Lola Scott Teases 1/4 Life Crisis with a New Video for “I wanted to call her but I’m tragic and she’s overseas (8 months)”

Partying hard, getting evicted, breaking up and starting out on a new solo career – these are the earmarks of a Quarter-life crisis in the making. Sydney-based artist Lola Scott has been through it all, so it makes sense that she’d commemorate her tumultuous twenties by titling her debut EP 1/4 Life Crisis.

The lead single, “The Eviction Song,” is catchy, fresh and resonant. Melodically upbeat and brimming with sarcasm, it is based on a true story: after breaking up with a long-term lover, Scott moved back into a shared house early in 2021, where the non-stop parties and subsequent short-term flings provided ample fodder for lyrics. When the neighbours finally had enough of Scott and her housemates, they were evicted; it was Scott’s sixth move in four years (and she’s had two moves since then). Far from being disheartened, or learning from mistakes, Scott has moved in with several of her housemates from the original party house and their good times continue.

The latest single from the EP, “I wanted to call her but I’m tragic and she’s overseas (8 months),” was written with Scott’s co-producer Oscar Sharah, a founding member of electronic pop project Mel Blue. Scott is debuting the video, directed by Mel Blue band member Lewis Clark, exclusively on Audiofemme.

“It was written from [Sharah’s] perspective about a long-distance relationship, knowing that it’s not going to work but trying anyway,” Scott explains. “The lyrics are us playfully talking about the things that happen in a long-term relationship, like if we make it to payday, I’ll take you to Norway. The video is us driving on opposite sides of the road, like being on opposite sides of the world. We’ve got some cute choreography – we just imagined it while we were writing it. We shot it at 3am, and choreographed it on the spot.”

Before she was a party animal, living the rockstar existence of a 20-something Aussie girl with lots of dreams and little money, Scott was a guitarist. Growing up in the New South Wales highlands, her high school years were spent practicing the instrument, which culminated in a Bachelor’s degree in guitar, working as a session musician immediately post-high school throughout university.

“I was working with 4 or 5 bands, but I quit them all to focus on my solo career,” says Scott. “I’m not sure how I juggled being in that many bands at once, but I guess a lot were collaborations with friends, trying different styles of music. Studying guitar and starting out as a classical guitarist, pop was a dirty word for a while.”

Scott’s love of pop started out thanks to a bargain chair Tasmanian-born fellow musician Asta was selling on Gumtree (like the US version of Craigslist). “She saw that the boot of my car was full of busking equipment. She had just moved to Sydney from Tasmania, so she suggested we should jam and that lead to our collaboration and friendship,” Scott remembers. “Asta asked me to play keyboard. I did piano lessons when I was a lot younger, so I had that background.”

In 2018, immediately out of university, Scott took the creative and professional leap into her own solo career. Her early singles “Crowded Conscience,” “Cyclone Weather,” and “Take Me Back” combined indie rock and synth atmospherics. “Take Me Back” was a radio favourite on youth station Triple J, with its layered harmonies, rock-synth atmosphere and crisp, flawless production. But it was her track “4E Jobless” (or “forever jobless”) that really hit home for many young Australians. In 2020, youth joblessness in Australia rose from 0.9 percent to 15.6 percent, which equates to one in three young people in Australia being unemployed or under-employed. The pandemic has only worsened the situation nationally, especially for creative professionals and youth aspiring to careers in the arts.

“Everyone that studied music ends up in massive debt, but I was brought up in a family that wanted me to finish a degree,” says Scott. “I don’t think [a degree is] something you need to be a great musician. I met most of the people I ended up working with through going out and seeking collaborations.”

Scott wrote “4E Jobless” when she quit her day job. “A lot of musicians work in side hustles before music is your main gig,” she muses. “I would always joke about how it was a retirement plan for me, that music was a hobby. I know different friends would have rules, like if they haven’t made it before 30, they’d get a ‘real job.’ Quitting my day job wasn’t that I was suddenly stable, but I decided to put 100 percent of my time into this because if I don’t do it now, when will I have the choice to put all of my time into it?”

