WITH a fondness for old-school letter writing, stationery sets, classic cars and radiograms, endearing Australian singer-songwriter Clare Bowditch seemingly belongs to an era past.
Chatting to Community, the much-loved Melbourne muso revealed her penchant for all things vintage often frustratingly resulted in the need to compromise, due of course to lovely old things’ practical limitations in the modern world.
“I want a Morris Minor like my dad’s but they don’t have seat belts and the brakes need to be converted…so I’ve continued riding my bike through winter!” she laughed.
And the pull of the past doesn’t end at the choice of the family automobile.
“We have three radiograms; they are beautiful pieces of art and the texture and quality is rich and lush,” she said.
“But I’m a big consumer of digital as well…when I’m jogging, I have my little shuffle.”
Bowditch – crowned the 2011 Rolling Stone Magazine’s Woman of the Year for her contribution to culture – is a keen musical experimentalist.
Not only did she transition from a folk to pop on her last LP Modern Day Addiction, she has this year collaborated with Gotye, Missy Higgins and rockabilly swing-folk songstress Lanie Lane, with the pair teaming up for a national tour and upcoming EP.
“I love being inspired by difference and things I don’t know,” she said.
Bowditch is particularly thrilled by the new union of Sarah Blasko, Sally Seltmann and Holly Throsby, under the moniker of Seeker Lover Keeper.
“I’m always encouraged by those girls, especially Holly, who is a very good friend of mine,” she said.
“There’s this strong sense among Australian musicians that we are part of a collective.”
Bowditch is also an unabashed fan of the “Princess of Pop” Kylie, recently Tweeting that she “has something” for her, prompting the question of whether there’s a collaboration on the cards.
“Actually, I did get approached recently to write songs for Dannii!” she laughed.
“I write a lot of songs that don’t suit me at all and they often end up being comedy versions but now and again, I write one that would be perfect for Beyonce.”
Indeed, Jay Z’s fearless other-half is another member of pop royalty for whom Bowditch has deep affection.
“She’s fantastic and terrifying at the same time…just the level of woman, accomplishment and sexuality is incredible.”
Clare Bowditch (with Lanie Lane) is at The Bakery, Northbridge, on July 8.