Writing by Molly Mckew
The video for Louise Terra’s new single, J.B, a tribute to a close friend, was filmed in the bushland just outside of Bendigo in Central Victoria – rumored to be an old witching ground. To film it, Terra bought along some close friends and a camera, and what emerged is an exploration of female bonds, ritual and the magic of friendship. We were lucky enough to get first dibs on these incredible behind the scenes pics. Says Terra: “This seemed like the perfect setting, as I had written a loose script starring Jeannie as a supernatural entity and a small group of friends as a bunch of cosmic hillbilly’s conjuring her spirit.” Terra is a multidisciplinary artist who has performed for several years in Melbourne outfit Sugar Fed Leopards. Her new solo EP, ‘Follow the Moon into the Ocean’, marks Terra’s move into the world of spacey, shimmery, pop-electronica and is out on May 8. We are a little in awe, so to celebrate International Women’s Day, we asked Terra some questions about the single, the video, creativity, and how women can support women.
What is the lead single from your E.P, ‘J.B’ about?
J.B. is an ode to a dear friend of mine Jeannie Brown. She already has a few songs written by several Melbourne artists immortalising her, and for good reason. She is not only hilarious, loving, generous and intelligent, she also seems to have one foot in the psychic realm at all times, making time spent with her generally feel quite out-of-this-world. I really wanted to celebrate this psychedelic side of her nature in the feel of the song and I sing about some of the vivid dreams she has shared with me and intoxicating nights we have spent chatting at parties until we are almost delirious.
Tell me about the idea behind the video for this track? What did you love most about the experience of making it?
The idea for the clip was to create a ritual group setting in which to evoke this magic of Jeannie, depicting actions we invented to summon Jeannie, as if she were a supernatural entity we could call upon for spiritual guidance. I had known about this camp site in Mount Alexander for a long time and heard that it had a history of being a spiritual place to the local Indigenous people and even heard rumours of it being a witches hang out in more recent times. I decided this would be a really special setting for the clip.
What I really loved about making this clip was camping overnight with my friends, spending time together and having fun – which was really in the spirit of the song. All of my friends who were involved are artists and they brought lots of their own creativity to the mix which I believe imbued the process and outcome with a kind of love and enjoyment that is really genuine.
How do your female friendships inspire/empower your creative practice?
A lot of my friends are women and also artists. Through their love, subjective feedback and support I’ve really learnt to trust my instincts and develop the confidence in myself to actually share my art. Through being there to support them through their creative processes and challenges I’ve figured out that we all struggle with really similar blocks so the advice and support I would give them, I have learnt to give myself.
What does International Women’s Day mean to you?
International Women’s Day is a reminder of the fight women have fought for centuries to achieve the recognition of the human rights we have today. It is also a chance to reconfirm that this fight is far from done. As a cis white woman living in a western country, I have the privilege to self determine what I do with my life, my body and my career. When I look beyond my experience I see how privileged I am, as there are many women who are BIPOC in Australia and many other countries all over the world who don’t experience anything close to the kind of life choices I take for granted. It is important we continue to fight to break down all forms of discrimination and misogyny so that the rights of all women and in general, human rights can be recognised all over the world. Also, it reminds me that closer to home in Australia, the fight to address gender-based violence feels like it is only just beginning.
How can creative women best support other creative women?
Regardless of age, experience or background, women can struggle with imposter syndrome in many creative fields. The music industry and electronic music production is no exception. Women with access to opportunity can assist to level the playing field for other women who wish to enter by mentoring, sharing contacts and communicating with emerging female artists to demystify pathways into the industry. Importantly, we need to ensure the invitation for women to join in, is extended to BIPOC and LGBTQIA women who face even more structural obstructions to participating and rising up.
Louisa Terra’s debut EP “Follow the Moon into the Ocean”, will be out Friday 8 May