Mungovan goes live at Sookie

Joe Mungovan is launching his new album on 15 March. Picture: SUPPLIED.

By Tanya Steele

Live music is coming back in spades to the hills, with an indie rock and pop artist recently giving local fans a taste of his latest single ‘Cyclone’.

NSW musician Joe Mungovan joined as an opener at the Sookie Lounge in Belgrave on Thursday 29 March, launching new material and having a ball at the same time.

The artist and his band are part of a run of shows opening for ‘The Vanns’ on the Victorian leg of their regional tour over the next month.

Mungovan had not played at the Sookie Lounge before and said it ‘was a great time’

“We love it and we keep coming back for more, it’s great to support The Vanns as well as play our own shows and mix it up,” he said.

The new song ‘Cyclone’ is about “mass consumption, overstimulation and our society’s blindness and addiction to it”, Mungovan said.

“It’s about being overfed in all aspects of life – mentally, emotionally, physically, and literally – and how disconnected our lives have become as a result,” he said.

“In a way, Cyclone is my resistance to the ‘ignorance is bliss’ attitude that is so entrenched in our society and my attempt to reconnect with something simpler.”

Off the back of his debut album ‘A Flower In The Weeds’ in 2021 and in 2023, his vibrant track ‘STAY’, Mungovan has also announced a new album Sugar, Candy, Lips which will debut 15 March. The album represents a culmination of new inspiration and influences that have filtered into the artist’s process; manifesting in a set of recorded tracks out of his home studio on NSW’s southern coast, as well as The Grove Studios.

The live set at Sookie Lounge heralds some of the first live delivery of his new material and Mungovan said the Sookie gig was the first time they’d played through the whole range of the new songs.

“We’ve been playing them live for the first time, so it was it was a bit nervous to deal with, but we got through it,” he said.

“The only real practice you can get is to just perform it live and it seemed to come across really well.”

The album itself, particularly with ‘Cyclone’ is a step in a different direction for the artist, who said he credits the expansion partly to collaboration he did with others in production.

“I think this one, and a lot of the songs on the album are kind of leading back to a lot of the music that I listened to when I was younger, a lot of old funk records and reggae records as well – sort of blending that in with my style of songwriting,” he said.

“I think part of the reason that I was able to get to that place is that I’ve been working with a bunch of new muesos on this recording in particular.”

“In the past, I’ve just done everything in solitude by myself – It gives me a bigger canvas to paint on and I definitely am excited to do more of it in the future.”

Joe Mungovan will return to Victoria soon and will be touring along the East Coast throughout April.

“We had a ball and can’t wait to get back around and play our shows,” he said.