Scott’s approach to sustainability in the music industry is to expand her skill set, and to that end, she’s been working on strengthening her production skills. “I spend a lot of time observing and learning from producers. Joel from Eskimo Joe is a legend and I learned so much from him when we were writing together. I’ve also been hanging out with friends who are producers, and Oscar has taught me a lot. YouTube tutorials are also really great, too.”

Scott produced most of the 1/4 Life Crisis EP together with Sharah. “Often, we’d come into the studio with nothing and work together on guitars. We produced as we recorded, so everything you hear on the EP is the demos; we don’t produce a different track. I always think I can be a minimalist but then I hear all these bendy synths and I love a big chorus that feels like a lot of layers, drone and intense emotion. Whenever I put down one guitar part, we always joke that I can’t help but put down a ‘guitarmony.’ We work by throwing all the ideas in at once, then taking them out one by one.”

Scott’s musical influences take a similar approach – humour, authenticity, and genre-defying musicality define their work. “I’ve been listening to Phoebe Bridgers, I love how she writes lyrics,” Scott enthuses. “I feel like she’s stretching the genre wherever she wants to take it. I also love Caroline Polachek, who does some really interesting things with melody that I haven’t heard in pop music before. The production is insane and I love the concepts that she sings about. One song, called ‘Door,’ is like [sci-fi movie] Inception as a song. I also listen to Rex Orange County and I love everything he does. I grew up listening to The Cranberries’ Dolores O’Riordan – [I was fascinated by] how she flips [the register] from chest-voice to head-voice and I think I mimic that a lot in my music now.”

The lyrical content on 1/4 Life Crisis is intense, and while there’s a comic, sarcastic edge to the delivery, the experience of break-ups, joblessness, eviction and loneliness are sadly relatable.

“I definitely believe that whenever something negative happens, there’s something positive that comes out of it,” Scott says. “I like to write about things [knowing that] it’s painful, but once I’m in a room with friends, talking about it makes it a lot easier to go through those kind of things. If I wrote by myself, it would be a lot sadder. Honestly, when I was writing, I didn’t think about how it would connect. I just wanted to be honest with my own experience.”

Follow Lola Scott on Instagram and Facebook for ongoing updates.

Checking in With Melbourne’s Jezabel-Turned-Solo Rocker Hayley Mary

Photo Credit: Jesse Lizotte

While the world awaited Lana Del Rey’s Chemtrails Over The Country Club, diminutive Australian singer Hayley Mary tantalised us with a cover version of its title track for Australian radio station Triple J’s Like A Version series. In a metallic gold dress-coat by local designer Alice McCall, fishnets, and knee-high black heeled boots, Hayley Mary is every inch the rock star. Her smoky diva voice recalls one of Australia’s most well-known rock frontwomen, Chrissy Amphlett.

“Covers are hard, it has to suit your voice,” says Mary. “Musically, I’m a Lana del Rey fan; I think she’s a great songwriter and artist. But I don’t follow a lot of contemporary music. My favourite band is still ABBA. I wanted to do something contemporary and what that song had, like a lot of Lana’s songs, was enough depth of lyrics to appeal to me. It was a week or two old when we did it, so it was new. Plus, I’m a huge David Lynch fan and I get that vibe from it. It’s timeless, that’s what I like her about her.”

Hayley Mary fronted Sydney-based indie rockers The Jezabels from 2007 to 2017; in their decade as a band, they released three EPs (The Man Is Dead, She’s So Hard, and Dark Storm) followed by studio albums Prisoner in 2011, The Brink in 2014, and Synthia in 2016. Though they’ve been silent since, Mary hinted to NME Australia last year that there’s always potential to revisit the project, saying, “We never really stopped, we just don’t really have anything happening at the moment.”

