Music to our ears

Andrew Wortes (top right) and his band Tempus Sun, who have just won a $60 000 songwriting competition.
Andrew Wortes (top right) and his band Tempus Sun, who have just won a $60 000 songwriting competition.

Tempus Sun, a band formed by Tumut local Andrew Wortes, have won the 2016 Melbourne Music Bank competition.

The five-piece will take home an incredible $60,000 worth of prizes, including studio time with well-known producer Tom Larkin to create an EP, an east coast tour, a spot at Beyond the Valley music festival, a publicist, a manager, a booking agent, professional album artwork, and two film clips – basically everything an up-and-coming young band could need.

Andrew said he has felt the support of the local community behind him as he pursues his music dreams in Melbourne.

“I’ve had lots of positive feedback from everyone in the community,” he said. “I felt really honoured to have so many people backing me. In a small town like Tumut they really get behind things of importance, and this was really important to me.

“During the competition we had lots of support, people were voting, sending me messages. The Tumut radio station had me on and we had a bit of a chat about the song and that was really good. Mum was helping me out with school, she was telling the kids to vote. Everyone was doing their bit, which was great.”

The members of Tempus Sun all attend the Australian Institute of Music (AIM) where they met in a songwriting class.

Along with Andrew on vocals there is Ed Borromeo, Grant Hardisty, Devin Hartley, and Liam Purser, as well as fellow AIM student Lucy Travis featuring on their competition-winning song, Owls.

Owls is a beautiful track that is well worth a listen, and can be found on Tempus Sun’s Triple J Unearthed page (

Its lyrics are about mental health, using the image of a white owl that is always on the singer’s shoulder as a metaphor for the struggles faced by people with a mental illness.

Andrew said he hoped the song would encourage listeners to be open and understanding about the issues it describes.

“The song is a motivational track for anyone feeling challenged, or feeling down about certain things, and I’ve definitely experienced that in my life,” he said.

“In the community I come from – in Tumut – it’s not something that’s openly talked about. So getting awareness is crucial to make steps towards change, and that’s why we wrote the song.

“We did draw on personal experience, and also had a look around at the wonderful things going on with Suicide Prevention Australia and Listen Up, we took that on board and tried to roll with that and make a song out of it.”

It certainly impressed the judges at the Melbourne Music Bank (the event is sponsored by the Bank of Melbourne), who deemed it the best entry out of hundreds.

Next up, Andrew is planning on working on the songs for the band’s upcoming EP. He said they already have five or so tracks written, but they want to come up with as many songs as possible to ensure their best ideas are the one that end up on the final cut.

“At the moment we’re working on some new songs, figuring out where our direction is using Owls as a starting point,” he said.

“But it’s a bit interesting trying to juggle all of this with uni work!”

He’s also planning on playing a few gigs at the Royal Hotel, where he cut his teeth, when he comes home for Christmas.