Springy basslines fall in sync with synths as songs morph from hooky dance beats to more mellow electronic concoctions, new tracks introduced by twinkling keys and club-ready drum machines.

George Hewitt, better known in the music world as Cleopold, released his debut EP Altitude & Oxygen last year on Chet Faker’s label, Detail Co. Records.

“He’s very supportive of me and my music, an old friend of mine, and we played in a band together when we were 15.” George says of his fellow Aussie, as the pair met when they were teens. “He released my first record on his label and we got to play together at the Opera House in Sydney – it was one of the greatest experiences I’ve had. It was such a special experience, made better by getting to play alongside my friend.”

Ever true to his Australian roots, he mentions how Melbourne and its burgeoning music scene specially helped his development as an artist. “The music scene in Melbourne is cool and there’s no shortage of talent in town. I like going out and hearing new music more now than ever.” The city contains more live music venues per capita than Austin, Texas and has been home to artists respected and loved across the world. “There’s a huge music community with a lot of great artists and festivals.” he starts, “They make it easy to throw yourself in the mix and get inspired. Bands like Cut Copy, Midnight Juggernauts, Tame Impala and guys like Nick Murphy have all set a good example of how to succeed overseas, so I’m trying to follow that lead and be as productive as possible without dropping the ball.” 

It’s this sentiment that has pulled him back to the city to record after a stint in LA.

“It’s really nice to be here in Santa Monica- I lived in LA for four years, but I moved back to Melbourne about a year ago because I was focused on getting my EP out. I feel more connected to Australia now that I’ve moved back, I think I used to take it for granted. I like LA a lot as well, and I come here regularly because many of my friends and most of the producers I work with are based here.”

Words and images by Abigail Raymaker