Considering the band’s reputation as “volatile, provocative and intelligent” (Jenny Valentish for Sydney Morning Herald), their namesake – the infamous biblical Jezebel, who appears in the New Testament Book of Revelation and is described as “an unrepentant prophetess,” “the bad girl of the Bible,” and “the wickedest of women” – makes sense.

But was Jezebel truly a murdering prostitute hellbent on chaos? Not according to Hayley Mary, who explained to AllMusic in 2012 that in fact, she was misunderstood, an example of how women are misrepresented and maligned. “My dad was raised Catholic but he has pagan leanings, a cynicism for the establishment. [He] wanted to call me Jezebel when I was born, but my mum thought it was a bit extreme, so they ended up naming their cat Jezebel,” she explains. Studying “various ‘isms’ – feminism, Marxism, all that stuff” at the University of Sydney, she began to realize “there was a lot of revisionist history of misunderstood people from the past. Jezebel was a whorish figure in the way I’d been brought up, but when you actually read the Bible, she was a Queen who tried to escape. So, when did she become a whore? She became vilified, and it happens a lot throughout history.”

Also at uni, Hayley Mary met Heather Shannon, Sam Lockwood, and Nik Kaloper, with whom she would form her band. “Heather and I started Jezabels as a two-piece, and my cat was dead by that time – we thought Jezebel was a cool name,” explains Mary. “When the guys joined and we started making more rock music, they weren’t sure about The Jezabels, but I convinced them that it was a reclaiming of this misunderstood Biblical figure and they got on board with that.”

Photo Credit: Jesse Lizotte

Mary’s ongoing struggle with depression and Shannon’s ovarian cancer diagnosis forced questions of existence and purpose upon The Jezabels. Those same questions still challenge Mary, now in her mid-30s. She recalls trips taken across Death Valley (which inspired “Pleasure Drive” from The Brink LP), and living and working in London for a year. A nomad at heart, she is in her element when not anchored to one place, though she doesn’t “need to be overseas all the time,” she says. “I like living in different places for six months or so, finding a new world. I’m half-Scottish so I’m drawn to the UK. I found myself coming back and forth, spending a year in Sydney or Melbourne then returning to the UK again.” So, how did she cope with lockdowns 1.0 and 2.0 in her hometown of Melbourne?

“I ended up in Sydney for six months of the lockdown,” says Mary. “I did the first lockdown here, then went up to Sydney to mix some recordings and got stuck there when the second lockdown happened. It was productive in a way that I couldn’t have been in Melbourne. I was lucky to have the stint in Sydney.” She’s played a few acoustic shows regionally in NSW and Victoria, and has enough songs to form a new record, but is hesitant to “drop an album prematurely in a COVID-19 landscape,” she says. “I think I’ll put it out in a different sort of way.”

Mary’s solo career has seen her pick up a guitar and embrace being an independent solo artist, releasing her debut EP The Piss, The Perfume in January 2020. “I’m still in my love affair with rock, because as old as guitar music is, it’s so exciting to me to pick up a guitar. I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel with this music, but it’s based on the old tradition of songwriting. I care a lot about the lyrics and the feeling,” she says. “There’s influences like Americana, but there’s also some punk in there and ’80s diva pop. There’s a fusion of genres and eras, I guess, like on my first EP.”

Mary explains that while she’s not pioneering anything as far as guitar playing and songwriting, it feels like she’s pioneering in her personal life, alongside Johnny Took of DMA’S. The relationship began when she was trying to find her footing as a solo artist, wondering “Who am I without Jezabels?” Mary says the loss of identity after thirteen years in a band is “still difficult,” and her management encouraged collaborations to help her through it. “Johnny was instrumental in helping me find my strength as a songwriter, and we’ve co-written a bunch of songs together,” she says. “He co-wrote my last single, ‘Would You Throw A Diamond?’ He’s been involved in producing and demo-ing. He’s my key collaborator. When someone can bring the best out of you, that feels like a good sign.”

