Words by Paul Maland
Lizard Boy, surely EP title of the year?
Forget the lizard queen or king, it’s all about the Lizard Boy. We spoke with local wave-maker Jesse Davidson who, following on from the release of 2014’s Oceans, has just let out a new EP. Lizard Boy contains Jesse’s huge high rotation hit 'Laika', as well as four other smooth, synth-rich guitar tracks. Jesse will be kicking off his tour of the EP with a host of other tasty local acts at McLaren Vale’s Gorgeous Festival in November.
A young-gun straight onto the scene, if you didn't hear of Jesse through the local scene, you shouldn’t be ashamed - before Jesse had put out music on Triple J Unearthed, he hadn’t played many live gigs due to “still being in high school”. But from there, it was all upwards taking out second spot in the Unearthed High competition.
Following on from the release of his debut EP, Jesse went on to win a spot at the Adelaide leg of 2014’s Laneway festival, before collaborating with fellow Adelaide local Luke Million for triple j hit 'Fear The Night', and Japanese Wallpaper for their huge hit 'Between Friends'.
When touring and playing live, Jesse plays with a collection of talented locals including Adelaide jazz, electro-fusion maestros Brokers. The Brokers connection started by Jesse and the band’s drummer, Ben Zubreckyj, playing drums and generally jamming together.
Jesse’s collaboration with Luke Million started through vaguely similar routes: “we met through a public funding thing, then went and hung out at his studio on North Terrace and did 'Fear The Night'.”
As for his interstate collaborator, Jesse will be playing the Adelaide leg of laneway with Japanese Wallpaper, but isn’t sure if he’ll be touring for the duration of the festival. Jesse mentioned that for the time being he’s going to lay off recording more collaborations to focus on his own work, so if you’re hanging to see him playing live with Japanese Wallpaper, Laneway Festival is the ticket.
Apart from Laneway and a recent gig by City Calm Down, the 19 year-old couldn’t remember the last time he’d been to a gig just to see the bands play (though word has it he was spotted at a recent Murlocs gig at Jive soon after our interview). That being said, Jesse’s favourite local Adelaide acts include colleagues-in-jams Brokers, Timberwolf, and also local pub-rockers Bad Dreems.
Making the list with last year’s Moving Music, Gorgeous Festival is one of the few A-Town exclusive festival’s the Lizard Boy’s been to before.
“I played it before two years ago on a small busking-like stage solo, but I went last year with guitarist Timberwolf; there was a ferris-wheel, and you could get on the ferris-wheel and see the bands play, which was pretty cool.”
As for the Lizard Boy EP, it was recorded overseas in London in an inverted boat studio - “like home studio vibes, but like, a really good home studio” he tells.
You’d think stuff like that would come about from a label, but you’d be wrong. “That was through my friend Jake who moved there like, a year-and-a-half ago? He’s been working as a sound engineer over there, and got a decent deal on it” #adelaide.
“Top gig is a tie between touring with Mac DeMarco, or playing Laneway festival last-year through the Triple J Unearthed spot.”
Where do you really want to play?
“Falls Festival, or Splendour properly.”
“The one’s where you’re playing to just the sound guy, but even those aren’t so bad, because you just don’t give a shit anymore.”
“I’m looking forward to going over to the US sometime next year and playing a few shows and touring. I just signed with Windish Agency, which is a booking agent in the US, so that should be really good.”
Jesse’s new EP Lizard Boy is out now, with newer track Lagoon on spot rotation at the moment at Triple J. You can catch him at Gorgeous Festival on the 28th of November at Penny Hills Estate in McClaren Vale, along with Kate Miller-Heidke, Stonefield, Melbourne Ska Orchestra, Falls, Dylan Joel, Montaigne, and Adelaide’s own Rin McArdle.