Meet SHOUSE, the duo making some of Melbourne’s best new house music

In our new series Spotlight, DAVE RUBY HOWE is profiling the local electronic artists you need to know. Today, it’s Melbourne duo SHOUSE.

Call it deflection, self-deprecation or the possibility of dealing with an unreliable narrator, but whichever way you cut it, listening to Jack Madin retell the first time he met his eventual bandmate Ed Service is wonderfully entertaining.

“It might not be exactly true,” Jack, of Melbourne project SHOUSE, disclaims, “but the creation myth I’m pushing is that Ed and I met at the first Moon Palace rave in an old Northcote strip club. Ed had an immediate wild guru type appeal. Then he gave me some mushrooms and that was it.”

Fact or fiction – and there’s likely a bit of both to the story – the two members of SHOUSE come from highly-regarded past projects. Ed started out as one half of smooth pair IO and Jack plays in soulful Melbourne mainstays The Harpoons. According to Jack, he and Ed crossed paths songwriting, began working together and released their first tracks as SHOUSE earlier this year. Together, their mission is house music.

“There is a part of me that is jealous of people who get into the producing side of music”

“Ed is more musically open minded [than me] and for him the euphoric, love-driven nature of the house dancefloor is pretty much the reason for music,” Jack explains. “I guess because vocal house links in with pop really well at the moment that was our middle ground.”

“But truthfully I’m pretty limited to only really writing pop songs with lyrics and choruses and everything. There is a part of me that is jealous of people who get into the producing side of music, but because I’ve never tried, and there are so many good producers around, I’ve found that it’s actually almost beneficial for me to just stick to writing chords, melodies and lyrics.”

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“I don’t get trapped in the black-holes of tweaking the kick reverb or anything, and just have to write more songs. It does totally suck when all the producer people are busy and wont return my calls though.”

As well as collaborating with rising Melbourne duo HABITS for the lead tracks from the debut SHOUSE EP (delightfully titled oPENSHOUSE) Jack and Ed gave the stems of their songs to mates in the Melbourne community like Jamal Amir,friendships and Karli White to remix. They say that that involving their peers in the EP and hearing their interpretations was “particularly satisfying” and represented the strength of the scene.

“There’s more depth to the Melbourne scene than the Bulldogs midfield”

“There’s more depth to the Melbourne scene than the Bulldogs midfield,” Jack says. “It’s nice that there’s a lot of people coming and going all the time I think. There’s a few faces that have been burning away in the Brunswick and Footscray underground for a while, but there’s also all this fresh talent turning up from Queensland, New Zealand, Tassie and all sorts of places,” he says, noting that the SHOUSE EP launch at Melbourne’s soon-to-close Mercat Basement is stuffed with a cast of killer locals like Amateur Dance, Martin King and Jennifer Loveless.

“The best part of our live set in my opinion is that me and Ed take care of the vibe and then we invite our guests onstage and they can be free to just let loose.”

Dave Ruby Howe is a writer, broadcaster and music director of Australia’s largest independent music discovery platform. You can find him on Twitter.