Bec Sykes talks dealing with breakups & the unusual place she writes a lot of her music

Following the release of her second single, “Getaway” and winning a gazillion awards, Melbourne singer-songwriter Bec Sykes joined us for a chat.

Pinnies: Can you tell us a bit about your new single “Getaway”?

Bec: I wrote “Getaway” after a four-and-a-half year relationship ended and I was trying to move on and not look back on things through rose-coloured glasses. It’s a break up song but also a learning to be alone song. About a month after the break up we went to a gig together as friends and that night brought up a lot of feelings. I realised I needed to stop contact for a while and I wrote this song. It was a reminder to myself not to spend too much time overthinking what we could have done differently or imagining them being with someone else.

The song was produced by Tom Iansek. The vocals and lyrics are the focus and there’s finger-picked acoustic guitar, piano and some atmospheric synth providing a nice backdrop.

Pinnies: Were there any tactics that helped you avoid looking back on the relationship too much?

Bec: Allowing myself to feel things but recognising when I was wallowing and trying to snap myself out of it by going for a walk or fantasising about kissing someone else.

Pinnies: Who are the main artists you’ve taken inspiration from on the track?

Bec: Adrianne Lenker and Aurora for the production. Regina Spektor and Daughter were pretty early influences of mine so I’m sure that crept into the song writing. I also have an Enya CD in my car that I listen to a lot.

Pinnies: What was it like working with Tom Iansek? 

Bec: Very relaxed. I feel like Tom just gets it in terms of subtlety and adding interesting textures and tones. It’s nice knowing your music is in safe hands. I mostly just tried to make jokes while he worked his magic. I love the grand piano they have in the studio. I have a Sigma mahogany acoustic guitar with really old strings that I played on “Getaway” and Tom was saying that The Paper Kites played a similar Sigma on one of their albums too which I thought was cool.

Pinnies: Where’s the most unusual place you’ve come up with the concept for a song?

Bec: I’ve always liked singing on the toilet ever since I was a kid. I’ve come up with some of my best melodies and lyrics while sitting on the loo.

Pinnies: Did you pick up any hobbies during lockdown?

Bec: Usually, I try to avoid video games because I get really addicted to them. But at the start of lockdown 6, all I had was endless time on my hands and a feeling of doom so I decided to get myself a Switch and play Zelda to occupy my brain. It was a great decision and made life feel a little more whimsical during a w e i r d time.

You can grab tickets to Bec’s single launch in Collingwood here: