we wanted to really go in with that in the production side of things as well. We loved the idea of having this song predominately acoustic guitar along with the band, we just felt it really brought out the early ’00s sound that we were looking for.
Kurt: This one also started off as something completely different to what you hear now in terms of what the song was about. I really like not getting confined to a specific idea whilst in the writing process because I feel like sometimes it can be limiting; I like when you think it’s about one thing then by the time it’s finished it surprises you where it has arrived and you kinda go, “Oh, that’s what it’s about then.”
Kurt: “Save Me” is about not knowing yourself worth, knowing that you’re changing yourself to fit in somebody else’s life but constantly looking for that justification in them.
Eliza: The idea for ‘Save Me’ started when we were in an Airbnb in Los Angeles between tours in 2020. Kurt had come up with a set of chords which I was really loving. We went into a writing session not long after with Keith Harris and his team, where Kurt had then come up with the chorus melody and the part “why don’t you come and save me” which was then fleshed out more into what the chorus is now known as. When we got back to Australia a little while after, Kurt and I were having a writing session at our home studio and he came up with what ended up being the now recorded verse ideas. We never intended on changing it far from the demo we did in LA, but once we had worked on a new set of verses, we felt like the chorus was the missing piece to the puzzle.
Kurt: ‘YOU’ was originally demoed as a completely different song in terms of melodies, chords and pretty much everything. It was sitting in our pile of album demos for ages and then one day I was sifting through them and ended up writing the whole thing again. I feel like it happens a lot where I will demo a song and think it’s cool then listen back and go “meh,” leave it for a while and then write the new version of it in like 15 minutes. I had written the chorus and the verses while Eliza was in the other room at the time on the phone to our manager and I remember yelling out saying, “I think I have something cool!” After she got off the phone she came out and we wrote the bridge and rest of the song really quickly. The structure of the song stayed the same throughout the recording process, but our producer Konstantin Kersting really helped us pull the best out of it, really leaning into the 90’s/Y2K feeling with the production. I remember sitting in the studio with him and he started pulling up record scratches and different samples and we all immediately knew where the song was headed. I think I had the most fun recording this one from start to finish! It was just a really enjoyable process.
Eliza: ‘YOU’ was written about watching someone you love fall apart due to their own recklessness, and there’s nothing you can do and you have to try and accept it. That’s why it’s called ‘YOU’; it’s for you.
Kurt: This one was written one afternoon Eliza and myself sat down to watch a movie and then like always got distracted and picked up a guitar. I remember working it all out in about an hour, we pretty much demoed it straight away as well and the whole thing was virtually there; I think it was the most put together demo out of the bunch looking back too. ‘Nothing Yet’ immediately lent itself to be a soundtrack type song and from how I remember it was probably the first point in the writing process of the album where it felt like it started to have an identity and we sort of knew from there where we wanted to take the sound and emotion for the record. The song was written about a feeling of uncertainty within a relationship and realizing that maybe being with someone you think you love is only a feeling that comes from not wanting to be alone; having that be a part of growing up and having to make these mistakes to grow and learn. ‘Nothing Yet’ was written quite early in the piece and by the time it was time to pick the album tracks it wasn’t in any of our shortlists and we kind of disregarded it for the album. It wasn’t until our producer Konstantin Kersting had questioned why it wasn’t on the album we went back to listen and realized we were making a mistake by cutting it out and that it was actually a core part of the story that we were trying to tell throughout the album. It genuinely has turned out to be one of my favorite tracks we have written and I’m really glad it didn’t get cut.
Eliza: ‘Lonely’ is about being in a relationship that you’re just staying in because it’s comfortable – because you’ve been in it for so long, and because you don’t want to break that person’s heart. It’s something that Kurt and I both went through before we started a romantic relationship, and I feel like it was a concept we were both yet to write about. We had been recently inspired by a lot of pop music, and when we were demoing the song, we thought it would be cool to try a ‘vocal chop’ idea and see how it sounded. Everyone from our band and team loved it in the demo, but we were a little hesitant to put it in the final version. Once we had cut it out, the song just didn’t hit the same, so we kept it in. We think it’s a cool eclectic part of the album that’s a little different from the rest.
Kurt: I was really for the vocal chop in the start, I remember making it from a sample of Eliza’s vocal take and thinking it really fit in the song. As we got closer to the final edit though I was starting to think maybe it should get taken out because “what would people think” type thoughts were going through my head and “It doesn’t sound like us” which is just complete bullshit if I’m honest because none of that really matters, like we wrote it so of course it sounds like us! It doesn’t get anymore “us” than us and as for genre bending and trying to write specifically in one direction, I feel like It’s much more natural to just write what is coming out so we did.
Kurt: “Halloween” was actually written around 3 years before we even started thinking about the album. It was never intended to be an Eliza and the Delusionals song, but when we started talking about the album it came up and considering the theme and emotion of the record it really felt right to have it amongst everything. The sentiment behind this song really encapsulates the feeling of being youthful and the problems you encounter are seemingly impossible to resolve or work out but you are able to have a release where nothing else matters and you can just slip away in the peak of your salad days. This song really only made full sense to me upon reflection, and it definitely needed that time to mature.
