Photography Alexander Schipper

NZ rocker October and The Eyes makes dark, sexy music

Her debut EP ‘Dogs and Gods’ is a horny, depressed capsule of emotion. Here are 10 things you should know about the Yves Tumor-approved artist.

by Fiona Hartley
26 November 2020, 2:42pm

Photography Alexander Schipper

October and The Eyes makes music that wouldn’t feel out of place on the soundtrack of an arthouse thriller. Read: dark, sexy and a little dangerous. After yearning for something bigger and scarier herself, the small town New Zealander moved halfway around the world, where she holed up in a London flat and wrote her debut EP Dogs and Gods.

A dizzying portrait of human emotion, the EP “covers everything from playing god to lusting after a stranger, from feeling horny to feeling depressed. It’s about allowing love to untie you like a knot and free you from the mundanity of existence,” October says. “Just a day in the life really!”

Describing her sound as “collage-rock,” she pulls inspiration from the likes of David Bowie, Siouxsie Sioux and Bauhaus; putting her own modern twist on them and creating what she refers to as a ‘musical collage’. The result? Something that paradoxically sounds both familiar and entirely new. 

It’s a description that lends itself to her image, too, which has been picked up on by brands like Balenciaga and Charlotte Knowles, who she’s modelled for season after season. Fitting then, that her dream stage look would be a head-to-toe all-leather fit by the latter. (We would like to see it.)

Get to know this one to watch via these 10 fun facts

1. October was born in New Zealand, but the internet was her portal to the rest of the world
“I grew up in a tiny town called Blenheim in New Zealand. I’m the real deal small town girl. I think when you’re from a small town, you tend to search outwardly for inspiration a lot more. In that regard I think the internet raised me — it exposed me to a lot of culture and fashion and music that otherwise I would never have discovered. It felt like I was sort of forging my own portal to the ‘real world’.” 

2. Her musical education began with Mozart
“I come from a really musical family, so It’s always been a part of my life. I have such a vivid memory of being about three or four, sitting in the car on a family road trip. Mum would be playing ‘The Magic Flute’ by Mozart and would ask us kids what instruments we could hear. I just remember music being this innate thing because it was always a part of my everyday life as a child.”

3. She swore she’d never write a love song, so she wrote a lust song instead
“I just really wanted to make a sexy song that’s lusty, hot ‘n’ heavy. I want people to make love to it, to be seduced and to seduce. My friend told me that she was going to dance to it at the strip club, and honestly this feels like a mission accomplished.”

4. And she invented her own music genre: collage rock
“Not to be confused with college rock. I guess when I say that, what I mean is that I’m trying to make a collage of all my influences: post-punk, rockabilly, psych, garage… but then pushing them through the gauze of modernity and electronics and seeing what happens.”

5. Not all of her work is written intentionally
“My song ‘Dark Dog’ started out as an ambient piece three years ago, before I added guitars. Vocally, it was more of a stream of consciousness that accidentally formed itself into a song.”

6. October’s signature mushroom haircut is a DIY job… and she’d like you to know that she has fully integrated herself into British society
“I give myself homemade haircuts with the kitchen scissors. Oh and I watch The Great British Bake Off religiously.” 

7. Fashion fuels her music (financially and creatively)
“Ever since I was a kid, I’ve loved clothes and how they transform you. It becomes a sort of armour of confidence. Modelling for Balenciaga and Charlotte Knowles, I just feel super lucky that I’m able to make a living out of it and then funnel that income toward making music. It really feels like I’m a part of the best of both worlds. It’s been so rad being a part of the Charlotte Knowles family and seeing their collections evolve each season. Charlotte is like a big sister to me now!”

8. But she also loves archive pieces…
“If you know me, you know I love collecting archival Ann Demeulemeester and Margiela as a side hustle.”

9. Oh, and did I mention she’s Yves Tumor-approved?
“I gotta thank Yves Tumor for setting this whole thing off and sending my demos to his producers and getting me signed.” 

10. October’s not looking back
“I’m already working on another EP, so wanna get that out there next year. I think that this time, the music is a little more future-facing.”

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