“My dream is to live a life filled with a consistent level of that special kind of happiness that jumping into a bed with freshly-made sheets brings.”
I first saw Helen Croome, the silky-voiced Melbourne singer who calls herself Gossling, about six years ago when a friend (who is now the bassist in her band) took me to Public Bar to see her play a low-key gig. There she was, behind her keyboard, a pretty young woman who, when she opened her mouth, sang in luscious, dulcet tones and silenced the entire room. Her cover of Britney Spears’s “Toxic” made my spine tingle.
A year later, Helen formed Gossling with a band comprising some of Melbourne’s finest session musos, and her first EP, If you can’t whistle, came out the same year. Her slightly raspy tones and brand of unique folk/pop have roused a considerable following in Australia, and having released three EPs since 2009, Gossling’s debut album came out in November 2013. After touring her home country for three years, in the last nine months, she made trips to the US (featured at SXSW) and London, where she played a number of shows to “very supportive crowds.”
Her debut album, Harvest of Gold, was released in the UK and Europe this week (July 14) and will be in the US on September 23. Gossling will also tour Europe later this year but before that, she is getting her teeth sunk into her next album. “I can’t combine touring and writing so now that I’m finished with touring for a while and won’t start again for some time, I can concentrate on where I want to take my next album,”she says. “I’m figuring out whether to continue with the electro/synth style of my album or go back to the more folksy style of my EPs.” I sat down with Helen for a cup of tea and a little tête-à-tête.
Why the name Gossling?
When I was starting out, I felt comfortable giving myself an alias. It seemed less intimidating and could be interpreted as either my name or the name of my band. The name does not come from Ryan Gossling [as other media sources have previously written] or a baby goose, but from my grandmother’s maiden name, Goss.
Favorite track on Harvest of Gold?
“Songs of Summer”, the duet I did with Alexander Burnett from the band Sparkadia. I loved what he brought to the track and I like the song lyrically—it is about a couple losing that spark in their relationship and mutually breaking up.
What song would you most like to cover?
When I was growing up, I listened to a lot of Meatloaf, especially the album Bat Out of Hell. So covering the title track or “You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth” could be fun.
Melbourne. I find it very comforting getting home after touring or travelling. Hobart is second but it’s a bit too cold for me.
Favorite fashion brands?
Cameo, an Adelaide- based label; Manning Cartel; Life With Bird. I like to support Australian labels.
Favorite ice cream flavor?
What would your super power be?
I already feel like I have a super power. I have a very strong sense of smell and can smell things from a mile away, but teleporting would be pretty awesome also. It would mean less time spent in airports!
What makes you happy?
Dinner parties with friends. As I have gotten older, I put a greater importance on friends and spending time with them.
What is your dream?
My dream is to live a life filled with love and a consistent level of that special kind of happiness that jumping into a bed with freshly-made sheets brings.
Who would play you in a film?
What’s your favorite book?
Not a huge reader but Document Z by Andrew Croome (my brother) is a recommendation.
How do you relax?
On the couch, watching TV. I love reality TV shows such as the Real Housewives of… series. People think they are rubbishy and they are on one hand but there is also a certain depth to them as well. They allow us to see the lifestyles of the people whose lives are so different from ours.
If you could record anywhere in the world, where would it be?
I would love to live in a commune for two months and just consistently be working on an album rather than have a designated two or so weeks in the studio. There’s a studio in Texas—I can’t remember the name—that I would love to record in.
If you could collaborate with anyone musically, who would it be?
Damien Rice, but I might become a mute as I am such a huge fan of his. Feist would be pretty cool too.
Title image source: Laura Wallbridge/Gossling