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Artist On Artist: Ivey + Tia Gostelow Discuss Their Longtime Friendship, Their Latest Collab + More

9 June 2023 | 12:42 pm | Jessie Lynch

Following their collaborative single 'Thinking About Us', Ivey and Tia Gostelow interview each other to talk about their collab, how they all first met, and what's next for the musos.

Ivey + Tia Gostelow

Ivey + Tia Gostelow (Supplied)

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London via Gold Coast indie pop outfit Ivey recently shared the glistening new single Thinking About Us, featuring longtime friend, Queensland artist Tia Gostelow.

Penned two years ago in Ivey’s garage studio alongside Tia, Thinking About Us speaks to the band's relationship with death, contrasting its sparkling instrumental with melancholic lyrics and bittersweet melodies. 

The track serves as Ivey’s first release since 2022’s Bright, Famous, Dead EP, which featured singles Paris and Back Home.

Speaking on the collab track, Ivey shared: "Despite the name alluding to a relationship of some sort, Thinking About Us actually talks about our relationship with death, so I guess we’ve kind of personified death in the title." 

"When we wrote this song it came from a place of trying to break down this stigma of talking about and thinking about death, it came from a place of our own struggles with mental health. This song talks about the curiosity of death and life after, about supporting one another through our mental health battles, through suicidal thoughts, through the most horrendous of days." 

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They added, "And in turn, we think being open about death, pondering it, being open, supportive and there for each other, has given even more meaning to life."

Tia Gostelow adds; "I met Ivey when I was 16 and I feel like we’ve been family ever since. I think that writing a song together has been something that was inevitable and was something that I’ve always been so excited to do." 

"Millie, Lachie, Matt and I hung out in April 2021 in their home studio on the Gold Coast to see if we could write something together. I think we just wanted to see what would come of it so I didn’t feel like there was any pressure at all." 

She continued, "It always feels really natural and easy whenever we’re all together and that’s exactly how it felt writing Thinking About Us. I love that Millie and I wrote our verses differently and in our own ways with the help of Lachie who is always so incredible when it comes to lyrics." 

"You can hear that they’re individual to us as writers and humans and I think that this song showcases all of our strengths and it was so amazing to see how Matt brought this song to life."

"Thinking About Us really holds a special place in my heart and I’m so grateful that I was able to write this with some of my best friends. Every time I listen to it, it reminds me of being teenagers when we all met, how much we’ve all grown up and just how proud I am of Ivey and everything that they do." 

"I definitely think this is one of the most sentimental songs I’ve ever been a part of."

To celebrate the release of Thinking About Us, we had Ivey and Tia interview one another to talk about everything from their collaboration to the origin story of how the musos all first met years ago.

Ivey Interviews Tia

Ivey: How did you find the process of writing with us (a whole ass band!) compared to other writing sessions? 

Tia: I LOVED it. You guys are some of my favourite people in the world and I just love hanging out so to be able to come together and just write was so fun. 

I’ve written songs with just Lachie or just Matt but never with Millie so to have us all in a room together was so exciting. 

I think if we did this a few years earlier I might have felt overwhelmed writing with so many people but I’ve been doing a lot of sessions with 2 or 3 other people so it felt natural, especially since we all have a long friendship so it was just like we were all catching up and making music in the process of that.

Ivey: How does Thinking About Us make you feel when you listen back to it now?

Tia: This is a goooood question. As we’ve all talked about, this song was written about 2 years ago and it focuses on the theme of death and how sometimes it can be hard to talk about it and we wanted to create a juxtaposition in the music to make it feel a little lighter. 

In the past 2 years, we’ve all dealt with death which is heartbreaking and there was probably a period of 6 months where I couldn't listen to this song. 

I do think our deciding to release this was healing, being with you all and going through the feelings of reworking the song and re-recording parts of it pushed me to have to listen and feel what I was feeling and I’m proud of what we’ve done and proud that we decided to release it. 

Ivey: You’ve got an album coming out in August, v dope!!! What was your favourite part about making the album? 

Tia: Hellllll yeah! I think the recording of the album was my favourite part. I spent two weeks at The Music Farm in the Byron Bay hinterland recording it. 

The whole process to me was very heartwarming and reflective. I had my best mates there recording with me, including Lachie who slayed the guitar and backing vocals. 

I just didn’t feel all of the pressure that I've felt in the past when I've been in the studio and I think that comes down to just having experience and being a little bit older and knowing what I want. 

Matt and I also snuck a writing session literally the week before I went into record and we wrote probably one of my favourite songs on the album. 

It’s safe to say I'm extremely proud of this record and I just hope people feel connected to it.

Ivey: We know that Ivey and Tia have been connected for a lot longer than this release! But a lot of fans don’t know, should we tell them our origin story? 

