Punch The Shark with Sweetie on Tuesday Arvos

July 12th 2023

  • Sweetie :: Interview with Jaimee Taylor-Nielsen

Lily Keenan and Rikki Clark make up half of local (self-described) devo-country-punk outfit Sweetie. The pair dropped by FBi Radio this week to chat to Jaimee Taylor-Nielsen on Tuesday Arvos. The conversation traversed their new EP Punch The Shark, the meaning behind its title track and the pros and cons of being in a band with a lifelong friend.

Sweetie released EP number two Punch The Shark in late June. As a body of work it portrays a new sense of confidence within the band. Sweetie found their voice on debut EP Collision and have well and truly unleashed it on their latest work. Lily’s attitude towards the writing of the title track exemplifies this.

“I just like the idea of… lyrics that are sort of spitting at people. I wanted to embody that kind of energy.”

The band describe the EP’s title track as a ‘resurrection song’ which sees Sweetie portrayed as a character. The persona in the song faces its fears, which manifest as a shark. Lily explained that the song can be linked to the band themselves, specifically their experience overcoming insecurities as musicians.

“It was kind of like the first song that I wrote imagining Sweetie as a persona.”
“Starting this band was about stepping into a space that scared me and into something I didn’t feel like I could do because I hadn’t had a long past as a musician… The persona in ‘Punch The Shark’ and the persona of Sweetie is somebody who doesn’t really care and is stepping into that space of power.”

Rikki and Lily were the first members of Sweetie and thus the first to metaphorically join Mick Fanning in landing a shot on the snout of a great white (they were later joined by bassist Janae Beer and guitarist Lucy Warriner). Lily is the band’s vocalist and Rikki plays drums and the two have been lifelong friends, a situation which they told Jaimee is a great benefit when it comes to creating music together.

“It’s also great having someone else there who’s not going to pander or be super precious, they’re going to tell you their actual opinions… It makes things go a lot faster.”
“We’ve pretty much had the same life for the last 20 years. So I feel like most of the things we want to talk about are kind of the same, bar a couple of breakups and things.”

Sweetie are officially launching their new EP this Friday at the Oxford Art Factory. Lily and Rikki are excited at the prospect of  playing at a stalwart of Sydney’s live music scene and have some surprises in store (that they may have let slip to Jaimee). They’ll also be marking the occasion with a limited release vinyl of the EP, as well as their debut EP Collision. If a live show and vinyl wasn’t enough, the band have also promised some new merch will be available.

“Designed by Rikki and myself of course… The two unpaid interns of the band.”

Listen to the full chat up top, and stream Punch The Shark below. You can also get tickets to their Oxford Art Factory show this Friday here.



Read more from Cal Flannery