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Aussie duo This Way North has found the sonic sweet spot

Leisha Jungalwalla and Cat Leahy make up This Way North // Kate Atkinson
This Way North (Aus) w/ Party Jacket
The Aviary
July 24, 8 pm

By Anuska Sarkar

Energetic drums, authentic lyrics, and a killer attitude sum up the indie blues pop Aussie duo This Way North. Members Cat Leahy and Leisha Jungalwalla have been playing together for almost three years, and they just keep getting better. The duo has recently gone old school, finding a home on the road and living out of a van. 

Leahy and Jungawalla are a dynamic pair, known for their lush sound and high energy beats. It may be easy to forget that it’s just the two of them behind the indie powerhouse that is This Way North, but the blend of each member is indeed the secret sauce behind the magic. The two met each other by happenstance for the first time in 2012 at the Artswell Festival in British Columbia. Realizing that they lived very close to each other back in Melbourne, the Aussies stayed in touch and eventually ended up embarking together on a sonic journey. 

“We’ve both played in other bands sort of part time, but we both really wanted to play music full time in a project that we were able to just focus on,” Jungalwalla explains.

Driven by a common cause, to pursue music as a full-time career, they found the perfect balance in each other to turn that dream into a reality. 

“We’ve been doing it for two and a half years and we haven’t killed each other yet! It’s been the most crazy and amazing journey,” Jungalwalla adds chuckling.

The two complement each other in the perfect way, amplifying each other’s strengths. As Jungalwalla explains, “Cat did music university where she did jazz drumming, whereas I am just self taught the whole way through and definitely don’t know too much theory.” 

While Leahy brings a technical understanding of music and theory with her, Jungalwalla has her instincts—developed while growing up in a family of musicians. Together, the two have hit a balance that enables them to create the magic that they do. 

“You don’t have to play by the rules, but you know that somewhere they can help,” Jungalwalla adds. 

Leahy and Jungalwalla are incredibly passionate women and they’re on a mission to leave their mark on their audience with their music. If a night of peppy tunes, carefree dancing, and groovy outfits sounds like your jam, make sure to check out them out. This Way North is at the Aviary this week. Their show promises great music, including the duo’s newest single “Night Terrors,” along with the screening of a mini documentary, cataloging their journey so far.

Aside from This Way North’s music, the talented duo is also passionate about advocating for diversity in the music industry. Recognizing a gap with gender and opportunity, they initiated the Sass the Patriarchy series, facilitating a space for “discussion that focuses on strategies to improve diversity in the music industry. We’re just trying to do our little part as a cog in the wheel of trying to get better with gender equality,” Jungalwalla says. 

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