As the cobweb draped speakers shiver beneath haunting tunes on Halloween, the intimate Oxford Arts Factory in Darlinghurst swarms with ghosts, ghouls, and Sydney-siders to see Thelma Plum do what she does best on her Monsters EP Australian tour.
Thelma is no stranger to the gigging scene; at 19 years old she has already won triple j's Unearthed National Indigenous Music Awards, 2012 Deadly Awards for Best Emerging Talent, toured sell-out shows, and now embarks on a new creative journey across the country delivering entrancing, tender vocals and intimate storytelling.
The Monsters EP exploded this year with the single How Much Does Your Love Cost? and with Thelma's current influences of Dev Hynes, the mastermind behind Blood Orange and current releases from Solange, it's no wonder that a collaboration with producer M-Phazes (Eminem, Kimbra) saw the Monsters EP enrich her acoustic melodies with delicate yet powerful layers and ambient beats. The first track and title of the EP, Monsters, with producer John Castle (Vance Joy, Flight Facilities) entwines an evocative and dreamy ballad with chilling lyrics about the 'monsters' of Thelma's past.
The EP explores an emotional and deeply personal side of Thelma, reflecting on a detrimental relationship in Young in Love, a more melodious echo of Lana Del Ray, perhaps. The murmured words of 'dark is the colour of your heart' connect with her audience through their sheer honesty and sincerity. The final track, Candles, delves into her darkest realm of thought, illustrating the tale of heartbreak though the lyric 'I wish you were a candle burning on my shelf, then I could blow you out so you would hurt nobody else.'
However, the organic roots of her 2013 Rosie EP can still be seen amongst the new sounds of nostalgic synth pop. After some renditions of old favourites and new loves, Thelma's band exit the stage at which point she picks up a guitar and begins to strum the immediately recognisable hook of Father Said. And of course, the jubilance of her final and most successful single, Around Here, sent the singing, dancing and merrily cussing along audience into raptures!
The self-confessed 'very awkward' singer jokes away any pre-show nerves as she affably jests with audience with witty anecdotes 'that's what happens when you date a lot of dickheads!' making the audience fall in love with this self-effacing and undeniably sweet singer.
As one of the most compelling musicians to come from Australian shores this year, the innovative writing, captivating lyrics and enchanting stage presence of Thelma Plum make her ripe to break onto the international stage.