Ecca Vandal has already been labelled an enigma. It might be because of the lack of information available on her, it might have something to do with her musical pedigree. Or it might be that defiant strut into a tornado of influences that she was seen to make on debut single White Flag and the subsequent shitstorm of adoration that ensued.
Released randomly and entirely independently in mid-2014 and almost immediately snatched up for airplay on triple j and Channel [V], the profile of White Flag was very slowly raised but Australia quickly stood to attention.
After a tantalising await throughout the summer of 2014/2015, Ecca revealed another slice of the musical tapestry she’d spent months weaving in studios across her home town of Melbourne. Battle Royal arrived in triumphant form, melding brattish punk rock and unrelenting percussion, it had vibrato to rival Gwen’s and swagger in spades. The accompanying video was next level, exploring the concept of Ecca’s multiple musical identities that critics have thus far struggled to pinpoint.
The mystery of Ecca Vandal looked set to persevere, but this time it had several cheeky new facades.
After her first headlining performance in Sydney, Ecca was invited to open for seminal EDM act The Prodigy on their only Australian headlining show in March and despite the raucous response, returned home to Melbourne to smash out a residency at The Gasometer.
South African born with Sri Lankan Heritage, Ecca Vandal’s parents left South Africa after Apartheid in the late 80s, her parents making the decision to find a stable environment in which to educate their daughters. After settling in Melbourne, Vandal sunk her teeth into jazz at an early age before discovering the intoxicating world of hip hop and the DIY spirit of punk rock. Bjork is a musical hero, Miles Davis is an all-time favourite, and Mr Bungle and Fugazi led her to the tumult of Deftones and Meshuggah. To describe her influences as ‘broad’ doesn’t quite seem to cut it.
Ecca has continued to flirt with genres throughout her musical career, more often than not guesting with some of the country’s finest ensembles. Each taste, and every credit, misstep or curiosity has lead her here. The way in which Ecca’s influences combined and combusted to produce her explosive sound is the stuff of science class.
And the best part is, this daring aural dalliance is only just beginning.