The International Pop Underground: Melbourne's Popular Music Have Hollywood History, Cinematic Sound, Apocalyptic Vibes
Popular Music, the Melbourne-based duo of American songwriter Zac Pennington and Australian producer/composer Prudence Rees-Lee, were born in an apartment where Pennington was staying in the Los Feliz neighbourhood of Los Angeles.
Built to house old 20th Century Fox orchestral players, the residence was home to a grand Steinway piano and was "definitely haunted".
That ghostly history has informed Popular Music's pop music.
Their first record was a 2020 set of songs from movies called Popular Music Plays In Darkness, in which they covered everything from an obscure Kinks cut from a '70s sex farce to Boy George's Crying Game title song and Footloose anthem Holding Out For A Hero.
And their new album, Minor Works Of Popular Music, is a set of original songs set in "apocalyptic Los Angeles", which navigate the futility of artmaking and the sad trappings of fading fame at the end of the world.
In conversation with Anthony Carew on The International Pop Underground, Pennington and Rees-Lee talk all things Popular Music.
Feature image: Darren Sylvester