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Sputnik Sweetheart: Rolling to new heights

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With a vibrancy that expresses the potential of art to act as an anthem of social justice, Sputnik Sweetheart is making waves for all the right reasons.

Canberra-based Sputnik Sweetheart has well and truly joined the ranks of Canberra musical alumni, defining themselves as an alternative rock band inserting themselves into coming-of-age narratives of the 21st century.

The band is fronted by Nette France, who is joined by Josef Pabis on bass and backing vocals, Zac Bailey on lead guitar and Malcolm Newland on drums. Sputnik Sweetheart burst onto the scene in 2019, releasing their debut EP Growing Pains and being recognised as a Triple J Unearthed Feature Artist earlier this year.

Sputnik Sweetheart has captured a dedicated fan base through their honest portrayal of growing up in a world consumed by technology, and being left disaffected by politics.

Having performed at festivals such as Spilt Milk and Stonefest, as well as supporting acts such as Ball Park Music and Spacey Jane, Sputnik Sweetheart is gaining momentum—even at a time when gigs are few and far between.

On Thursday 3 December, the group will release their newest single, ‘Rolling’, which they recorded at the esteemed Grove Studios.

Nette France. Credit: Claire Warren.

A notably sophomore offering, ‘Rolling’ is a marked step-up in songwriting and production for Sputnik Sweetheart, who are busting to show the world how much they’ve grown.

“Rolling is the culmination of a fresh attitude towards our music,” notes Bassist Josef Pabis.

Rolling incorporates the same intellectualism and political engagement the group are known for, demonstrating the capacity of art to relate to broader cultural movements. But it’s not just movements that inspire the band.

“The lyrics in ‘Rolling’ are inspired by Tim Winton’s coming of age novel, Breath,” reveals vocalist Nette. “It’s a story about growing up and navigating through the changes that come with new and old relationships.”

Josef Pabis. Image supplied.

COVID has tested the group’s creative potential and ‘Rolling’ is a testament to the ability of art to be created collaboratively with the advent of digital technology.

Bassist Josef was in Melbourne throughout isolation, while the rest of the group were in Canberra, making it difficult to completely emulate the process of recording and collaborating on production.

However, by using remote mixing and recording sessions, Sputnik Sweetheart’s latest project shows the depth of their dedication to their craft.

‘Rolling’ will be available on all streaming services from 3 December.

Find out more about Sputnik Sweetheart on Instagram or Spotify

Feature image: Claire Warren and Jack Gruber

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