Australian brother/sister duo Belle Roscoe, aka Matty and Julia Gurry, aren’t afraid of a challenge. Two years ago the pair traded Melbourne’s sunny beaches for a country where both the language and the music market are notoriously difficult to crack: France.
But after selling out shows around the country in 2008 and closing the Cannes Film Festival in 2009, making France their permanent home was almost a no-brainer. After setting up camp in Paris, Belle Roscoe went on to perform at industry music festival Le Printemps de Bourges, and played to 25,000 people on the beach at the Rip Curl Festival in Biarritz 2010. After listening to their music, it’s easy to understand how they did it. Their boundless energy, go-get-em attitude and unwavering optimism shines through every song, making Belle Roscoe one of the most addictive bands on the French music scene today.
Since arriving in Paris, the pair say they have been both more inspired and productive than ever. “When you take yourself out of a comfort zone it automatically presents challenges, obstacles, and yes, even heartbreak,” Julia says. Belle Roscoe’s first, self-titled album has been described as nothing less than ‘Fleetwood Mac without the infighting.’ Harmonizing in a way that only siblings can, Matty and Julia’s soaring vocals are pitch-perfect both for their introspective solos and rollicking ballads.
But for the past six months, Belle Roscoe have been channelling their most recent experiences in France into a brand new record, with the help of Australian producer Mal Pinkerton. The result is a much bigger, pop rock sound that could just as easily fill a stadium as back the newest Apple commercial. Creating radio-friendly songs is a text book business strategy the world over, but in a country where only 40% of all radio stations’ content can be foreign music, a catchy song is nothing short of imperative to break the market. After being signed by a label in 2010 that went into liquidation four months later, Matty and Julia say there is even more raison d’etre to find success commercially.
“When we write songs, we don’t say: ‘Right, this has to be radio-friendly.’ We want to write great, fun songs that are going to reach people on some level,” Matty says. Born performers, the pair say their music has evolved into a more interactive, festival-ready sound of its own accord. “I grew up adoring the frontmen like Mick Jagger and Elvis Presley, so I really wanted to have that chance to lose the guitar and be in the spotlight,” says Matty.
And with such electric live performances, it’s no wonder the spotlight seems to be following Belle Roscoe all over the world. The duo opened last week’s Antipodean Film Festival in St Tropez and are now busy planning a European tour after the release of their new album early next year.
While Matty and Julia tease each other about the stress, arguments and the exhaustion that come with touring, they say that being on the road makes them appreciate their luck. “Our two greatest passions in life are music and travelling, and in this career we get to do both of them,” says Julia. “We’ll just go where the art takes us.”