Music

Electric Fields: "We’re not only creative partners, we’re best friends"

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From Adelaide to the globe, this feel-great duo are taking over.
By Sose FuamoliPublished on
The Electric Fields effect is one all its own. For the electronic duo from Adelaide, the last four years have seen their music grow from an almost–secret gem only close circles of punters in their hometown could boast about experiencing, to a powerful fusion of production and vocals that has earned acclaim on stages around the country – and even the world.
At the centre of this flurry of beats, electronics and soulful vocals, is an indomitable creative partnership shared between vocalist Zaachariaha Fielding and producer/keys player Michael Ross. Developing a repertoire that deftly moves between heady club vibes and the beauty of the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara people, Electric Fields have formed a lane for themselves that can’t be clearly defined.
And that’s exactly how they like it.
“We are all influenced by our memories,” Fielding says. “We try and make each Electric Fields song its own story and its own sound.”
Since releasing their debut EP Inma in 2016, Electric Fields have introduced an audience to not only themselves as musicians, but the process of storytelling through song that has remained such a strong part of the Indigenous Australian identity for thousands of years. Family stories are told through song, histories documented through songlines and sharing.
While a record like Inma is well at home on a festival stage as it is on a sweaty club floor, the innate storytelling that comes forth so naturally on tracks including Pukulpa and Nina is a big part of Electric Fields’ charm. The electric back and forth between Fielding and Ross in the studio and on stage is infectious. To watch the duo perform, you feel the thudding of the electronic rhythms and recieve the strength of Fielding’s voice right to your bones.
“From the moment we started writing music together, the dynamic was super strong.” Ross says.
“That’s actually the reason we became a duo. We know each other better and have jokes between us. We’re not only creative partners, we’re best friends.”
A lot of people assume we’re from Sydney or Melbourne and we’re like, ‘Nah'
Michael Ross, Electric Fields
It has become an inevitability that the global spotlight would come calling, leading Electric Fields to perform on the WOMAD circuit, in Edinburgh as part of the Edinburgh Fringe and as part of Australia Decides – the televised competition that acts as Australia’s selection process for Eurovision.
Though they’ve become seasoned touring musicians and the Electric Fields name is well on the tongues of many – industry and music fan alike – both Fielding and Ross are loyal to the scene they call home: Adelaide.
“A lot of people assume we’re from Sydney or Melbourne and we’re like, ‘Nah’.” Ross says.
“MusicSA and Arts South Australia have given us grants and mentors to help us grow to where we are now. South Australia has a track record of supporting its local artists and right from the start, the local organisations here have embraced and supported us.”
Before the year is out, Electric Fields will hit up their first ARIA Awards, where their 2000 and Whatever Tour has scored them a nomination for the 2019 Best Australian Live Act, not before heading to Melbourne for this year’s Red Bull Music Festival, where they will perform on a bill boasting some incredible Australian talent headlined by Baker Boy.
As the wheels keep turning for Electric Fields heading into a new year - a new decade - the duo are excited for what is coming up next.
“We love Baker Boy,” Ross says of their upcoming RBMF appearance. “He’s a friend of ours and he’s too deadly.”
“We’re working on our second EP at the moment.” he reveals. “We’re really excited about our new music and we think our supporters will love it.”
Electric Fields perform at 170 Russell for Red Bull Music Festival Melbourne on Sunday October 20, along with Baker Boy, Rebecca Hatch, and DRMNGNOW. Tickets and details available here.