Today (Aug. 18) marks a significant moment for Tia Gostelow as she unveils her eagerly awaited third album, Head Noise. The LP follows Gostelow’s acclaimed debut Thick Skin and sophomore triumph CHRYSALIS. Produced by Chris Collins, the 10-track collection is a poetic exploration of human emotions, shedding light on themes of heartbreak, safety, loss, and self-discovery.
With tracks such as “Spring To Life,” “Sour,” “Early Twenties,” and the freshly released single “I’m Getting Bored Of This,” Gostelow ventures into the intricacies of anxiety and insomnia. Reflecting on the album title, she remarked, “Over the past few years, my anxiety has really affected me being able to fall asleep at night… I hope in some way this album can bring a little bit of comfort to the head noise that might keep you awake in the early hours.”
The current single “I’m Getting Bored Of This” served as the inspiration behind the album’s title. The song and its accompanying video depict the struggles of coping with anxiety after a night out, resonating with many who have faced the cycle of weekend revelry followed by a week of recuperation. Gostelow candidly opened up about her own experiences, saying, “I get terrible anxiety after a night out… [This song] is about the process of learning what my body physically and mentally can and can’t deal with.”
With the release of Head Noise, Gostelow further cements her place in Australia’s music scene while continuing to make span her audience internationally. Fans and new listeners alike will find comfort and connection in this fresh offering as the singer-songwriter continues to push boundaries and evolve as one of 2023’s most enthralling artists. Previously unheard songs like “Dog Eat Dog World,” “Dumb & Numb,” and “Killing You” each add to the audible experience.
In our Q&A below, Tia Gostelow talked to us about the emotions leading up to releasing Head Noise, where she drew inspiration from, and the album’s meaning. Keep scrolling to read our conversation.
Hey Tia! How’s 2023 treating you so far, both musically and personally?
Hey! It’s actually been a great year in both senses. The past couple of years have been super quiet with music, understandably, so it’s been really great to be busy and have a lot going on again. I recently moved back to my hometown, so it’s nice to go away and travel for work but then be able to come back home and see my partner and family, I’m feeling really great at the moment. Thank you for asking!
How are you feeling about the upcoming release of your album, Head Noise?
All of the usual emotions – anxiety, nervousness, excitement! It’s such an odd feeling, to be honest. This is something we started working on in April last year, so it’s a long process, and it’s a bizarre feeling when it’s out in the world. I’m also feeling extremely proud of my team and myself. I’m an independent artist with a small team that works extremely hard, and I feel like I’ve really picked up my game in regards to the business side of making this record as good as it can be, so I feel like it’s going to be rewarding no matter how it goes.
The title is surprisingly very fitting—how did you come up with it, and what exactly does it mean to you?
The name Head Noise came really last minute. I felt like I could squeeze out one more song two weeks before I went in to record the album, and I ended up writing “I’m Getting Bored of This” with my friend Matt McGuffie. The bridge of the song is, “Head noise is fading, it’s so outdated, I don’t think I’m gonna miss it,” and while I was listening to the album trying to find an album title, this line stuck out to me a lot.
After I started thinking about having Head Noise as the title, it was like everyone around me was using that phrase. In podcasts I was listening to, that phrase would come up, and I felt like it was a bit of a sign. I feel like it perfectly summarises the album as a whole. The songs on this record touch on so many of the things that keep me up at night and that make my mind race, so I think it was fitting.
Other than your own experiences, what inspired you making the LP? Any albums, artists, films, places?
I was reading a lot before writing the album, and ‘Before You Knew My Name’ by Jacqueline Bublitz really inspired me to talk about feeling unsafe as a woman and the subconscious things we do to protect ourselves. It was a big inspiration for “Killing You.” Artists like Holly Humberstone and Soccer Mommy helped shape the sonic direction of the album while we were recording it.
It also contains pre-release singles like “Early Twenties,” “Sour,” and “Spring To Life,” each of which are on their way to becoming some of your most popular songs to date. How do you feel like they set the tone for the project?
I think all of these songs showcase the diversity of the album, both sonically and lyrically, which is really cool. I think it highlights growth in me as an artist and exciting new sounds (especially the sax). The sound of the album really shines through, and I hope that the singles are making people excited for what’s to come!
That being said, this is your third album following CHRYSALIS and Thick Skin, both of which I feel like set the bar incredibly high. Realistically, how do you measure success when it comes to dropping a full-length release?
This is a really great question. Obviously, there is always internal and external pressure to always be getting better and making sure the next album is better than the one before, but it’s also a really easy way to get in your own head. My first album exceeded my expectations in every way possible, I was 18 when it came out, and never in my wildest dreams did I think it would be received the way it was.
I would be lying if I said that I haven’t had the thought that maybe that’s the best it would ever get for me, but after writing Head Noise I realized that I’m doing this for me, and I’m in a completely different place now to where I was back then, it’s just evolving as an artist and a human.
What is successful to one person is completely different from someone else’s version of success. I’m incredibly proud of this new album, I personally feel like this is some of my best writing yet, and all I can hope for is that people connect to it and maybe find some comfort in the things I’m talking about. If I’ve managed to do that, that’s success for me.
Another thing I wanted to ask you about was Australia’s music scene. Obviously, you, alongside several other artists, have grown increasingly big at home, but what do you think it’ll take for the industry to spill over into international markets?
I’m honestly not really sure, I wish I had the answer! Being able to break out of Australia feels like something rare and hard to do. Australia is isolated from the rest of the world, and it’s so hard to be able to financially afford to tour other countries, which I think is a massive factor. We have such an incredible array of artists here in Aus. I just hope it becomes easier for us to travel and make those connections out of the country.
Lastly, who do you make music for? Is there a particular archetype or person that comes to mind when you’re creating songs?
This album, in particular, felt like a journal for me. Obviously, writing music is an outlet for the emotions and things that I’m going through, but I pushed myself to be more observant when writing Head Noise and try and focus on topics that I know people go through every day. This record is as much for my listeners as it is for me. It deals with loss, grief, feeling unsure about your career, and feeling unsafe as a woman. I hope it resonates with people that might be going through these situations and makes them feel a little less alone, and gets them out of their heads for a few minutes.