Photo credit Gareth Owens
Striking a perfect balance of 70’s groove, sunshine pop and neo-psych, Australian/English band, Greatest Hits today reveal their brand new single ‘Phil, Slow It Down’.
But who is Phil? Phil is an ambitious guy, chasing success with all his might, keeping his hands busy, and mind idle. From time to time, he has moments of self awareness, realising that there are some things that can only be discovered (and truly felt) by slowing down.
Produced and mixed by Sean Cook (Bombay Bicycle Club, MGMT, Best Coast), the single is accompanied by a visual featuring Phil (portrayed by Greatest Hits’ frontman Ryan Cooper) interchangeable in his demeanour between being deeply present and meditative in thought, and hyper, distracted and absent – seemingly running from his responsibilities. The clip was directed by Benjamin Robinson (Ryan’s brother-in-law), shot whilst locked down at their family home in Maryborough.
Greatest Hits is the project of Australian artist, Ryan Cooper, and a collective of friends who have come together from around the world. From Northern England, the South of France, the City of Angels and Nashville, who now find themselves somewhat “accidentally”, on the east coast of Australia. Their music tackles failure, identity, and growing up in a light and often dismissive way.
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!