Getting to Know Rabbit Island

Lo-fi Perth-based artist Amber Fresh recently released “65% Hits”, a double-album of intimate home recordings, under her moniker of Rabbit Island. We asked her to tell us a little more about herself:

Rabbit Island is a ‘band’ from Perth consisting of Amber Fresh always, and then about thirty other people who sometimes play. We make songs to change the world that don’t sound like they’re trying to change the world.

65% Hits is a bunch of home recordings, done over many years, when I was making things pretty secretly when everyone was out of the house. A lot of the tracks were made as presents for internet friends from when I first started putting music up on the net – there’s bigger meanings too of course. We mostly don’t play these songs live, so this is a way for people who like these songs to hear them.

I’m currently listening to Pond’s Hobo Rocket in the car a lot. Also burnt cds of Peter Bibby’s songs and Emlyn Johnson’s songs, some Good Boyz – a terrible/genius rap group from Perth – , Neil Young ‘On The Beach’, especially the song “Vampire Blues”. And The Modern Lovers because everyone who gets in my car chooses that. Also, just heaps of mixtapes. Most of the time I’m listening to mixtapes from people or the sounds of the natural world.

I spend too much time wandering round in my backyard looking at plants and thinking about the world. Actually I think it’s a great way to spend time… I think anything that’s not as fun as jumping in rivers, or as productive as making music or growing stuff or helping people could possibly seen as wasting time… Umm… Facebook?

Perth is a pretty amazing place to be at the moment. Lots of people who live here still think it’s the end of the earth and dream of escape, but then teenagers from South America and the UK will write to me and say how they just wish they could live here because of the music and are saving up to one day come. My advice to them is always to make wherever they are good instead. But really, there are so many great musicians here being amazing and everyone mainly loves everyone amongst most of the bands/electronic producers – so for music it’s great.

Aside from music Perth’s like anywhere – there’s shit stuff and good stuff. There’s people with McMansions and people who sleep on the street. I’m pretty happy here at the moment though in the sunshine and doing what needs to be done.

 It might surprise people to learn that me and Dave Egan, who runs Badminton Bandit Records and put out my first album with Jess Darlow, once made a whole set of songs once about dandelions. We also used to have a band called Space Boy where all the songs were a soundtrack to the movie ‘Flight of the Navigator’. And… with my other band The Gulls we once launched a cd on a gazebo out in a lake in Perth called Lake Monger. It was so dark, there were only candles, so I’m still not sure who was actually there. But it was amazing. And… I love snowboarding even though Perth’s one of the furthest places from snow you can live.

In the future I hope I get better on piano, become kinder, and see peace and freedom for everyone.

Have a listen to (and grab a copy of) “65% Hits” on bandcamp. And keep up to date with Rabbit Island on Facebook.

bobby townsend


Interview by Bobby Townsend