Gordi is the Australian Artist Winning the World Over with Her 'Clever Disguise'

Gordi is the Australian Artist Winning the World Over with Her 'Clever Disguise'

Find out why everyone is talking about the "Can We Work It Out" singer—including Bon Iver's Justin Vernon.

Find out why everyone is talking about the "Can We Work It Out" singer—including Bon Iver's Justin Vernon.

Text: MATHIAS ROSENZWEIG

Australian singer-songwriter Sophie Payten makes music for humans. In a sense, all artists do, but Payten—better known by her stage name Gordi—delivers the type of raw sentiment that resonates with everyday people on a profound level. Since the release of her catchy and subtly heart-wrenching “Can We Work It Out,” Gordi has received the type of praise that helped put fellow Australian badass Courtney Barnett on the map. Her debut EP, Clever Disguise, showed that her initial success was anything but a fluke; rather, her growing audience received proof that the 23-year-old’s talent and drive would continue to advance her career at an accelerated rate. (Her recent tour with Bon Iver didn't hurt, either.) V caught up with the exciting new voice in New York, where she’s currently recording her debut LP.

What are your thoughts looking back on 2016?

I know it wasn’t a great year for the world as a whole, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I had some really fun headline tours and played a bunch of shows with artists that I have admired—admired can also be replaced with worshiped. 2016 felt like the year it all started to come together.

How did you feel about the positive reception of your Clever Disguise EP?

It has felt really wonderful. I think it has been a great introduction to my music and who I am and what I am and all the rest. Playing a run of shows in North America was pretty special as I could see how far the music had traveled.

What are you currently working on?

My debut full-length record. I’m in the final stages of finishing it so it should be out soon—I’m really looking forward to sharing it.

What is the best part about your job?

At the moment, the travel. In the past 12 months, I’ve traveled more than I ever have in my life and it’s taken me to many corners of the globe—most recently to Reykjavik, Iceland. But more than anything I love being on stage performing, playing to a room full of people who appreciate the music you write never really gets old.

What is the hardest part about your job that most people might not assume?

Transit and emails. Being on the road is fun for the performing part, but 90% of it is actually traveling to wherever that show is. Road tripping can be really fun, but when at the end of each day you have to get up and deliver a performance, it can be pretty wearing.

Last time we spoke, you talked about new regulations in Sydney that forced clubs and venues to close earlier, interfering with the music scene. What's the update on that?

There are still regulations, though they have recently relaxed slightly. I think it will be a number of years before the Sydney live music venue scene improves—there are some great places but we’ve recently just lost another, Newtown Social Club, which is really central to the scene. There’s a lot of grass roots movement and a strong campaign called “Keep Sydney Open,” but I think it will take time.

Do you pay close attention to fashion?

"Close attention” is probably not the right phrase. I care about the clothes I wear and put thought into what I wear on stage—even if it is all black.

How would you describe your personal style? 

My personal style is pretty low key and mostly neutral colors or shades, and by that I mean I wear black jeans, black boots, and a black shirt.

How would you summarize your thoughts on performing live?

I love it. It’s the thing that makes all the little bits and pieces come together and it’s the best way to gauge how your music is being received. Making a record is really fulfilling but it’s actually playing it to someone standing in front of you that brings it to life.

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