Though her musical roots lie in the eclectic world of jazz, Australian musician Georgia Weber of The Sleeved Hearts has always retained an interest in a variety of musical styles and how they differ across multiple cultural landscapes. The group’s latest single “Kintsugi” pays homage to Georgia’s adoration of Japan and the prevalent intersection between Japanese and Australian culture due to their proximity. Complete with a Kintsugi-style heart stone as the track’s cover this dreamy, multi-layered song will have you swaying along, intoxicated by the pure love escaping from Georgia’s whimsical vocals and The Sleeved Hearts’s seductive slow rhythms.
Q. Your latest single “Kintsugi” is a love letter to Japan of sorts, the word referring to the art of repairing broken pottery with gold or silver lacquer. Talk about other Japanese-influenced inspirations for the song.
A. It’s a love song for my husband. The first love song I’ve written in 20 years! The idea of Kintsugi inspires me because the reality of a strong relationship is that it will go through challenges. The art of Kintsugi acknowledges that these challenges strengthen a relationship and can make it even more beautiful.
Q. Explain the trichotomy of growing up in Australia, developing admiration of Japan, and propagating your music career in the U.S.
A. I grew up loving and learning to play jazz and eventually graduated as a Jazz Performance major at the Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University. Australia has a rich and unique jazz performance style that reflects our identity multiculturally. This includes influences from Europe and Asia where many of us have originated from.
It was important to me, however, to dive into jazz at its roots. Which for me meant moving to New York City. I wanted to study jazz in the place [where] it bloomed and from those that created it. I hope, musically, I can pay homage to New York as well as to Australia as an artist.
Q. You worked with Sonny Ratcliff and Matthew Agoglia to produce the song. Talk about your collaboration with them.
A. Sonny and Matthew have worked on all the Sleeved Heart records to date. I am a firm believer that once you find people who can exact your vision without explanation – you keep them. My goal as a bandleader is to place people in roles where they can be themselves without having to adjust. The same goes for the production team.
Q. “Kintsugi” is one of three upcoming singles from your new EP Big In Japan styled after Japanese art and lifestyle. What more can you share with us about this EP?
A. This EP also includes “Wind Telephone” [which is] a song I wrote about the telephone originating in Japan where people can go to grieve their lost loved ones; and “Urashima Taro”, a traditional Japanese children’s story, recommended by our Japanese-Austrian guitarist, Kenji Herbert.
Q. You’ve never been to Japan but have mentioned a trip is high on your Bucket List. Where are some other places you’ve yet to travel to but would want to in your lifetime?
A. I think to travel anywhere on earth is a privilege and an opportunity for growth. My list is too long these days!
Q. “Kintsugi” is the first love song you’ve released in over two decades. Why was it so important for you to journey back to this type of song now?
A. Maybe it’s a corny answer, but my first love song was written for my first love. I hope that I was ready to write this one because it will turn out to be my last love.