Australian artist Star Kendrick admits that she should have paid more attention to her surroundings as a kid in the tiny coastal town of Noosa. There were instruments and recording equipment everywhere around her home, thanks to her parents’ separate careers fronting 1980s rock bands. But she took no notice, instead globe-hopping to London, Sweden and Berlin before writing her first song, “Saltwater,” at age 24, using a friend’s Logic computer-recording app, with her old Noosa chum Toma Banjanin. They dubbed their tentative project Geowulf, after the Scandanavian hero Beowulf, and it caught on quickly. “My family has always been musical, it was just a thing,” says Kendrick, on tour promoting the duo’s dreamy sophomore disc, “My Resignation.” “But it wasn’t until then that I thought, ‘Oh, maybe this is the thing for me, too!’”
There’s a strange serendipity to you and Toma’s story, right?
Toma and I are from the same place, not too far from Brisbane. We met at school when I was 14 and he was 17, and he was actually best friends with my boyfriend at the time. So we all hung out together, until we ended up moving in together in London, about six or seven of us. And Toma’s now engaged to my sister.
But music didn’t enter the picture there, when you were under one roof?
Funnily enough, I didn’t start writing until I was a chiropractic assistant, living in Sweden. I’d moved back to Melbourne after London, but not until I moved to Sweden did I write “Saltwater” as a really basic demo, and then send it to Toma and start working with him. That was in 2015, so our music is quite young, I suppose.
Your songs ever since have dealt with bigger, more cosmic topics?
Well, I’ve always been curious. I grew up with my grandma from when I was about 8, and she took me and my sister to church when we were young. So we were always thinking about the bigger things. But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve gotten a lot more into meditation and stuff. So there was always a lot of spiritual things going on in my family, and we never followed any one particular religion. But when I finally started doing music, it was like all the stars aligned and I knew that this was what I was meant to do.
They say that if you step off blindly into the universe, the universe will reward you.
Totally. I always tell my creative friends that if you take a step into the unknown, then you’re basically confirming that that’s the thing that you want to do. For me, it was quitting university, quitting my job and having a reliable income and doing music instead. I feel like a commitment like that is honored by the universe.
IF YOU GO
Where: Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell St., S.F.
When: 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 14
Contact: (415) 861-2011, www.rickshawstop.com