On her debut album, the future is here but it feels kinda like the past, Eora/Sydney-based musician, visual artist and designer, Annie Hamilton, taps into a flowing undercurrent of universal inner turmoil, and faces up to the race we all run against the passing of time. Smothered in swashes of shoegaze and electronica, it is a bold, anthemic and heart shaking record – worthy of inclusion in any end of year list. We caught up with Hamilton to hear about the records she is loving at the moment.
Clews – Lean Across
I love CLEWS and I love this song. I love the lyrical ambiguity and the way Lily and Grace’s harmonies just melt into each other. It’s the perfect balance of 90s gritty guitars and beautiful shiny melodies. Lily and Grace and I met through mutual friends when we joined a very sporadic run club (now mostly walk club) but I was a fan-girl long before that and had also binged their entire podcast during lockdown. We played a show together in January – their live show is insanely good – they have the musical and stage chemistry that you can literally only get from being sisters who have obviously been singing together since they were born. We’re planning a tour together in the UK in August so I can finally fulfill my dream of becoming the third CLEWS sister…. watch this space for details!
Samia – Pool
I have listened to this song so many times that now the intro loop gives me instant warm fuzzy feelings, it’s like hypnosis. I’m a bit late to the Samia party – this album (The Baby) was released in 2020, but I only discovered it a few months ago – but the whole album is magic. This song in particular hits me straight in the heart though – it feels bittersweet, nostalgic, anxious for the future but fully immersed in the beautiful fleeting present, all at the same time. This is the opening track on the album – I always love the opening track – it sets the scene so perfectly and really draws you in. It feels like floating around in a swimming pool at midnight, flickering lights, glowing water, new love, questioning the little things and the big things.
Ethel Cain – A House In Nebraska
Ethel Cain’s debut album, Preacher’s Daughter, was released a week before mine so our albums are almost twins. I listened to this album on repeat the other day on a long rainy drive. It is dark and haunting and beautiful. The vocal production is amazing – it feels simultaneously huge and overwhelming but it retains this vulnerability that makes the heartbreak feel all too real. This whole album feels like wandering in slow motion through a corn field outside a small town in rural USA in a thunderstorm trying to find your long-lost soulmate, and I am so here for it.
Mallrat – I’m Not My Body, It’s Mine
Mallrat also just released her debut album, Butterfly Blue, and it’s an absolute indie pop masterpiece. The whole album is beautiful but I love this song in particular. It feels like a mantra or lullaby that eventually takes off and floats away in a flock of butterflies. I love Grace’s vocal delivery on this album – there’s a conversational subtlety to the way she sings that makes you feel like she’s your best friend singing to you down the phone line. This song definitely has that quality – it is intimate and cathartic and radiates calm confidence. I’ve known Grace for a few years – I think we first met when she sang some songs with E^ST on tour with my old band, Little May, and it has been so amazing and inspiring watching her career take off over the last few years. She is such an angel and has worked so hard for a long time and this album is the pay-off.
RVG – I Used To Love You
To me, this is a perfect song. There’s a simplicity to it that I wish I could capture in my own songs – ‘I used to love you, but now I don’t, and I don’t know why’ – it is such an effortlessly conversational statement but it hits so hard. It’s a masterclass in less-is-more, honest lyricism. This is one of those songs that I wish I had written. The first time I heard it I just cried. It still makes me cry. It’s about acceptance and letting things be, when so many break-up songs are desperately searching for ways to fix it or ruminating over what went wrong. This song is a reminder that sometimes there’s no use getting caught up in the details – ‘we’re just not the same anymore’ – it’s as simple as that.
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