Life

Jimmy Harwood Sucks: “If Anyone’s Beaten ‘Bubble Trouble’ I’d Like To Give You A Handshake”

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Naarm singer-songwriter Jimmy Harwood is one of the most unassuming characters I’ve ever met. Not just in music, but in life.

See, he’s got a good aura. It’s hard to feel stressed about anything when Jimmy’s around, and the same goes for his music. His new single, ‘wires’, features frequent collaborator Inka Kubra, and starts off as an acoustic, breezy track. When the drums kick in during the chorus, the track transforms into a beach day anthem — no worries here. 

Don’t freak out, but I want to take a detour here and celebrate a close collaborator of Jimmy’s — Naarm producer/artist Eleftherios (as you’ll read later, their musical journeys are as intertwined as can be). I was lucky enough to attend Eleftherios’ first-ever headline show at Baby Snakes Bar in Footscray yesterday (at the time of writing this), and it was a reminder of why live music can be so magical. 

Music scenes live and die thanks to central figures like Eleftherios, whose laidback, often lo-fi-indebted production has seen him work with the likes of Agung Mango, ARAMINTA (whose debut single ‘Angel Baby’ is a must-listen), Strictly D.T and many more. Accompanied by Eneasi on drums, Eric Spice on guitar, Tomalia on keys and Jimmy on guitar, with guest vocals from Sami, Inka Kubra, ARAMINTA, Buddy Ryan, Jimmy and Aki Yaguchi, it was a pleasure to see Eleftherios live out one of his dreams in front of a packed crowd. Who knew Sunday afternoons could be so beautiful?

Anyway, to mark the release of ‘wires’, Junkee caught up with Jimmy to talk about the perils of drinking before going on stage, why he doesn’t like ramen (he thinks it sucks), his newfound love of mushrooms, and so much more. Jimmy’s opinion on ramen is definitely going to ruffle a few feathers — but in some ways, being wrong is what this column is all about. He’s certainly not wrong about mushrooms, though. The things you can do with fungi are frankly incredible. Tip for all the vegans reading this: grab some king oyster mushrooms and make some vegan scallops. Thank me later. 

Junkee: A mistake that turned into an opportunity?

Don’t know if it counts as a mistake but walking into the All Corners album process knowing no one and walking into a room where Eleftherios was producing. Pretty much my whole network of people have come through the homie brah. 

When I was 16/17, I played a ‘beer’ festival gig with my band. None of my band drank at the time so I ended up smashing all their riders. Nek minnit, I’m smoking a spliff with some homies, and they shove me in an Uber to the next gig that night which I had fully forgotten about. Had to go to school on Monday and face the facts that I well and truly cooked that gig. Important lesson learnt though: never drink more than a couple pints before a set.

Cringe quote you used to live by?

YOLO brothaaa. It’s a funny lil concept ’cos it’s hella true aye (laughs). No one wants to admit it though.

Worst advice you got and blindly followed?

Everyone in Melbourne’s gonna hate me, but ramen. It’s always wigged me out having an egg in a random bowl of soup and ingredients, but maybe I’m just a fussy c**t.

The worst failure you’re up for sharing, and what you learned from it?

My multiple best and fairest runners up in junior footy. Chuck us one.

Anything you used to be wrong about?

Mushrooms.

Used to hate ’em. Now I have them on my eggs. Pasta, ya know, spice up any meal with a couple mushies. Extra point if they make ya feel funny.

Embarrassing internet habit?

Gimme that Bubble Trouble brah. If anyone’s beaten Bubble Trouble I’d like to meet up in person and give you a handshake.

Ideal morning routine versus actual morning routine?

Ideal: Shower, coffee, spliff. Suss the weather. Hit the studio straight after with a homie that’s on the same page.

Actual: Crash at my studio the night before, wake up seedy. Scroll. Scroll more. Inka walks into the studio and gives me a look in his eye. Can never tell if it’s the keenness for a bánh mi, a goon sack, or a banga. I’m cool with any.

Something very off-brand for you?

Gimme that country music bruvva. Straight up, I am almost more keen to make a real bogan Aussie country record than anything I’m working on right now (laughs). I wanna sit by a fire in Gippsland and do nothing but smoke durries, drink whiskey and write country tunes about sitting by the fire, smoking durries and drinking whiskey.

Bad health decision?

This could get spicy but my day ones understand.

Durries, posture, my beautiful left lung lucy (my bung lung), mi goreng, mumble rap trap beats and no sleep. Never hurt no one.

What do you waste money on?

I’m a sucker for a peach ice, bánh mi and a piece of music equipment, but three years after I need it. Shithouse. Other days I waste my money on that extra sauce on feeds, fairy lights and comfiness.

Worst procrastination habit? 

I don’t even know how to describe my relationship with the bro Eleftherios. Musically — me and E — yin & yang. We’ve talked about how much we’ve upgraded in our craft since we’ve met each other. Ever since I met him at the All Corners album hosted by the New Wave Infinity crew back in 2020, my tracks have upped the ante tenfold. Anyways. Since we share a studio together, the procrastination shines through.

We sit in our studio pondering whether we’re in the mood to make a heater, whether to pick up two acoustic guitars and make a lovely sweethearted heater, or whether we’re gonna make some fucked up trap. Usually before any of those decisions start, one of us starts a fucking blues riff and it’s all over. Two hours have gone by and we’ve been playing the same riff 15 different ways. From our perspective, we couldn’t think of anything better at the time — I’m sure the people in the room have other words to say about the steeze (laughs). Procrastination blues might be the next genre.

Jimmy Harwood’s new single ‘wires’ is out now.


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Illustration credit: Matt Lauricella, @pigeonboyart