Australian country duo Seaforth is known for dropping infectious melodies, breezy lyrics and bangers with slick vocal harmonies that top every party playlist. Through their new EP What I Get For Loving You, Seaforth’s Tom Jordan and Mitch Thompson – childhood friends who take their name from the Sydney suburb where they grew up – want to expand popular perception to include articulate, authentic songwriting that does a deeper dive into the human experience.
“It’s easy to just look at us like, ‘Oh, you guys are funny,’” said Tom – who produced the project entirely from the pair’s home studio. “Yeah, 100 percent. But at the end of the day, we are musicians. We are producing the songs, and we are writing the songs, and we have real stories to tell.”
The growth was hard won for the pair who thought they were on the fast track to their dreams at the end of 2019. Seaforth just finished opening shows in Sydney for their musical hero Keith Urban, was playing to full houses in Europe at Country 2 Country Festival, booked their first sold-out headlining show in Australia and felt like the world was at their feet. Then, the harsh reality of the pandemic isolated them from their careers, their friends, and held them captive a world away from their families in Australia.
“It was insane,” Tom said. “We were like, ‘What do we do?’ And we just sat around and tried new things because we couldn’t do what we were used to doing.”
They learned to cook. Mitch became an avid gardener, putting down his guitar for six months. Tom rededicated himself to growing his musical production skills, creating beats and melodies for no one in particular. Lacking inspiration, they didn’t write a song until the end of 2020.
They say fans on Instagram were a catalyst for snapping them out of their creative funk. A challenge circulating on the platform prompted artists to play an unreleased song. The duo’s friends in Avenue Beat tagged them. Tom and Mitch posted a snip of the heart wrenching “Breakups,” a song they’d been toying with, and watched thousands of people respond immediately.
“We’re like, ‘Let’s just tease,'” Tom said, explaining the feedback reinvigorated their confidence. “Let’s try and make music because that’s all we have.”
“It was the only thing we could control,” Mitch adds.
“Breakups,” a wounded, vulnerable, and utterly relatable relationship ballad, made Seaforth reexamine their songwriting craft and question the direction they wanted to take their new music. “Breakups,” included on What I Get For Loving You, is Tom’s personal story and the most profound song the duo has released. With 40 million on-demand streams to date, the track is also their most successful.
“What we realized is we’re always like, ‘Oh, this is a quote-unquote banger,'” Tom says. “Then you put out a song with such depth that came from literally the hardest emotional thing I’ve ever had to go through, and it’s done the best out of any song we’ve put out. We’ve spoken a lot about this recently that we have to show that side of us, too.”
Most of the songs on the EP were crafted in their Nashville home during lockdown. Tom harnessed his newly refined production skills, and the duo recorded the collection in a small room at home. They outsourced the players, trusted each other’s opinions and couldn’t be happier with the outcome.
They see the EP’s title track as the next chapter of “Breakups.” The title tells a tale, and they describe the collection as a love story of different emotions. They co-wrote “What I Get For Loving You” with Rocky Block, and the friends say the song’s lyrics are their best songwriting to date. The ballad also represents their music careers.
“‘What I Get For Loving You’ in general and writing, it’s like, ‘This is what we’re doing. We chose this path,’” Mitch says. “Everything that comes along with it, the ups and downs, that’s what we get for loving what we do. If you take a step back, it captures everything and just our journey in general.”
Other standout tracks on the EP include “Queen of Daytona Beach (with Sean Kingston),” a breezy banger they also co-wrote with Block, featuring a sample from Kingston’s multi-Platinum smash. At the time, they penned the song at home during lockdown as a wish for where they would like to be.
“We ended up starting this relationship with Rocky then ended up becoming best mates with this dude because I think we needed each other,” Tom says. “He was going through his own situation professionally and personally as well.”
The production varies from down-home contemporary country on “Good Beer,” their duet with Jordan Davis, to wildly progressive in “Dr. Phil.” They attribute the swing to their Australian upbringing.
“Being an international person in Nashville, you obviously have international influences,” Tom says. “We were raised on very different music than someone from the middle of Georgia, but it all ties into country music for us, and that’s why we’re here. Our goal was always to be an authentic version of ourselves because that’s what country music is about. It’s about authentic stories and about relating to people. I feel like producing and writing everything is as authentic as it can possibly get.”
While 2020 didn’t work out as planned for them, they emerged with a group of songs sure to turn heads – and volume knobs. Seaforth is plunging into this EP release with an impressive 340 million global on-demand streams and a Gold-certified single for their Mitchell Tenpenny duet “Anything She Says.”
Tom Jordan and Mitch Thompson left Australia to come to Nashville and play their brand of country music. In that way, the fast track led to their dreams with a few unexpected bumps along the way.
“We do have real stories to tell,” Tom says. “We want make sure people know that.”