Vicious Presents: The Kite String Tangle

It’s been a reasonably short and fast-paced run thus far for electronic artist and producer, Danny Harley, better known for his stage name as The Kite String Tangle. Busting onto the scene in 2013 – winning Triple J‘s Unearthed competition to play Falls Festival, entering in the Hottest 100 countdown of that same year at #19 and releasing his first single Given The Chance, the past couple of years have seen him go from strength to strength. It sounds cliché, sure, but the guy knows what he’s doing.

Ahead of his upcoming performance at this year’s Beyond The Valley, I had the pleasure of enjoying a phone call with the lovely Danny. He, at home in Brisbane – enjoying a vanilla protein shake. Me, at home in Melbourne, sans protein shake  – rudely interrupting his protein shake.


When Given The Chance came out in 2013, and we’re only in 2015 – that’s not a very long time, yet you’ve seen quite a bit of success. I don’t want to jump to conclusions, though – had you been making music for a while before finding traction? Or was it more a gradual progression?

Before [starting The Kite String Tangle], I was in another band called The Pigeons and we were sort of kicking around for about four years or so prior to that. I started [The Kite String Tangle] as a side project, and the priorities sort of flipped from the old band to this project. It kind of  grew really quickly and, yeah, it was a crazy journey. But yeah, I’ve been doing it for a while now.

It’s really cool that something’s actually sticking.

And with that – pardon my ignorance but I’m not really familiar with The Pigeons…

Not many people are… [laughs]

What sort of music were you playing with those guys?

There’s similarities to Kite String, but it’s still quite different. It was kind of electronic rock – almost, I suppose. So it was [similar to] Friendly Fires, Röyksopp…But we’ve been on an indefinite hiatus for a couple of years now.

That tipping point, where you decided that The Kite String Tangle was going to be put at the forefront of your priorities – how did the rest of the band take it? And how did you make that decision?

It was actually a few things. Firstly, that The Kite String Tangle project started getting some attention and some radio play. I mean, there was this one month – I think it was February 2014 maybe…maybe 2013, I can’t even remember – but I did a tour for Kite String Tangle and I also did a tour for Pigeons and did something like 20 shows in 28 days or something like that. It became really clear that it was going to be really taxing to be in both acts and to be really going hard for both of them, so I had to kind of make a choice.

By that stage, it was pretty clear to the other guys in the band that one thing was moving a lot quicker than the others and they were all really great about it, actually.

You worked and shared the stage with the likes of Dustin Tebbott – that’s very fucking cool.

Yeah, Dustin’s awesome. We’re really good friends now – he’s actually on his way up to Brisbane now as we speak because I think he’s got a show here, but we’re having breakfast tomorrow. He’s such a cool guy, he’s very laid back and real. We started working together because of the love of each other’s music. So yeah, it’s super organic and he’s a really cool guy.

You said that you bonded over each others music… How did that friendship come to be? 

From memory, I think we may have talked online. Maybe on Facebook or something. And then he came to my show in Sydney one time, and then he was – I think supporting Missy Higgins on some tour, and I went to that show when he was up in my neck of the woods, in Brisbane. And yeah, then we met at a couple of festivals, and by that stage we’d met quite a few times and liked each other’s music. We decided to just write a song and see what happened while he was in Brisbane. It turned out to be really organic and really easy, so it was quite nice how it grew into something a little bigger which is cool.

Beyond The Valley’s coming up, and lucky for us you’re on the bill. It’s still a baby, this festival – only coming up to its second year. Have you heard a little bit about it?

Yeah, I was contemplating going last year just as a punter. I was playing Falls but my day off didn’t line up with when Beyond The Valley was on. I just remember looking at the line-up and thinking that it was crazy good – I heard a lot about it. I also heard it was really windy.

Yeah look, I can attest to that. And put it this way, from the moment we got there and started setting up camp, there was this gnarly shitstorm of rain and wind and tents flying everywhere…But then it passed and everything was fine.

Who are you psyched to be sharing the line-up with?

Jamie XX is on there, isn’t he? I’m a bit of a fan boy of Jamie XX. I’ve seen him a few times now and his stuff just never gets old. I love the simplicity of it as well. There’s no frilly bits, there’s nothing distracting you from the music, it’s just ‘These are my beats. I’m gonna play them. Listen.’

He’s a very talented dude. Were you a fan of The XX prior to his solo stuff as well?

Yeah, huge fan. They’re a great band.

This last question is going to be super cliché, so I do apologise for that, but what’s next for Kite String Tangle? What’s the plan for 2016?

Well, I’m currently writing for my next release, so probably an album…I’m getting that ready. I’m sort of writing as many songs as I can and trying to put my best foot forward and present something really, really strong. Hopefully that’ll be out around next year sometime – early to mid next year, which is exciting.

It kind of feels like I’ve been off cycle for a little while now so I’m keen to get something out, and I’ve got a bunch of stuff to add to the live show. Yeah, so there’s a whole bunch in the works for next year.


The Kite String Tangle
plays Beyond The Valley over 2015/16 New Years in Lardner, Victoria. For more information/tickets, head to beyondthevalley.com.au.

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