IT’S not surprising that Danielle Caruna, AKA Mama Kin, and Tommy Spender were feeling unabashed joy and love in their respective relationships when writing Air Between Us.
The folk-rock duo, known as Mama Kin Spender, has produced an anthem of hope – and arguably the Aussie song of the year – with the 2017-released single from their new album.
“When you do feel that joy and love, you’ve got to grab it and know that it feels amazing right now but this too shall pass, so enjoy it while it lasts,” Caruna said.
“I talk about that song before we play it live and the idea that these days there are so many reasons not to be hopeful.
“You listen to the news and watch telly and subscribe to the idea that our neighbour is our enemy, or any of those subversive separatist things that are happening, and it’s really easy to feel like there is no place for hope anymore.
“I actually believe that actively being hopeful is punk – it’s like you almost have to go against the grain to be hopeful.”
Something of an expert on optimism, having overcome bouts of depression and anxiety, Caruna believes hope is a cognitive skill people can learn.
“It’s something you actually can develop more of by practising it and the practice of hope is being well versed in the ability to meet a roadblock and see multiple other options in front of you,” the Margaret River mum and wife of John Butler said.
“People have that idea that you’re either optimistic or you’re not, but you can become more of the one you want to be more of.”
Mama Kin Spender performs Air Between Us, among other songs, with the WAAPA Gospel Choir next month at the free State of the Art Festival (SOTA).
“Our show will basically be 16 gun singers singing amazing choral arrangement over our contemporary works; I play drums, Tommy plays guitar and we both sing shared harmonies on most of the songs and then you’ve got this choir that creates this amazing rockin’ gospel soundscape to the songs,” Caruna said.
“I’m honoured to be part of the festival; to be noted as being something that WA can be proud of is very special to me.
“I’m not from here (Melbourne) but I’ve lived here for just over 10 years and it feels like a bit of a nod to me maybe being finally local.”
Other festival acts include Birds of Tokyo, San Cisco and Downsyde.
What: State of the Art Festival (SOTA)
When: noon-9pm, June 4 (WA day)
Where: Elizabeth Quay
SOTA’s Centre Stage line-up:
7.10pm Birds of Tokyo
6.20pm San Cisco
5pm Psychedelic Porn Crumpets
4.20pm Mama Kin Spender
3.40pm Stella Donnelly
3.05pm Arno Faraji
2pm The Southern River Band
1.30pm Carla Geneve
1pm John Bennett with David Hyams
12.30pm Sydnee Carter
12pm Spacey Jane