Hayley Mary’s ideal 2021 involves the announcement of more shows, more videos and the prospect of an international tour by the end of the year. Until then, she’ll be writing, and she’s also studying audio engineering and music production at Melbourne Polytechnic. “I’m empowering myself,” says Mary. “I don’t want to be at the mercy of people so much. I want to take more control, be able to tell producers ‘I like it to be this way, for this reason.’”

Follow Hayley Mary on Facebook and Instagram for ongoing updates.

Odette Explores Accountability on Lush, Powerful Sophomore Album Herald

Photo Credit: Giulia McGauran

Georgia Odette Sallybanks – better known simply as Odette – set a high benchmark with her debut album To a Stranger, which peaked at number 13 on the ARIA (Australian Recording Industry Awards) Albums Chart and was nominated for a Best Adult Contemporary Album ARIA in 2018. But her sophomore album Herald, out February 5, doesn’t disappoint; the layered, atmospheric instrumentals, dance-friendly beats and bright, resonant vocals is a formidable combination. “I Miss You I’m Sorry” adopts quirky stop-start rhythms, flourishes of strings, and ultimately feels like a glorious auditory collage of cut ‘n’ paste euphonics. The title track lands a throbbing beat over rattlesnake percussion, harp and handclaps building to a stadium-sized banger. At just 11 tracks, it’s not outstaying its welcome, and every minute is killer, no filler.

Born in Bath, England, Odette moved to Sydney soon after and began songwriting aged eight. Her music is almost diary-like, revealing and articulate by equal measure, and incorporating ballad, spoken word, instrumentals and pop melodies within each song. Back in 2018, Odette admitted to The Sydney Morning Herald that “you can’t just sing a song and all your problems go away.” With its seemingly cathartic nature, Herald plays almost like Odette’s attempt to challenge that sentiment.

The most talented artists can weave their pain and traumatic experiences into their creations, but that doesn’t relieve them of the emotional resonance or the memories and how they’ve become ingrained under the skin. In her early 20s, Odette is still so young that the intensity of adolescence is still a snakeskin she’s barely shuffled out of. The combined impact of troubled relationships, the pressures of a professional creative career, and trying to manage a diagnosed mental health disorder under the stormclouds of pandemic conditions might be too great for some young women to handle. Odette has more than handled them, though. She’s created an album that speaks of hope, resilience and evolution.

To A Stranger was released by record label EMI, which signed Odette at 17. She was 20 when the album came out, featuring collaborations with songwriters Charlie Hugall (Florence + The Machine, Ed Sheeran), Jason Cox (Blur) and Sarah Aarons (Zedd). “Those songs were written over the course of a few years, when I was aged 14 to 18,” recalls Odette. “It was a time capsule of my adolescence. It was me just figuring out what I was experiencing. With the new album, I’m coming to a new awareness.”

Herald sees Odette “taking accountability” for her actions during a recent mental illness which was only diagnosed last year; this period of sickness informs the album. “I had to work out what was me, what’s not me, and I had to work out how to regulate my emotions. There are lines in the album where you can hear that it wasn’t written by a well person,” she tells Audiofemme.

Though Odette is reluctant to speak too much to her own diagnosis and personal experience beyond what she shares in her music, she does impart her opinion around admitting to pain, owning it, and taking the measures to be well. “There’s no choice to be troubled – it’s okay to be pained or mentally ill. It’s not okay to shirk your responsibility to get well,” she says. “Honestly, if you leave it up to fate, I don’t believe in fate. If you believe ‘the universe has got me,’ you can hurt people a lot. We are human beings, all having the same experience, but when your problems hurt you and other people, you have to do something about it. There are people that care and safety nets.”

“Feverbreak,” Odette’s collaboration with Hermitude, appears on Herald and offers a startling glimpse into her state of mind as she reaches out for help. “She’s a body, not herself, not a lover but a service…just a scream amidst the reeds tangled around and around her legs…” she sings. “Can you help me break the fever? Never needed anything more than your real love.” Hermitude, the Australian electro-meets-hip hop duo, have been well established in the local music scene for 20 years, receiving countless ARIA Award nominations and touring widely through the US, UK and Europe, but they encouraged Odette to express herself on the collab. “They said to take the reigns, figure out the structure of the track, and it was a really cool experience, actually,” she remembers.