Tia: Well, when I was 16 I was accepted to play Bigsound and I had NO idea what it was and how big of a deal it was so I was just gonna play it solo as I didn't have a band I was playing with. 

One of my managers Asho told me that I needed to be playing with a band and he said he knew this band on the Gold Coast that might be a good fit. 

My mum and I flew down to Brisbane a couple of days before Bigsound and drove down to the coast and met Matt, Dante and Lachie. We did 2 or 3 rehearsals I think and then we played multiple shows at Bigsound.

We all clicked so well and we ended up touring together for 3 years, the boys played on my first album Thick Skin

Some of my best memories are from this time in my life touring around Australia, driving down to the coast to hang out with Ivey. I feel like I experienced a lot of the big firsts with them, Like A Version, Falls Festival and recording my first album. 

I moved to Brisbane when I was 18 and it was scary but it felt so comforting knowing that I had this second family close by. 

Ivey: For you, what’s the best part about making music with other people? 

Tia: The connections and friendships that you make while doing it. Songwriting can be such a personal thing and it’s crazy to think that you can jump into a room with people you’ve never met before and talk about some of the most personal things you’re dealing with. I’m not sure there’s any other job in the world like it.

Tia Interviews Ivey

Tia: What is the process of writing and recording a song in Ivey?

Ivey: So in the band, Millie, Matt and Lachie are the main writers. When we go in, it’s like going into a mini songwriting camp everytime - Matt is the producer (and a fucking good one if ya’ll need jobs done bish), and Millie and Lachie work on melody in lyrics. 

We start with chords and a concept for the song and start building from there. We try not to complicate things while we’re songwriting, a good song is a good song with just a guitar/piano, melody and lyrics. 

Tia: It’s a rare thing that a whole band packs up their lives and moves to another country. Why did you all decide to make the move to London?

Ivey: It is very rare that a whole band is able and ready to make a move like we did. We are very grateful that the stars aligned for us, perhaps for a reason! 

The decision was gradual, a conglomerate of a yearning for something more, a desire to travel and a decision that if we were going to make it, we needed to get out of our hometown and make it in a big city. 

The city we landed on was London. We kinda skipped the Sydney and Melbourne bit. Our favourite bands and artists are from this city and country, it’s very exciting to be here. 

Tia: You have been besties/band since you were teenagers, how has the Ivey sound changed over the years and where are you heading now?

Ivey: Wowwww. Good question to be fair. Yeah, we’ve been in a band since Millie was 13, she is now 22, so a long time! 

When we started making proper records in 2015, we made guitary, pop music based on our favourite artists of the time like San Cisco, The Jungle Giants and Ball Park Music

We literally had no idea what we were doing, our first ever CD (yeah CD), we recorded 5 tracks in four hours, and we didn’t even know what a click track was. 

Our early music came from a place of innocence, experimentation, naivety and guitars. Our sound developed through 2018-2020 with the knowledge of production, we didn’t realise what we were capable of creating ourselves till this happened. 

We found our love for dance and house music, and a lot of the roots of our last two EP’s roots can be found in house and disco music, with your class pop hooks ofc. 

Now, we’re re-establishing our sound and we realise who we are, and where we’re going is a mix between our guitar based innocent, experimental selves and all of the knowledge we’ve gathered over the past five years. We’re writing the best songs we’ve ever written, and we’re being less afraid to go into different territories.

Tia: I feel really proud of Thinking About Us and I feel like we’ve all been waiting to collab with each other forever. How did you all feel about writing the song together?

Ivey: It was so much fun!!! Like how good that we’re all best friends and we can just make music and release it together?

It doesn't happen often, we are incredibly lucky. The song touches on such dark themes - like we wrote about pondering death because we were having fun and decided there was too much taboo behind the whole topic, and then wrote a really fun, catchy pop song, are you kidding?!?! What a world we live in. 

The song has more weight now as we’ve discussed, we were a bit nervous about releasing a song about death because you Tia, and us here in Ivey, have lost a lot of people over the past 18 months and we were afraid the song might be too dark. 

But listening to it now, it's therapeutic, to write a song about a heavy topic, it’s like writing out your intrusive thoughts in a journal, or talking shit out with your best friend. It’s a release, and I’m so proud of you and us for doing this. 

Tia: What’s your favourite tour memory and why?

Ivey: I had to think about this a little bit. But one of our favourite memories ever is when we opened The Drop festival in 2019. 

This was the first time we played a big festival on a big stage. We played 5 minutes after the gates opened and we thought absolutely no one was going to be there. 

But the minute the gate opened, hundreds of people started running towards the stage. By the time we were halfway through our first song, there were nearly 1500 people watching us, at 12:30 in the afternoon. It was surreal, it made us think we could really do this.