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Meet The Musos: Get To Know Sydney Emo Sweethearts FVNERAL

27 October 2023 | 2:51 pm | Jessie Lynch

"Connecting with a non-binary person in an intimate way was so crucial in coming to understand my own non-binary identity."


Fvneral (Supplied)

Hailing from Eora, the talented musical duo FVNERAL, comprised of Tim Blunt and Ally Tuner — alongside their dedicated ensemble — have once again left an indelible mark with their latest track.

This musical journey started in August of this year when FVNERAL released HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, a song that encapsulates the celebration of overcoming a harrowing and dark experience. The lyrics poignantly acknowledge the shadows cast upon more than 40% of trans and non-binary individuals, including the members themselves, who have grappled with similar struggles.

The group have continued to make waves with their latest single, MERCY, ahead of the release of their eagerly awaited sophomore EP, HONEST,' set to launch on November 10.

MERCY delves into the intricacies of love and self-discovery, exploring the profound feeling of being understood, heard, and seen by someone while recognising the importance of self-love and mental well-being in forming healthy connections with others.

The song also touches on the transformative power of connecting with others who share aspects of your identity, as Tim from FVNERAL expressed, "connecting with a non-binary person in an intimate way was so crucial in coming to understand my own non-binary identity."

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The creative process behind MERCY was marked by serendipity and late-night inspiration. Tim Blunt stumbled upon the verse and chorus during a late-night studio session in the US, leading to the birth of the song.

Ally and Tim then meticulously worked on the song's vocals in Ally's old bedroom at her parent's house, gradually piecing together the song until it clicked into place. As Tim beautifully puts it, "As time has passed since I wrote it, I’ve grown to realise that this song is about the self-discovery that can happen when you see yourself in someone else."

They will be celebrating the release of their HONEST EP with a performance at GOODSPACE (The Lord Gladstone) in Sydney/Gadigal Land on November 11th with special guests Lakelend, Huck Hastings and Bellamay - Tickets on sale now  

They’ll also be performing at the inaugural TRANSGENRE festival, which will be hitting The Red Rattler Theatre in Sydney on Sunday, 17 December in a celebration of trans and non-binary voices - Tickets are available here.

We were fortunate enough to sit down with FVNERAL to explore the significance of this heartfelt message and the essence of their latest track, MERCY.

Can you give us the story behind your name?

Tim: I swear it’s less morbid than it sounds. Well, sort of… When Ally and I started working on the first songs for this project, it was off the back of a period of time when it felt like we were both being bombarded by a lot of endings - in the dissolution of romantic relationships and friendships, as well as the passing of some close friends and family members.

It was during this time that I was first struck by - while obviously devastating - how beautiful and poignant the moments of and surrounding a funeral can be.

Ultimately, FVNERAL is a vessel for Ally and I to self-actualise and figure out who we are as individuals, as well as in our friendship and in relation to the people closest to us, and it felt like the best name to embody the melancholy of endings alongside to possibility of rebirth and new beginnings.

If your music was a flavour, what would it taste like?

Ally: To be honest, I’m not sure how to narrow it down but I would like to pass this question on to our friends (aspirational) at Grumpy Donuts.

I think after the probably thousands of dollars we’ve already poured into this glorious institution, it’s about time we finally made a FVNERAL x Grumpy collab happen! Potentially a coffin-shaped donut, with a perfectly balanced blend of biscoff and a sprinkle of salt? Hit us up, Grumpy <3 

Who are some of your biggest musical influences and how have they impacted your own sound and style?

Ally: For answering a question like this, it is truly so convenient that Phoebe, Julien and Lucy decided to combine forces in boygenius.

I think each of these three as individuals are some of the strongest influences on us as songwriters and as friends. To be able to look at them tackling some really heavy shit, while holding such love and levity for each other, is so beautiful.

What’s been the biggest moment in your career so far?

Tim: Because we started FVNERAL during the height of the pandemic when shows felt like a distant memory, we had to wait so long before we were finally able to get on a stage for the first time. Almost a whole year since releasing our first song, being able to sell out our first-ever show at The Vanguard (Gadigal Country) felt really special.

I guess something far less tangible but a similarly wild highlight is how much love we get from US college radio - getting rotation ads from over 40 different stations in some places we’ve never even heard of!

What's the most unusual or unexpected source of inspiration you've drawn from when writing a song?

