The last time I talked to Melbourne-based pop duo FancyNormal, they had just released their 2nd single “Sober Spaceman”. A laidback 80s-inspired synth-pop jam that invites listeners to take that leap into the unknown, to stop being tied down by the uncertainties in life and live free. From the conversation we had, I fell in love with the enthusiasm and sincerity they had for their music and the people around them.
Their latest release – Starters & Appetizers is an EP that channels every bit of those same qualities as Noni’s vocals soar over Jules’ luscious production. As a sucker for synth-centric music, FancyNormal’s music is a definitive standard for what I’d prefer my favourite kind of synth-pop to be – both soothing and alluring.
How Did The Group Get Together?
The duo first met when they were 19. A coincidental first meeting that they described as “ lovestruck teenagers at camp”. It wasn’t till a year later that they eventually began dating each other. However, it wasn’t meant to be at the time as they broke up not long after…though they did remain as friends given their shared social circles.
It was difficult to say the least, as they adjusted their lives to compromise with each other to keep the status quo of their friend group intact. It wasn’t till 2 years later where they eventually fell back in love. “I guess [we] grew up, working on ourselves and healed before we…gave it another shot and well here we are,” they told me.
Although it took even longer for them to make music together. Noni and Jules used to record separately with their respective bands. But despite having the will to work together and exposing themselves to each of their many gigs, there were a lot of kinks to iron out.
“Noni speaks her mind and is super direct, and Jules is broody and sarcastic – so you can imagine that this lights a few fires. So yeah, it took a while and a 112 day lockdown to get us here.”
FancyNormal’s Musical Journey
Naming the group itself was a fairly unplanned affair. Writing a bunch of random nouns and adjectives on pieces of paper then randomly separating them into 2 bowls, “we then poured ourselves a gin & tonic, popped on our Italian Cooking playlist and proceeded to pair [them] up”, they said. And that’s how FancyNormal was born.
You could write up the origins of the group as coincidental or destiny, but you can’t say the same of the steps they’ve taken in their career thus far.
The anime aesthetic FancyNormal employs was born of the anime music video they did for their first single “Ultra Passion”. As they pointed out, “everyone seemed to love [the music video], so we definitely incorporated that aesthetic into the anime character versions [we] created”.
On the more technical side of things, trying to make a name for themselves hasn’t been easy. While promoting their first single, they had done their best to overcome the steep learning curve of generating publicity.
“This was the first time we both have ever done press releases & pitching so we really had to invest a huge chunk of our time into marketing it. It paid off though and we got some killer write-ups and made some awesome friends along the way,” they admit.
“For “Sober Spaceman”, we tried a slightly different approach and targeted our PR less towards blogs & mags, instead more towards radio and playlisting.” And it was a move that paid off well.
Compared to the sudden burst of streams that “Passion” got, “Spaceman” was more of a slow burn. As publications, playlists and stations continued to pick up their music, so did the plays as the song maintained a rather steady momentum for a good 2 months, peaking at 15,000 listens on Spotify thus far.
What’s In Store For The Future Of FancyNormal?
In their own words:
“Future’s bright!! We CANNOT wait to release a single after this that we’re writing at the moment. We’re working on our first live show and we’ve got some cool merchandise coming out real soon – honestly it’s super exciting and we are both overwhelmed with everything so far. We are so thankful and grateful for all of our friends that have supported us – especially our new music industry friends who have been such a source of encouragement for us.”