Blending 70’s groove, sunshine pop, and neo-psych, with lyrical sarcasm, Australian/English band Greatest Hits is the project of artist, Ryan Cooper, and a collective of friends from around the globe – From the North of England to the South of France, LA to Nashville, coming together somewhat “accidentally”, on the east coast of Australia. Today, they share the brand new track ‘Trying’ – listen here.
‘Trying’ follows their last releases ‘Phil, Slow It Down’ which got added to Triple J and ‘Mortals’which caught the attention of Huw Stephens and BBC Radio 1 in the UK. The band finished these songs with the help of producer / mixer Sean Cook (Bombay Bicycle Club, MGMT, Best Coast).
‘Trying’ takes the perspective of someone, who fully embraces the challenge of trying to measure up to somebody else’s version of success. Frontman Ryan Cooper shares:
“After returning to Australia, I found myself having conversations with people I hadn’t spoken to in ages and started noticing a subtle undertone in their questions. It lead me to realise that way too often, people are measured according to some “success metric”, rather than WHO and HOW they are.”
The single is paired with a beautiful and textural music video. It was filmed and directed by Benjamin Robinson, in locations around Maryborough, Queensland, where Chelsea grew up. Ryan shares:
“We wanted the video to have a somewhat ‘luxury’ feel, but restrict ourselves to using only second hand, borrowed, or personal items. We liked how this parallels with the relentless attempt to make things appear better than they actually are.”
The Greatest Hits story begins on a cold night in Leeds when Ryan, who was walking home from a favourite bar, “had an overwhelming urge to just create something that grooved!” With fellow musician Josh Macyntire (Marmozets/Dream Ceremony) crashing on his couch, the pair jokingly decided to release music under the moniker “Greatest Hits”.
With nothing but a handful of half-baked demo’s to their name, Ryan, with a handful of English musicians agreed to play their debut live show and, within a matter of months, were playing support slots throughout the North of England including with Halfnoise (Zac Farro from Paramore’s project for which Ryan also played bass) The Mauskovic Dance Band, Holy Wave, The Districts, Childcare and at festivals including Live at Leeds, This Must Be the Place, Leeds Emerging – all the while garnering a reputation for their engaging and danceable live shows.
Forced to leave the UK due to visa issues, half the band departed for Australia via the US – temporarily setting up in Nashville and New York, in what would become a significant time of writing and recording, as well as the release of their debut single, ‘Mortals’. After returning back to Australia and with a bit of a following bubbling away in the UK, ‘Mortals’ received its first prominent radio play with BBC Radio 1ʼs Huw Stephens taking it for a well-earned spin.
Fast forwarding just a few months sees new band members joining the Greatest Hits family, curiously all with a similar story – Aussie travellers forced to return home from extended time away. Today, Greatest Hits are Ryan Cooper, Chelsea Foley and Henry Chatham. The culmination of events that surrounds the band’s development has produced a sound and culture that is full of both energy and vulnerability, timeless groove and modern sensibilities.
“At itʼs core, Greatest Hits is about handling the heavy things, lightly,” concludes Ryan. “We want to flip it on itʼs head – laugh at our insecurities, and point out our struggles, while having a good time!”