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Song You Need to Know: KRUNJ, ‘What’s Next?’

The debut single from Brisbane five-piece KRUNJ, the newly-released track features visuals from acclaimed artist Madeline Holt.

Rachael Baskerville

There’s something in the water up North—exemplified by the interstellar psych of Brisbane five-piece KRUNJ.

Their debut single “What’s Next?” is the first taste in of a string of releases that showcase the band’s genre-hopping breadth. Set against a backdrop of jazz-fusion guitar and heaving DnB inspired beats, the electric track is anchored by frontwoman Kimberley Hanson’s soulful vocal performance.

Born from the backdrop of Brisbane’s underground jazz scene, KRUNJ comprises local heavyweights Kimberley Hanson (vocals, synth), Daniel Mahler (guitar, production), Oliver Gray (bass), Benjamin van Jole (keys, synth), and Lachlan Giddings (drums).

Meeting at a local jazz university, the group formed with a desire to fuse their improvisational training with the acid-laced sounds of psychedelia and heavy-grooving neo-soul. The result? A slick, shapeshifting single in the form of “What’s Next”. A collaborative affair, the newly track features design from acclaimed visual artist Madeline Holt. 

As Hanson says, “What’s Next?” was inspired by the mass hibernation brought on by a global pandemic. Time’s arrow, though seemingly suspended, can only march forwards.

“We wrote this track during the first-ever lockdown when everyone was very perplexed by what was happening to the state of the world as we knew it,” says Hanson. “I was scared. So was everyone. The uncertainty was all around, anxiety was going viral.”

Lyrically the track is far-reaching. In her quest to unpack ‘what’s next’ for society, Hanson leaves no stone unturned—spanning themes from climate change and rising sea levels to policy failure and governmental inaction in the face of catastrophe. Yet, while the track undoubtedly explores personal and global anxieties—it ultimately offers hope for what’s still to come. As the tune reaches its peak, Hanson arrives at a lyrical epiphany. The great unknown, no matter its outcome, is something to be faced head-on. 

“It is a song of hope,” says Hanson. “As the world developed, this song developed. Hope allows for possibility to bloom. Fear only squashes possibility. Right now, I hold hope that things will fall back on their feet. Hope that I can see my family and my friends again. Hope that I can find my way in the world again. Hope that I will still have work and gigs and a prosperous life again. Hope that more good times will come.”

With Australia’s borders on the precipice of opening once more and capital cities leaving lockdown after what feels like an age, hope is finally giving way to a new reality of togetherness. When it does, it will be music that once again reunites the masses.

“The world stopped but people still listened,” suggests Hanson. “Why does that happen? Connection. People have been able to stay connected through music during the pandemic. It will only bring us closer when we’re beyond it.”

KRUNJ’s “What’s Next?” is released Friday, October 22nd.

KRUNJ – “What’s Next?” Single Launch

Friday, October 29th
Can You Keep A Secret, Brisbane, QLD (18+)
Tickets: Eventbrite