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This is living

Pic: Charlie Hill

Michael Dunstan calls his 2017 debut EP, Solace, ‘an unplanned entry into what has been a busy, but long and enjoyable two years of performing and writing original music’ and it indeed led him on four Australian tours and a jaunt to New Zealand.

 And it now places him in the perfect place to release his new EP, appropriately titled The New Normal.

“It’s incredibly important to me. It feels like with this EP I’m getting closer to being able to translate the things I’ve felt, and have to say, better lyrically and even more so instrumentally. It feels like the gap between my mind and the sound of my songs is slowly being bridged. The theme of the EP is that in the face of adversity, if we give ourselves enough time and space, we will always reach our new normal, which we derive our happiness upon; stronger and from a higher perspective.

“My previous two EPs, both have moments of light and dark. But I feel the sounds and tempo may have masked the true meaning of a few of the songs. New Normal doesn’t. When it’s light and hopeful, it sounds it and says it, and when it’s about a heaviness or strong feeling of anxiety or frustration, it feels and is unsettling and uncomfortable; but it is real.”

In his recent Perth Concert Hall appearance, Nick Cave spoke of the importance of mindfulness. Dunstan says this is also a strongly present theme on the new EP.


“Mindfulness is definitely something that set me free from a good grasp anxiety had on my life and mind, and I feel compelled to write about it,” he reveals. “More recently, I’ve also been delving into writing about people, society, how we think, how we think we should live. I find it fascinating as everyone has a different answer. There’s no wrong or right way to live, you’re only bound by the values and beliefs you have predetermined for yourself, or let other factors predetermine for you. And that is both liberating and exciting.

“Nature and solitude is always a source of great respite and comfort in my life too, I will constantly write about it and try to portray and share the beauty and light I find in it daily.”

Following his February Australian tour, Dunstan heads to New Zealand in March/April and is hopeful of touring Canada for the first time. His life has changed a lot in the last two years, but the singer/songwriter is grateful for the influence and impact of travel.

“Touring is my favourite part,” he says. “I have experienced and visited many places at a young age that many may not have the chance to, and I realise how fortunate I am. I feel when you are in a new place, you get to meet people without putting up a façade, you can just be yourself and so can they. I feel I’ve got along with people I’ve met on tour in a short space of time to a deeper level than some friends I’ve had for years.

“Money aside, if I was able to travel and play music and simply survive, I’d do it for as long as I could. Seeing and experiencing new places and meeting new people every day is incredibly exciting and embodies ‘living’ in my eyes.”

Michael Dunstan launches The New Normal on February 7 at the Rosemount Hotel with support from Jordy Maxwell and Keeley Connolly.  

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