Hip hop wasn’t a major influence on Odette’s sound though, so the collaboration was a step into a new environment. Rather, Odette’s earliest inspiration for songwriting was 2004 album Sound of White, by Australian artist Missy Higgins. The pared-back, emotionally raw and beautiful work launched Higgins onto the world stage. Both Higgins and Odette are skilled storytellers, unafraid and willing to traverse difficult memories and emotions to find where their scars have begun to heal and what they’ve learnt, gained and developed as a result of grief. Their songs are not miserable in the slightest, but hopeful, nuanced and mature. More recently, Fiona Apple has been Odette’s major inspiration, along with Tori Amos, Joanna Newsome, Björk, Kate Bush, Macy Gray and Conor Oberst, best known for his work in Bright Eyes.

Odette’s own sound has echoes of her influences in its melodic catchiness, the skilled balladry and insightful lyrics. These qualities are all amplified on the single “Amends,” which is about choosing kindness. The song speaks to perseverance in the struggle with mental health and how it affects relationships. Produced and mixed by Damian Taylor, it is enriched with musical arrangements by Kelly Pratt, who has also worked with well-established international artists Beirut, David Byrne and Arcade Fire.

Odette nominates “Mandible” as her favourite track, though. “It’s closer to my headspace now, it’s more relatable to me now,” she says. “There’s hope in the track, it’s not fueled by rage. It’s a yearning for connection, stability and love.”

These are common desires, especially as the uncertainty of pandemic life has meant border closures, the end of live performances and the huge pressure on artists to make a living or seek government support. There’s the added pressure, for Odette, of preparing the people around her to see reflections of their relationships to her in her songs. “I talk to people before I release songs about them,” she says. “They know that it’s not necessarily about them, it’s about me processing my own emotions rather than being about them.”

For those who don’t know Odette personally, their first impression may come from the beautiful, disturbing aesthetic of Herald’s album cover, designed by Melbourne-based artist Eben Ejdne. “I wanted to make sure he captured that sense of morphing into something new. He knew exactly what to do. It was our first time working together,” Odette says. “Everything to do with this project…I really cared about detail. I worked on editing and treatments, I made puppets for the ‘Amends’ video.”

There are tentative plans to tour with Herald; though it’s too soon to lock anything in until borders reopen, Odette played New York, LA, and SXSW back in the good old days of international travel. “Texas was great, it was so good. I played at a few different places, but the best was an indoor show where it was very dark and there was a solid 200, 300 people having a great time,” she recalls. “I would love to go back… I’ve got a keyboardist, a drummer, and ultimately it would be us playing mostly from Herald and a few [songs] from the first record.”

Until touring can commence and life resumes some normalcy, Odette has been applying her creative skills to gardening and working with clay. She jokes, “I’m fickle with my hobbies!”

Follow Odette on Facebook and Instagram for ongoing updates.

Odette Announces Sophomore LP HERALD with Premiere of “Dwell” Video

Credit: Kitty Callaghan

Australian R&B artist Odette has a sound that’s as unique as her background. The 23-year-old, born to a South African mother and a British father who introduced her to punk rock, is simultaneously poppy and experimental, gentle and confrontational, catchy and political.

Odette is gearing up to release her second album, HERALD, the follow-up to 2018’s To a Stranger. The latest single off the album, “Dwell” — written in the studio with Pip Norman, Jantine Heij, and Nat Dunn — is a raw glimpse into the artist’s insecurities and emotional vulnerabilities. “Now I stand by the mirror and my fingers are shaking/lights are flickering darkness/please show me I’m changing,” she sings as her voice itself shakes with emotion before belting, “I’m getting high to hide the lows is what I do when I’m alone.”

