PIERCE BROTHERS: Climbing Mountains and Reaching New Heights

By Erin Cross

Facing literal and figurative mountains has helped Melbourne folk duo Pierce Brothers reach new heights with the release of their latest single KANKO.


Full of mellow sound and dreamy harmonies KANKO is a song dedicated to the freedom found in the mountain air, a theme that Jack Pierce believes will echo with many as social distancing restrictions begin to lift around the nation.


“We wanted to write a song about going away,” says Jack.


“Pat and I were both burnt out, it was the end of our touring schedule and we were looking forward to getting away from it all and that’s where it came from…At the end of our holiday the world ended, and we came home and thought this was a pretty fitting song to release.”


KANKO was co-written with singer/songwriter and producer Garrett Kato earlier this year and is one of many that are being independently produced by the duo.


Along with the single, the twins have also released a music clip for KANKO that throws back to their time on the road travelling, cut together with performances filmed in isolation in their homes. Their original filming plans in New Zealand were cancelled along with Jacks wedding.

“We did what we could, you know? I think we could have done something much cooler. The music video is trying to speak to the new idea of the song; it’s taken on a different meaning of getting out there and getting through all of this.” says Jack.


While in isolation, the brothers have been working to create more content for fans by releasing new songs every six to eight weeks, live streaming singles and working on multiple projects at once. The latest album, projected for release in November, is the band’s first independent record since 2014, making the creation process exciting and scary.


“When you’re with a major label you have someone breathing down your neck saying “Are you doing it? Are you sure it’s the best way to think about it?”…It’s just us this time and we’re trying our best to make it the most creative way we can do it and its really freeing and I really hope our fans like it and people who don’t know us like it,” says Jack.


It’s unlikely that fans will be disappointed with their new album if it’s anything like the top 15 ARIA debut album or the two Top 10 ARIA EPs that the duo have against their name.

With their history of performing at festivals around the world it is not surprising that the brothers are jumping to get back on the road. To help promote the new singles, the twins have begun live streaming, but Jack says it’s not the same as performing for an audience.


“There’s nothing else for us to do and we’re primarily a touring act, you know? We’ve very much built our career on getting out there and playing music for people,” says Jack.


“We’re only doing live streaming from my little studio in the house and the first one we did was a mess, the sound was terrible, everything was going wrong…We’re just trying to have a good time without getting awkward in the quite parts in between.”


Along with writing new music, the duo has been keeping busy outside the music scene. Pat Pierce has been working along with social worker friend Prue Walker to create Balancing Act, an initiative dedicated to connecting people with a disability to artists, to help provide support engaging in community or social activities.


“Pat started Balancing Act initially to provide online sessions for people with a disability and connect them with creative people, so musicians, artists, comedians,” says Jack.


“It’s an amazing project that he’s been working on, there’s lots of artists involved and they’re doing great work. I’m really proud of him. As for myself I got a job in PR. I just started with On The Maps PR and this it’s a new experience for me, hard work for a living, that’s a big change,” he continues with a chuckle.


Due to COVID-19 Pierce Brothers’ have postponed their tour dates until late-October and are keeping their fingers crossed that there will be no further delays.


“Man, I’m just looking forward to playing for a crowd! Festivals are so much fun, seeing all those acts. I think that’s what I’m really looking forward to the most, seeing different musicians play in a live setting, just sit there and watch it and take in other people’s art,” says Jack.


The brothers plan to visit Canberra in December to play Transit Bar but until live shows are on the agenda Jack says they plan to keep creating and enjoying the freedom they do have.


“Just keep going and figuring it out, keep writing music and cross that bridge when we come to it. That’s all we can really do at the moment.”

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