For Aussie Ensemble, 'A Is For Alpine' — As Well As Austin With a new album coming on the way, Melbourne-based Alpine is building buzz in the U.S. — including this past week at the South By Southwest music festival in Austin, Texas.

For Aussie Ensemble, 'A Is For Alpine' — As Well As Austin

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ALPINE: (Singing) Hi...

LOU JAMES: Hi, I'm Lou James.

PHOEBE BAKER: And I'm Phoebe Baker.

JAMES: And we're in Alpine.


Alpine is the name of a band from Melbourne, Australia. They make their U.S. debut with an album coming out later this spring called "A is for Alpine."

BAKER: We used to be called Swiss when we started out. The thing with Swiss and Alpine, they both kind of somehow suit our music and I think it's fresh. For me, it reminds me of being up in the Alps when I was young and sorghums in Australia, the smell of those trees. There are particular gum trees that grow. They've got really pale green leaves, they're almost white. And they smell delicious.


ALPINE: (Singing) Hi...

MARTIN: Alpine was chosen as the iTunes Australian alternative album of the year. And now the group is building buzz here in the States. They've been at the South by Southwest music festival in Austin this past week.


JAMES: Hello, Austin.



MARTIN: Alpine's Phoebe Baker and Lou James spoke to us from the studios of KUT in Austin. Their first gig at South by Southwest was at a club called Bourbon Girl, where they say the vibe was electric.

JAMES: And the response that we got afterwards was just overwhelming - just so many big smiley faces. And it's always an amazing feeling when you perform and you play your music to people that, you know, may not have heard of you. It's really, really nice and makes it very worthwhile to travel so far.

BAKER: Yeah, it was a good way to start off.


ALPINE: (Singing) But there's always night time. I wish it wasn't just...

JAMES: Every night, there will be like one song that will really stand out. "Gasoline," yeah, I mean it gets the biggest response.

BAKER: The guitar riff on "Gasoline" is really catchy. I remember hearing Christian play it when we were sound checking a year or so back. And I was, like, what is that? That sounds amazing. And I thought, Christian, this is awesome. We have to make this into a song.


ALPINE: (Singing) Imagine its night time. I wish it wasn't just the night time...

JAMES: Phoebe and I go way back. I think we were 13 or 14 years old when we met. Back in Australia there was a boarding school, so just very randomly met. And we just started talking and just realized we had a very similar sense of humor. You know, same taste in music that we both loved, like old classic, like Led Zeppelin and Floyd. And so, we sort of just built our friendship on that.


MARTIN: Phoebe Baker and Lou James admits they had to really say about to bring their six-piece band to the states. And they've been working hard in their day jobs.

JAMES: I work in a tea shop.

BAKER: And I was working in a bathers' shop. I don't know if you call them bathers over here - bikinis? Christian is lecturing at Melbourne Uni. Phil works in an Apple store. And Ryan works in a magazine shop. And Timmy is a graphic designer. And we've worked hard and we've got to an amazing place to come over here - and I think it shows.


ALPINE: (Singing) I can't believe that I'm seeing this love. I can't believe that I'm seeing this love...

MARTIN: Phoebe Baker and Lou James from the band Alpine, their new album "A is for Alpine" comes out May 21st. You can preview a couple of tracks on our Web site,

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.

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