Premiere: upsidedownhead Dazzles & Stirs with Minimalist Single “say something” ft. Clea

upsidedownhead & Clea © Alex Bennison
upsidedownhead & Clea "say something" © Alex Bennison
Clean, crisp, intimate, and stirring, upsidedownhead and Clea’s new single “say something” is an exceptional, cinematic outpouring of raw passion and emotional resistance.
for fans of The xx, London Grammar, Phantogram, Sampha
Stream: “say something” – upsidedownhead ft. Clea




‘say something’ delves into the art of resistance. We as humans tend to wait until all is broken before we initiate change.

Clean, crisp, intimate, and stirring, upsidedownhead and Clea’s new collaboration is an exceptional outpouring of raw passion and resistance. Elegant and minimalist, sweet and cinematic, “say something” soars on delicate wings as together, the pair craft a magnificent push-and-pull moment of movement and stillness, turmoil and balance, uncertainty and self-assuredness. It’s a song we can bump all winter and summer long, through heat and cold, good times and bad.

say something ft. Clea - upsidedownhead
say something ft. Clea – upsidedownhead
i don’t even know i try
i don’t want to savour now
i glimpse a different life
say something that i want to hear
say it loud and clear
ride to the top
let me stay there
feel your touch
now i’m so lost
let me fade here
i got to figure this one out

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering “say something” featuring Clea, the latest single off upsidedownhead’s forthcoming sophomore EP lush (out August 27 via Liberation Records). The artist project of Sydney-based producer, music director, and multi-instrumentalist Ross James, upsidedownhead has been dazzling the ears for three exceptionally prolific years since his late-2018, true to its name debut EP, complex. With a classical background and past experience working with the likes of Vera Blue, E^ST and WAFIA, James uses his project to explore not only himself, but music’s myriad possibilities and endless depths. His art doesn’t fit neatly into any box, but his forthcoming eight-track EP is certainly the most defined work of his career – even if it’s the most limitless presentation of his artistry at the same time. Comprising recent singles “higher” ft. Ric Rufio, “twice as tough” ft. Mansionair, and “make it real” ft. Fractures, lush offers a visceral and enchanting dive into deep pools of sound and color, where warmth and cold coalesce to much dramatic (and laudable) effect.

upsidedownhead & Clea © Alex Bennison
upsidedownhead & Clea “say something” © Alex Bennison

Featuring Brisbane indie pop artist Clea, “say something” is lush’s fourth and latest teaser track, and one of its most accessible, sublime, and hypnotizing offerings.

Clea’s evocative performance soars over a gentle instrumental backdrop that accentuates her nuances; both her words and the expressive subtleties of her voice melt over cool drums, synths, sweet violins, and a delicately resonating harp. She owns the spotlight, and as upsidedownhead explains, that was part of the point of this song:

“‘say something’ is an attempt to mould songwriting, minimal tech dance music with orchestral samples,” he explains. “I’m really inspired by minimal tech and have a background in orchestral composition. During the writing of this song I was working on a friend’s arrangements for a symphony tour, which inspired the string sample you hear throughout the track. I wanted the song within the clip to reflect a precise, clean and lush look, which is why we decided to go with a classic warm black and white grade.”

“We wrote the crux of the new song over the internet in about two hours,” he adds. “To track Clea’s vocal, I drove two hours north (I was already up in Brisbane for a show) to her and her partner’s farm/studio. This was our first time meeting face to face, and I was welcomed with a fresh bowl of pasta and good old fashioned hospitality. As the studio isn’t quite finished, if you listen carefully you can hear the roar of crickets faintly infiltrating her vocal takes. I like it when something unexpected invites itself into your recording to create a moment in time.”

An enthralling, visceral song in its own right, “say something” implores us to delve inward. Clea’s lyrics find her in her own world of reckoning:

i don’t even know why i fight
i don’t want to build it up
too see us come undone
say something that i want to hear
say it loud and clear
say something that i want to fear
now i’m in the clear

“‘say something’ delves into the art of resistance,” Clea explains. “We as humans tend to wait until all is broken before we initiate change. Change is incredibly hard but entirely necessary and sometimes we will fight to the very end, even when change is inevitable.”

It’s a haunting message to take in, but one whose ultimate meaning is soothed thanks to the intoxicating rapture Clea and upsidedownhead weave together. Change may indeed be inevitable, but perhaps we can lean into it with an effortless smile; perhaps, perhaps.

Alongside their song, upsidedownhead has also released a striking black-and-white music video directed by Sydney-based visual artist Jamin. Presenting the musicians against a white backdrop, the accompaniment adds fresh weight to the music’s experience – pulling audiences that much deeper into the artists’ intimate, compelling perspective.

Get lost in the throes of “say something,” streaming exclusively on Atwood Magazine, and stay tuned for upsidedownhead’s sophomore EP lush, out August 27 via Liberation Records.

ride to the top
let me stay there
feel your touch
now i’m so lost
let me fake it
i got to figure this one out

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:: stream/purchase upsidedownhead here ::
Stream: “say something” – upsidedownhead ft. Clea




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say something ft. Clea - upsidedownhead

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