Made up of twins Charlotte and Haz Forrester, along with sister Georgette Brown, the popular Te-Whanganui-a-Tara trio Womb have this year released a new EP called ‘Holding A Flame’. The title, and the inspiration for the idea behind it, comes from a close friend of the band – Cooki, aka Strange Stains. Article by Sam Stonnell.
“I feel like we’d always get into real intense chats, really good healing chats together. They used this phrase a lot, holding a flame, to talk about when you need to put certain things to rest, and allow things to burn out so you can have new things in your life,” she explains.
The idea of the EP seems to be somewhat of a running theme for Womb, a deliberately fluid musical entity that has changed in many ways since they began playing together six years ago.
“Our communication style is always evolving and we’re committed to growing our interpersonal relationships. We’ve had to work through certain modes of communication to get to even better places of communication. We have to be communicating a lot to make this work, verbally and non-verbally. And so I feel like that’s really evolved and I feel really happy with where we’re at as a trio with that because that influences the sound,” drummer Georgette elaborates.
That’s pretty deep, but Charlotte maintains they’ve always had a special sort of connection as a group from the beginning, as shown clearly in the way they interact with one another and their sibling dynamic.
“On these tapes that I’ve uncovered, we have our literal first jam as Womb, and it’s so cool having that. You can hear us collaborating really intuitively in that first jam, and that’s just so special to listen to.”
The three are all highly complimentary of one another, and clearly respect each other as both family and artists. Charlotte and Georgette both make a point to tell me how wonderful yet modest Haz is, both as a solo artist and in his contributions to Womb. When Charlotte reveals that they’ve been listening to Haz’s old solo stuff on tape, it’s a wholesome moment seeing his confused, but possibly kind-of-pleased reaction. Georgette says Charlotte is one of their favourite lyricists because her work tends to be so multi-faceted.
The trio clearly enjoyed their 2021 winter tour, talking specifically about the motivational benefits, and how it made the entire recording process feel more rounded and finished.
“With this recent tour, I feel like we have more drive to do more,” Haz joins in, mentioning how rewarding it was to work with so many different artists and friends across the country during the tour.
“It felt like a closed chapter because we were able to share the EP across the country and feel connected physically with people being there to listen, which was just so special. It was really cool to have the tour, to make it feel final,” says Charlotte.
The EP is charged with meaning and special moments for the members of Womb. The intro features Charlotte on cello, an instrument they hope they might be able to utilise for more of Womb’s work in the future.
“We’re always trying to get them to play it live,” Haz says.
One thing that seems to stand out the most about Womb is their tendency to be ever-changing, going with the flow. Their songs often differ from recording to live performance.
“Hazzy and I are both geminis, and I feel like staying really fixed with an idea is really challenging for us! So that allows things to feel freer and allows for multiple things to exist at the same time, different versions of one thing. That’s really beautiful and really exciting to me,” enthuses Charlotte.
Haz jokes that Georgette uses the cowbell in the EP’s second track, Mercury, to “herd people in”, and Georgette laughs.
“That’s what I’m doing with the cowbell. No, just kidding. Come hither.”
The duality between Womb’s live and recorded work is also evident in the song Love. Georgette admits that it was one of the more difficult to capture in recording.
“Love is another one that we’ve been playing for quite a while, and it’s got quite a vibe live. We only ever played it live for ages, and it was also a little bit hard to capture that essence. Hazzy gets up and drums with me at the end, and it’s quite a performative piece in that way. The lyrics are really powerful and charged. For me, it’s the song I found my drumming power in.”
Womb are spending their time now going with the flow and starting work on a future album, once again with their producer Bevan Smith, who they all speak fondly of.
“We love a pisces. A little bit patient, a little bit dreamy,” laughs Georgette.
“He’s cheeky in a cute way,” Haz smiles, being equally cheeky in a cute way.
“He allows us to take heaps of time and be really slow and annoying and also pushes us to make it sound as good as we can. He has passion for the project which is really important,” notes Charlotte.