Phoebe Go
Phoebe Go | Credit: Nick Mckinlay

Phoebe Go’s Favourite Solo Artists (Who Started Out in Bands)

Melbourne musician Phoebe Lou has been playing in bands for over a decade; first, it was the high school indie-pop outfit Snakadaktal, and then the dreamy electronic duo Two People. More recently, Lou adopted the moniker Phoebe Go and issued her debut solo single, ‘We Don’t Talk’, in May 2022.

‘We Don’t Talk’ now appears alongside subsequent singles ‘Hey’ and ‘The Kid’ on Phoebe Go’s debut EP, Player, which came out in October 2022. Here, Phoebe Lou shares her thoughts on what drives performers to go solo, and names some of her favourite solo artists who started out in bands.

Phoebe Go: Player

Phoebe Go: I’m Phoebe. I’ve been in bands since I was about 15 and for the last couple of years, I’ve hunkered down into my solo project. I called it Phoebe Go.

So why do artists go solo? Maybe some shit went down. Or maybe it didn’t. Maybe it was just a matter of timing. Maybe it was like coming into the office one day to find that someone had moved your desk. Or maybe you moved it. And maybe it felt kind of weird or scary for a bit, but then you eventually just sat down and got back to work.

For me, it was more like the desk thing. But I think whatever the circumstances are, going solo proves that you really like your job and you want to keep doing it. And maybe by now you’ve got some serious grit to take with you. This industry can be tough, and experience is good for that.

I’m glad I’m starting my solo thing now and not 12 years ago when I was 15 and green as hell. It’s brave to tell your story, and even if you’ve already told bits of it before, it’s a story that has to be told from the very beginning. Music is such a crazy and complex thing and it can be collaborative or it can be concentrated. I think the exciting thing about solo artists is how concentrated it is.

Here’s a handful of really cool solo artists who started out in bands. And you know what I noticed? They almost always use their own names. They want to let you in closer.

Karen O (Yeah Yeah Yeahs)

When Lux Prima came out, I lost my shit. I think it’s such a beautiful and badarse album and it really sounded like her own thing. And it felt really good to see a female artist do that so freely.

Jack White (The White Stripes)

A total veteran, right? Like, he clearly has grit. It’s kind if intimidating and I fucking love it.

Oliver Sim (The xx)

I am loving Oliver Sim. I feel like he’s telling a deeper and richer story than he ever has before. Like, he’s turning himself inside out for us, and now he has the space to, and I think that’s so generous and inspiring.

Harry Styles (One Direction)

Big fan. Like, he just shines. I wonder if he knew that he needed a bit more room around him to really do that. Outside of his music, I think he’s done so much positive work for this industry.

Beyoncé (Destiny’s Child)


Honourable mentions: Thom Yorke (Radiohead), PJ Harvey (PJ Harvey trio), Lou Reed (The Velvet Underground), Alison Mosshart (The Kills), Paul Simon (Simon & Garfunkel).

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