“Born out of magic and hopelessly romantic. A message from the fire. The flames are burning higher and ever so brightly, softly, sweet scars & beauty, death like, so lovely. Ghosts and Gods sing Pharaoh melodies”. This is how Natalie De Silver, founder of The Dandelion, describes her band. This Sydney four-piece group take 60s psych influences and ghostly sounds into modern world. We had a lovely chat with Natalie, while the flute and the organ ring out in the night…
Can you talk a bit about your studio set-up and what you use to compose?
My studio is my home and I mostly record music in my lounge room. Sometimes I write songs in my kitchen or bedroom. I like composing songs on either guitar, organ or drums first, then I just make the rest up. I have an old cassette recorder I like to record on. However, the next Dandelion record we’re going into a proper studio which is really exciting!
Do you feel that the way music is consumed today makes it a less personal and aesthetic exchange?
In the commercial sense yes, but for independent artists like us who sell our own music through sites like Bandcamp or at our own shows and mange our own social media platforms it’s very personal.
We can actually see who’s purchasing our music and we can connect directly with our fans and listeners which is really beautiful!
Have you ever felt like you would like to belong another era?
I used to romanticise about living in the 60’s as a kid, but I was looking at the 60’s through the eyes of the musicians and artists I like and all the romantic biographies I’ve read. If I could go back in time now I’d like to go back to the ancient world and see if Atlantis really was a place or to meet Christ and other biblical prophets, ancient Greece sounds really appealing and interesting too. Whether or not I would belong there is another thing!
What does spirituality mean to you?
Spiritually is connecting with creation both internally and externally. God is creation and we are surrounded by it every moment in so many different ways. It’s also recognising and respecting that all living things have an intrinsic purpose, which is what we know as survival. The moment anything comes into life, whether it be an organism, a plant or an elephant it will fight to survive.
True spirituality is also taking responsibility for your role within the creation process and once you find a positive rhythm within in it then you will begin to truly understand what God is. I strongly recommend to anyone who is even remotely spiritual, that you find a disciplinary belief system or religion to subscribe to.
Otherwise you’ll have no spiritual structure or grounding and what often happens to the “spiritual but not religious” is a false self justification of being on the “right path” and this often leads to spiritual gluttony, substance abuse and self indulgence which will ultimately disconnect you from reality and God.
Believe me when I say I was on the spiritual but not religious road for many years and it wasn’t until I adopted a religious discipline that i realised there are no self centred paths to God & spiritual enlightenment. The holy mysteries are revealed through sacrifice and actively participating in society.
What is your favorite flower/plants and why?
It’s hard to pick a favourite as some plants I like to eat and some are just amazing to look at. I love a slightly overgrown garden with both flowering and edible plants, including a few pesky weeds and lots of wildlife like spiders, insects and lizards.
I also like a forgiving garden as I’m a lazy gardner and prefer it when the plants and creatures can look after themselves.
Old habits die hard. Can you suggest new ways to live free from bad habits?
Sure, so the first step is to discern what is good for you and what is bad for you and how it might affect other people. This is not an overnight process, however, if you have the ability to feel remorse and empathy towards anything other than yourself, then discernment should come quite easily.
It’s much more beneficial to see how your bad habits might be negatively affecting others as opposed to just yourself as bad habits are often strangely enjoyable and, if you give up a bad habit just for yourself, then you’ll most likely just trade it for another bad habit to meet your own needs.
Then the next step is sacrifice which is the hardest step of all. This might be that you have to cut certain people and pleasures out of your life or it might be that you have to face some issues or people that you’ve been avoiding or suppressing for a long time. So start with sacrificing just one thing first and as soon as you recognise and actually see the benefits of that sacrifice then you’ll transcend and you can move onto something else.
It’s actually a really beautiful process to go through and as painful as it can be sometimes. Just try to focus and give your time to people and activities that bring out the best in you.
THE DANDELION IG: @thedandelion_ FB: @thedandelionmusic