Tim: I spend lots of time feeling disillusioned by the world, whenever I interact with anyone outside of my little safe, queer, progressive bubble.

More recently, I’ve found myself moving away from pacing around with my fists clenched (Arthur style) to putting a lot of these frustrating interactions into song.

For instance, after sitting at an event where an older (cis, white, rich) gay man spent what felt like hours ranting about how ridiculous it is for people to be problematising the gender binary, I found myself back home penning a song about how we can ever feel truly free if specific members of our community take the trauma and abuse inflicted on them, and turn it inwards onto the next generation instead of giving us a shoulder to cry on and standing with us while we try to create a better future for all of us.

Why is this song so important to you?

Tim: We’ve never really put out a love song before. MERCY is about the duality of two competing feelings; on one hand, the joy of feeling deeply understood heard and seen by someone; on the other, the realisation that you can only give them the same level of love, kindness and empathy back to them if you’re willing to give that to yourself.

This song also speaks to finding out about myself through seeing parts of myself in another - specifically, connecting with a non-binary person in an intimate way was so crucial in coming to understand my own non-binary identity - and the gratitude I have for this process.

Can you share a hilarious or cringe-worthy moment from your early days as an artist?

Ally: I won’t say who and don’t wanna point fingers but at our FIRST EVER SHOW to a sold-out crowd, [name redacted] accidentally disabled the click track automation on the very first song.

We got out on stage knowing something was definitely off but not being able to stop it once it was already happening. Turns out we were playing 1.

Way faster than we’d ever rehearsed and 2. With the backing tracks out of sync, creating a truly chaotic debut show experience. Thankfully we got it sorted and the rest of the show went off without a hitch, but at that moment I really thought I might never step foot on a stage again. 

What are the top three tracks or artists you’re vibing on rn?

Tim: At risk of sounding like every other sad, white queer person right now, I can’t deny that I have been rinsing the music of my ~Mother~, Ethel Cain, ever since a dear friend introduced me to her a couple years ago. Seeing her live for the first time earlier this year was so transformative and really left me speechless.

Last year while Ally and I were over in the US to work on some new music, we had a day where we drove from LA up to Santa Cruz, which was the same day MUNA’s self-titled album dropped.

We’d both loved them for years at that point but I certainly wasn’t prepared for what a truly perfect album it was. I don’t think any artist is able to capture such an inclusive snapshot of queer experiences and weave the tough and the joyous moments together so seamlessly, all the while making genuinely infectious pop bops.

To round out the top three, I gotta give a shout-out to the gorgeous new single from Sydney emo-folk royalty, Tesse & Huck Hastings. Unreasonable Doubt flawed me and now sits firmly at the top of my ‘crying in the bath’ playlist.

What’s something that fans might not know about you?

Ally: I mean, maybe people have already clocked on to this from our social media presence, but our personal lives really are quite toxically intertwined.

From growing up at the same school to playing the same band and living in the same house, to having almost entirely the same circle of friends and working at the same [name redacted] not-for-profit, we kind of come as a package deal and it’s become a fun little shtick to watch new people we meet come to realise all of this.

There’s definitely some kind of cosmic-level telepathy there. There have been so many occasions we have unknowingly made the same change to our hair on the same day, bought the same set of sheets, separately ordered the exact same thing for dinner… Call us toxically co-dependent but we wouldn’t want to be any other way.

If you could only listen to one album for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?

Tim: Sufjan Stevens’ Carrie and Lowell. I’ve listened to this album, perhaps more than any other, and every time it still feels like the first time.

I love everything that Sufjan has done but there is something deeply fucked up about how perfectly heartbreaking yet hopeful every second of this entire album is.

What's in the works for you in 2023?

Our new EP, HONEST, is coming out on the 10th of November and we’re celebrating with an intimate release show at Goodspace Gallery (Gadigal land) on the 11th.

We have some of our very best friends opening the show, plus more sustainable merch from our collab with Peachy, so it feels like a really warm way to launch our next body of work into the world.

We also have a run of free shows later next month, supporting Late November in Terrigal, Newcastle, and Sydney. Lastly, alongside our dear friend Ellie Robinson, we’ve spent the better part of the last year putting together TRANSGENRE festival, which has finally been announced this week! The festival is the first of its kind to celebrate trans and non-binary voices in Australian music, so we are incredibly excited, both to be on the lineup and to see it all come to fruition