You didn’t really feel like going out tonight. It’s a Wednesday, not a drink special in sight, you have work in the morning, and your housemate has been stealing limes from your side of the fruit basket again.
But your best friend drags you out of the house to her cousin’s going away – you owe me, she growls as you both have war flashbacks to last week when she held back your pig-tails so you could vom on your neighbour’s front lawn – and you concede, wandering into a dive bar on Brunswick St, expectations low.
The spectacle that greets you in that cheap little bar is nothing short of ethereal.
Six figures are swaying on the stage before you, two with their heads wreathed in flowers. Soaring and wild, the eccentric group dart between genres with inexplicable ease – pop, soul, and the facets of jazz sit chummily alongside one another when delivered by these musicians. The singer braces herself against the keyboard, as each member moves dramatically with the music in waves, allowing the melody to reflect itself in their limbs.
“That’s Frida,” your friend breathes.
As emotive, wild and framed by flowers as their legendary Mexican namesake, Frida is the very definition of dreamy. Buoyed by haunting harmonies, pop prowess and a percolating rhythm section, Frida’s melodic assault has captivated music lovers and makers alike.
Formed in 2013 by Melbourne based singer-songwriter Eilish Gilligan, and key members of the instrumental soul band The Cactus Channel (Darvid Thor, Henry Jenkins, Lewis Coleman and Hudson Whitlock), Frida’s spell has cast itself as far as Singapore’s annual Baybeats Festival, to Lorne’s Falls Festival, leaving hundreds in thrall to their melodic swell.
In 2015, the band released their debut double A-side Slowly/I Want It All, which garnered praise from the likes of Triple J, Triple J Unearthed, Bandcamp and Frankie Magazine. The young group also announced the creation of Wyall Style, a sub-label founded and run by Frida in collaboration with renowned local label Hopestreet Recordings.
Close your eyes and surrender – Frida’s dewy pop parade is nothing short of paradise.