“This song started as a wistful love song and ended up being a project that Pip and I took into the studio on our own to mess with,” she says. “It evolved into an absolute self-read, a reflection on my flaws and how I felt lost within them at that time.” She describes it as perhaps her most thoughtfully written song, and the only song she’s put on an album that took more than an afternoon to write.

Staccato instrumentals and pauses between verses spotlight Odette’s voice and give the song a sense of drama. “I wanted each section to be a vignette of different textures I associate with being overwhelmed,” she explains. “The verses are quite reserved, and then the bridge and chorus swell into these chaotic, sharp electronic sounds that remind me of not just the feeling of panic, but the urge associated with wanting to break free.”

The video conveys a sense of shame as Odette hides her face behind various paper cutouts and frantically reaches her hands around as if she’s trying to claw her way out of her body. Other shots show her dancing around outside, “a dance that is intended to express self-directed rage,” she says. “The shots inside are very much about the feeling of splitting, shedding, and becoming something new, which is a beautiful, natural process, but also deeply painful.”

Odette describes her album as “a catharsis and a huge change I went through as a human being.” Its release was planned for summer 2020, but got pushed back to February 5, 2021 – not just due to the usual COVID-related delays, but also to personal issues the singer was dealing with. “I was experiencing a lot during the time of creating this album and personally, I didn’t want to start the campaign before I knew I was strong enough to uphold my convictions,” she explains.

The album includes several slower-paced tracks that utilize melodious orchestral strings, like the folky “Mandible” and the rhythmic “Why Can’t I Let the Sun Set,” which shows off her vocal range. It also shows the technical growth she’s undergone since releasing To a Stranger; she was much more involved in the production and arrangement of HERALD, and she’s used the free time time quarantine has afforded her to further develop her production skills using the software program Logic, so we can likely expect even more experimentation and variety from her future projects.

“Things I was scared to try, I said, ‘Why am I afraid?'” she says. “I pushed myself with production and being involved in the technical nitty-gritty aspects of things. Before, I thought, ‘I don’t know how to produce?’ Now, I think I’m confident enough to produce something basic.”

Odette’s recent single “Feverbreak” (featuring Hermitude) is another example of that evolution. After opening with spoken word poetry describing a relationship in which a woman is treated like an object, Odette breaks into the soulful singing she does so well. “Feverbreak” attracted the attention of both the electronic group Northeast Party House and the DJ/producer Basenji, who created two separate remixes of the song.

Basenji’s sounds like it belongs in a nightclub, with warped echoes of Odette’s voice, a danceable beat, and energetic drops.  Northeast Party House chose to highlight Odette’s spoken lyrics, particularly “two wrongs don’t make a right/two hands stay intertwined,” using a darker production style. “It’s so weird to hear my music in that kind of style,” she says of the remixes.

Odette has also experimented more with genre on her latest releases. “On the first record, I really stuck to this kind of light pop,” she says. “But now, I don’t really know what genre I would even consider my music.”

Thematically, she considers HERALD a documentation of her journey, of “realizing my own flaws and coming to terms with the fact that I’m not really who I thought I was going to be at 22.” It was also written after a breakup and deals with her finding her identity after that relationship.

“A lot of these songs are written out of anger and spite and really ugly emotions. I really feel almost nervous putting [them] out into the world because there’s a lot of negativity in some of these songs,” she admits. “There’s also a lot of positivity and trying to hold myself accountable.”

Follow Odette on Facebook and Instagram for ongoing updates.

Imogen Clark Celebrates Resilience in Video Premiere for EP Title Track “The Making of Me”

Australian singer-songwriter and guitarist Imogen Clark first wrote the song “The Making of Me” about a really tough year that just seemed to entail one hardship after another. She remembers thinking when she wrote it that “if I made it through the year, I’d be a stronger, bolder version of myself.” In the chorus, she belts emotively against piano, “This year will be the making of me.”

