Track premiere: Exhibitionist – ‘Vicious Love’

Exhibitionist, the solo project of Sydney multi-instrumentalist Kirsty Tickle, drops the intricately beat-driven single ‘Vicious Love’. Speaking on the track Kirsty explains, “‘Vicious Love’ is a peek into how I feel about navigating modern dating as a woman in her late 20’s. It’s about that nauseating feeling of changing your mind frequently, attempting to steer yourself towards good decisions and getting swept up in the complexity of human relationships. I wrote it with Dan and Jon from Sydney punk band ARSE, which gives the track an edge I previously haven’t explored in Exhibitionist.” Exploring elements of lo-fi rock, with hints of The Kills, Warpaint and Bat For Lashes, against airy vocals prominent in avant-pop productions by FKA Twigs, Molly Nilsson, and Grimes, ‘Vicious Love’ is an exciting new direction and lead up to the Aussie’s debut full-length album, due out in 2019.

Vicious Love punctuates a whirlwind year for Exhibitionist. The Let Go of Love EP premiered on Hype Machine and received radio spins on Radio KCRW and Triple J. It also garnered notable praise from The Line of Best Fit and Dummy Mag for its lush production and artful arrangements. The release spurred east coast supports with internationals Kimbra (NZ) and Sigrid (NOR), as well as appearances at Falls, Laneway and Mountain Sounds Festivals.

Let Go of Love, the debut EP from Exhibitionist is nothing short of an exceptional, elegant pop record. Written during and after the breakdown of a long-term relationship, the EP explores heartache and unease and through honest lyricism, intricate instrumentation and Tickle’s delicate, honey vocals that recall R’n’B star Kelela. But the EP is certainly isn’t your standard break-up record, with Tickle also thoughtfully diving into the murky, confusing landscape of navigating selfhood during a moment of change.

Tickle has been playing music since forever. Born in Moree, NSW and raised in Toowoomba, Queensland, Tickle first learned the piano as a kid and then moved on to woodwind instruments during high school. At 18, she moved to Brisbane to study clarinet at the Conservatorium of Music and soon after begun playing in a band with her sister, the indie-pop group Little Scout. The experience was formative, and since then, Tickle has played in countless bands across Australia – including The John Steel Singers, Henry Wagons and Parades. More recently, she’s been one half of experimental noise duo Party Dozen, alongside long-time collaborator Jonathan Boulet, who also engineered and co-produced songs on Let Go of Love.

Exhibitionist is Tickle’s first solo project – “I’d always just sung backup in bands and I just felt ready to start writing songs and take centre stage for once.” she says. Recorded in her Marrickville studio last year, she plays almost every instrument on the EP – including flute, saxophone, clarinet, strings, piano and synth.

Stream, download, share ‘Vicious Love’ here


Photos by Jos Eastwood

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