Eliza: It was interesting when we started talking about demoing this song for the record, and I think because Kurt had come up with a lot of the song so long ago that maybe he had lost that connection with it. When I heard the voice memo I knew we had to record it, and everyone on our label and management team loved the song as well. It was actually one of the first songs we recorded for the album, and I love how it turned out.
Eliza: This song started as something completely different. I think the verse was pretty similar to what ended up being recorded, but it almost got scratched as we weren’t stoked with the chorus. It was one of those things where you put it down and pick it back up in a different mindset or mood and you can see the song from a completely different perspective. We started writing the song around the idea of staying in bed and just not wanting to deal with things and thought ‘Bed Song’ was the perfect title for it. This one would have to be one of my favourites lyrically and structurally, and I’m really glad we decided to pick it up that day and continue to work on it.
BED NOW (INTERLUDE)
Kurt: This was literally derived from me sitting on our couch late at night playing the guitar and singing to Eliza “should we go to Bed now”. It was pretty recently after we had written Bed song and we both thought it really made sense to make it as an interlude to have play after it. We recorded everything in our home studio and wanted it to sound really raw and intimate so we used an old nylon string guitar we had lying around one of those blue ones you get when you first start learning guitar.
GET A HOLD OF YOU
Kurt: ‘Get A Hold Of You’ came really late to the album, I think we wrote this one literally a week or so before pre-production. I think It was the chords that came first with the idea of not being able to see people or feeling stuck in a place or time.
Eliza: Kurt had come up with these chords and lyrics which I instantly loved and connected to. One of my favourite lines is, ‘you’re stuck in my brain, I get stuck there too’. I feel like if I heard that line in a song from another artist it would have hit hard, and I think the lyrics are really what make that song special and relatable.
Kurt: Circles is about knowing you’re getting used in a relationship but continually putting yourself back into those situations that make it hard to see why you should leave. Having had friends close to us do this and unsure as to why they aren’t happy but every time you offer up some advice it seemingly goes over their head, it’s almost like watching someone be out of body. Eliza and myself wrote this one probably about midway through the album writing process.
Eliza: This was another song that almost didn’t make the final cut of the album tracks. We had actually tracked drums for this song and another song because we couldn’t decide between the two. Once we had recorded most of the guitars for all of the other songs, we listened to the album at that point we instantly all felt like ‘Circles’ was the right choice in context. This was a song Kurt was super passionate about from the start, and was maybe a bit of an underdog song in the demos.
ALL THE TIME
Kurt: ‘All The Time’ is the evolution of about 6 different attempts to write this song over the space of about 2 years. The idea didn’t change a whole heap, it was just difficult for Eliza and myself to both be happy with a particular version. I think we both really loved the song and wanted it to be the best it could have been, and that’s kind of what made it hard to settle on a version. I’m really glad we kept working on it for as long as we did though. I feel like the time gave it space to grow into what it is today and really hit where it was intended. We wrote the first variation of this song probably at the start of 2019 while we were house sitting for a friend, for some reason we always feel most creative when we are put in a foreign space; probably something to do with the romanticized image it has. We would literally go through stages of hating it then loving it again; I genuinely feel like that is at the epitome of this song’s emotion and what it does to you. As it speaks through the song, saying you can’t feel alive all the time and you can’t be on fire all of the time, meaning feelings come and go whether they be good or bad you really have to just accept that as a fact and know it’s okay to be going through whatever it is you’re going through.
Eliza: I agree with the way Kurt explained the song – the song’s journey feels a little up and down and super dynamic, and that concept was really reflected in the writing process.
NOW AND THEN
Kurt: When Eliza and I wrote ‘Now and Then’ we had the title come to us first, Probably for around a month or so. We were talking about album titles and what would fit the best and actually came across the movie Now and Then with Christina Ricci and Demi Moore one night which was an old favorite that explores reminiscing and essentially growing up, which stuck with us in the mix of album titles we had in mind.
Eliza: As our demos were piling up and we were making shortlists of what would potentially be on the album, we really started to notice the lyrical theme was heavily circulating around growing up and reminiscing on life when we were younger compared to now. We really wanted to write a song that basically could tie all the feelings and emotions that all of the other songs encapsulated. We knew it would end up being the closing track for the album.
Kurt: A lot of those feelings were around either personal or experiences we have directly been a part of like our friends getting married, moving away, getting jobs etc., just how we took life for granted before those things happened; even something as little as a house party where everyone was together isn’t like that anymore because everyone’s lives have changed and moved on naturally. The whole song came pretty quickly from memory, and we wrote it all in one session together, it immediately felt like it needed to close the album and I think it’s one we are most proud of.
Eliza: I remember we were sitting in Kurt’s childhood bedroom, and I picked up his old acoustic that had 5 strings on it and started messing around with what ended up being the chorus melody. We instantly fell in love with the lyrics ‘now and then, I see myself’ and the song really flourished and came out naturally around that. It makes me feel pretty emotional to listen to, I just connect with this song deeply.
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? © Luke Henery
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