MUSIC

Tyne-James Organ holds up mirror to his songwriting during debut album Necessary Evil

REFLECTION: Tyne-James Organ takes a heart-on-his-sleeve approach to his songwriting.
REFLECTION: Tyne-James Organ takes a heart-on-his-sleeve approach to his songwriting.

EIGHT months of listening to music by just one artist sounds tortuous for even the most obsessed fan. It's a whole other level when you spend eight months solely listening to your own half-written tunes.

However, that was the strict regiment indie-rocker Tyne-James Organ established during the making on his debut album Necessary Evil in order to realise the truly personal sound he craved.

The 25-year-old blocked out all other music and focused solely on listening back to his own demos during the writing process and the six-week recording sessions.

"I got sick of my own voice something fierce," Organ admits. "But as much as it's my passion and love of my life, it's also a job, so I had to put that part of my thinking hat on and go, 'alright how do we take it serious and to the next level'?

"This is what came to me naturally. And I'm so glad I did it, because it felt like the perfect approach."

Necessary Evil is a bold statement from the Wollongong singer-songwriter, who has promised plenty since he released his indie-folk debut single In My Arms five years ago.

It was followed by the 2019 EP Persevere, best known for the heart-breaking, Watch You Go, written about his father and fellow musician, Rikki Organ, who died from cancer in 2016.

Emotion is again at the heart of Necessary Evil. It's heavier and more anthemic compared to Persevere, combining the heartland rock thrust of Bruce Springsteen with the tortured vulnerability of Jeff Buckley and the indie showmanship of Catfish & The Bottlemen's Van McCann.

There's also a healthy dose of '70s R'n'B and soul thrown into the mix.

Organ says eliminating outside influences allowed him to accentuate what he was feeling within the songs.

"I would listen to imperfections in my demos and those notes would feel perfect," he says. "I was really just honing in on those moments of vulnerability and everything within the approach.

"We didn't try to sit on it and try and make all these parts better and better.

"As soon as the emotion and approach was there from the get go we just trusted that and went with that, instead of going back and forth to keep trying to make it better.

"I'm all about the emotion and heart-on-the-sleeve approach and being real and raw. I try not to overthink it too much."

From the age of three Tyne-James would appear on stage with his father, but it wasn't until he was given a ukulele at 14, and then a guitar a year later, that he realised he could follow his old man's footsteps into the music industry.

Without a single singing or guitar lesson, Organ exhibited immediate talent.

Tyne-James Organ - Sunday Suit

Organ's big break came at 19 when a video of him performing Budapest by George Ezra went viral, this was followed by a duet of Chet Faker's Talk Is Cheap with Adelaide artist Allday, which attracted an amazing 848,000 views on YouTube.

"That one really opened up the door to management, booking agents and labels," he says. "That was really a kick-starter and we've spent the last six years since really honing in on me and my songwriting."

Organ is in the midst of his first full band tour since November 2019 supporting Necessary Evil.

I'm all about the emotion and heart-on-the-sleeve approach and being real and raw.

Tyne-James Organ

During the COVID-19 pandemic he's seen his music catch fire through radio-friendly singles Sunday Suit and Not Ready For Love. The reaction from fans at his latest shows has even shocked Organ.

"It's been so surreal." he says. "When I used to play shows there would be certain songs that people would sing along to, but I walk on stage now and in the four shows we've done on the tour, I don't think anyone's missed a beat.

"Everyone is singing every single song with us. That's big a change and it's overwhelming."

Necessary Evil predominantly focuses on Organ's personal experiences of love, loss and hope, but on the song Hold Me Back he expresses his thoughts on the MeToo movement.

TRANSPARENT: Tyne-James Organ kept a strict focus on himself and his music when writing his debut album Necessary Evil.

TRANSPARENT: Tyne-James Organ kept a strict focus on himself and his music when writing his debut album Necessary Evil.

The song originated from Organ witnessing a man harass his female friends at a club, and the anger he felt about the situation.

"I didn't write that song to make a point that I'm an ally of women or anything like that, because it should be a given," he says.

"I didn't write that song to be praised. I just witnessed what I witnessed and I write what I feel and it pissed me off something fierce. I just had to vent.

"It's a tricky one to navigate because I am a white male and I don't experience that myself first hand, but I want to be there for my friends and people who need support in that regard.

"I've had a lot of conversations with men at my shows, and another thing is, at my shows I wanna make sure everyone is safe and comfortable."

Tyne-James Organ brings his Necessary Evil tour to The Northern Hotel, Byron Bay (June 17); Kambri, Canberra (July 1) and the Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle (July 2).

This story Tyne-James Organ sees career grow organically first appeared on Newcastle Herald.