Premiere: ‘How I Miss Home’ – Max Aurora & The Southern Lights deliver a dreamy and poignant paean to Aotearoa from a wandering sailor

Feature Photograph: Jackson Hayat

We are very honoured to premiere the new dreamy, floaty track ‘How I Missed Home’ from Naarm/Melbourne-based band Max Aurora & The Southern Lights. Drenched in sweet poignancy, it’s a delicate and raw paean to home from a sailor on the high seas, sparked from deep feelings of longing and displacement. Recorded down at Marigold Recordings with Jon Grace (Bakers Eddy, Dear Seattle), the track was inspired by Dutch sailor Laura Dekker, who was one of the youngest people to sail around the world in 2012.

Feelings of yearning and loss permeate the gently dappling sounds that ripple like ocean waves, and Max Aurora’s vocals, with the distinctive antipodean twang, are emotive and raw. Aurora says of the themes:

‘How I Missed Home’ is euphoric, yet bittersweet indie rock, with hints of mid-2000s pop-punk…The swelling riffs mimic the waves, as the song tells the story of a point in her trip where Laura is longing to divert from her planned path, and return to Aotearoa/New Zealand, the home her family left when she was very young.

The lyrics beautifully capture the deep seated yearnings for the familiar when danger and uncertainty surround you (a familiar emotion during COVID):

But I can’t stop thinking
How I missed New Zealand
No I can’t stop thinking
How I missed New Zealand
Could you take me back through the Torres Straight?
My sails were shredded in the waves

Yet another sweet fruit from the poisoned lockdown tree, a documentary inspired feelings of restlessness and isolation from loved ones:

Longing for escapism during lockdown in a particularly stressful sharehouse, I found this documentary so inspiring that I wrote the song immediately after watching it. The writing process began with hearing the riff in my head and then tuning the low E string of the guitar up a semitone to F to create the riff. It’s kind of a weird thing to do, but it worked very well for this song. The rest felt like a breeze to write, because I got so easily swept up in the feeling of the song, of missing home, having not seen my mum (who lives in Canberra) for a while, because of lockdown.

The recovery from the structures of lockdown was rooted in the writing and recording of the song:

After finding the lovely Jon from Marigold Recordings, the recording process happened over two days in February this year. In the week before the recording, I was having a hard time recovering from insomnia still lingering from when I had Covid in late-December 2022. I kept wanting to reschedule because I didn’t think I was ready, but thankfully my friends and band encouraged me to go for it, and I am thankful I did as it was such a cathartic experience that it helped me sleep well again.

The first day was spent workshopping the song, where Jon wanted to understand the meaning and unpack it. We then reshaped the song’s form and cemented the arrangement ready to record the next day. Recording the vocals really capped off the experience for me as it felt like such a “flow” state where I could easily connect to the ocean imagery and feeling of the song.

The result is a track worthy of the indie pop antipodean genre that emanates from this region – elements of The Apartments, The Go-Betweens and the sounds of Flying Nun all wrapped up to create a delicacy that positively shines like the Aurora Australis in the night sky:

‘How I Miss Home’ captures the zeitgeist with its gentle reflections and dreamy delivery born from struggle and dislocation, and is out everywhere on Thursday, 29 June 2023 – you can pre-save here. Hoist the sails – this is a shimmering journey.

You can catch the launch of the single in July – details as follows:

Saturday 15 July Bar Open Naarm/Melbourne
Supported by Ancient Animal Orchestra, Charlotte Allison

Single Artwork: Eden Taylor, Milla Pearl, Max Aurora

Feature Photograph: Jackson Hayat

Previous News: Tramlines 2023 Preview
Next News: Foo Fighters announce 2024 'Everything or Nothing at All' UK stadium tour

No Comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.