Meet the Aussie band who gambled on a self-funded tour, and won big

The group has also signed European booking agent ATC Live, which represents Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and Melbourne rock band Amyl and the Sniffers. The deal means Floodlights, which began with a conversation at The Tote in Collingwood five years ago, now has a clear vision for the future.

“While we’re overseas, we’re hoping to record our third album in London…so from that perspective, the risk of going to (SXSW) was definitely worth it,” Parsons said.

Floodlights is part of 30 Australian bands The annual SXSW music festivalincluding King Stingray from the Northern Territory, Melbourne rockers Civic and RVG, and Sydney trio Brekky Boy.

in october, SXSW will also be held in Sydneywhich will be the first time it is played outside of Texas.

Ashlee Kehoe shared songwriting duties on Floodlights, singing, playing guitar and harmonica. Kehoe said the band was lucky to play at South By Southwest. After the prolonged COVID lockdown and canceled shows, they were eager to ‘get the ball rolling’ again and find new audiences.


“It was a crazy experience, we hadn’t even been abroad before,” she said. “We were about to release our first album and go on our first Australian tour when the pandemic hit. We delayed the album but decided to release it later. In hindsight, this It was a good decision and we continued to write new songs.”

None of the members played in other bands before forming Floodlights.

painting my time And newest bandmate and pianist Sarah Hellyer. Hellyer also plays the trumpet, which adds an extra ingredient and new possibilities to their live performances.

“We’re all good friends and really wanted Sarah on board,” Kehoe said. “Having someone who can play keyboards and trumpet adds a lot to our sound.

“That’s the point of writing painting my timebased on (first album) from a view And show our progress as a band.

“I think that’s a good part of the lockdown, it’s given us time to think things through and think about how we want the album to sound…themes and a little more thought on the lyrics.”

Parsons says Neil Young and Lou Reed have influenced him as songwriters, and both he and Kehoe are fans of Australian music, including albums released before they were born.


“I grew up listening to Australian rock, we all listened to Australian music,” Kehoe said. “Our parents listened to Aussie rock… when I went for a run, it was probably the best music for running.”

In the tradition of Midnight Oil and Goanna before them, the Floodlights also use songwriting to address problems they see in their everyday lives. It has proven to be an effective way of expressing emotions that might otherwise have no outlet.

“It’s good to have a creative outlet … otherwise ideas get stuck in your head,” Kehoe said. “It’s pretty cool to see it become a song that has an emotion and an attachment for you.”

“Music is a great medium for self-expression,” Parsons said.

“Sometimes I can’t express my feelings, but if I use the writing and the music behind it, it’s a great way to express yourself and the emotions you want to convey to other people.”

painting my time Now available on Virgin Music Australia. Floodlights will start their Australian tour on May 26th.For rickets and tour information visit

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