Though she was reflecting on personal events from 2019, the lyrics provide an important reminder to a Americans still in the throes of the Coronavirus pandemic – or facing any other type of struggle, COVID-related or not. “I don’t want anyone to feel that level of anxiety, but obviously, a lot of people are [right now], and I hope maybe this song can be a bit of a mantra to those people,” she says. “What I meant this song to be when I wrote it was not a sad anthem about going through a terrible time and wallowing in it. It’s very much about going through a challenging time and letting that challenge form you into a stronger version of yourself.”

Inspired by a breakup, the song was meant to sound raw and stripped back, which Clark accomplished by recording herself in the studio with live piano accompaniment. In the same vein, the video, filmed in at Sydney’s Low 302, shows her playing piano to an empty room. Clark played her last gig there before the virus shut down public establishments, giving the emptiness of the room extra meaning. “It was quite eerie because it was like the apocalypse was about to happen,” she remembers. Clark decided to use the video to help live music venues recover from COVID, providing a link to her website, where people can find information about supporting local venues.

Clark’s other songs are similarly heartfelt, most with a pop sensibility. But on some, like “Collide,” the title track from her 2018 release, you can hear audible country influences – most notably hints of Shania Twain, whom the 25-year-old artist has opened for. She also notes Bruce Springsteen, Taylor Swift, Led Zeppelin, and Joni Mitchell as big inspirations.

On August 21, she’s putting out her next EP, The Making of Me, which includes the title track along with the singles “My Own Worst Enemy” and “Found Me,” plus three currently unreleased songs. She recorded the EP in LA with producer Mike Bloom, who has worked with Rilo Kiley, Julian Casablancas, and Jonathan Rice, and chalks much of the sound up to him. He gave her directions in the studio, having her release emotion to the point that she was almost yelling at times, she remembers.

While she considers this EP poppier than her previous work, her goal was to feel unconfined to any genre; she even branched out into electronic sounds, making use of synths and drum machines. Several guest musicians added to the unique sound, including Pete Thomas, who has drummed for Elvis Costello, and Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers keyboardist Benmont Tench.

“It felt like the first time I was able to make music without worrying about the genre of the music,” she says. “People make it seem like it’s insincere and inauthentic if you’re embracing pop sensibilities, but we made this with no expectation about what genre it would be, and that was a huge leap forward for me and made me feel very confident and liberated, and I think you can hear both emotions in the songs.”

In fact, being yourself and resisting external pressures is a major theme throughout the album. This is perhaps most evident in “Push Me Down,” which was inspired by experiences Clark has had as a woman in the music industry. On the track, she stands up to men who have tried to belittle her and undermine her ideas.

“As a woman, the music industry can be a really testing place,” she says. “It can be as small as somebody making a comment about the way that you dress. Women are always made to feel like we need to show more skin or feel more sexualized in our content. What I’ve always thought of with my music is, if I want to sexualize things, I’ll do that on my own terms. I’m not going to do it because somebody else tells me to. The first and foremost thing in my mind is that I have something to say, and I want that to be at the forefront of people’s minds.”

In the spirit of hope and resilience that “The Making of Me” encompasses, Clark is planning her first live show, which is set to take place September 10 in Sydney. “We’ll be able to launch the EP in a proper live show, which is wonderful,” she says. For those of us still in limbo, the song’s reminders about our potential for growth may be just enough to get us through.

Follow Imogen Clark on Facebook for ongoing updates.

TRACK PREMIERE: The Hamiltons “Take the Hit”


An instant pop classic with an old-fashioned twinge, The Hamiltons’ latest single “Take the Hit” is a timeless piece that’ll have you swooning. It’s a unique genre-mashing track in that it’ll transport you from smack dab in the 60s to the mid-90s over the course of a few lulling notes and jazzy vocals.

Based in London after relocating from Sydney, this sibling duo not only performs their own music, but also produce and write it. And their investment in their music is apparent in “Take the Hit”–it’s dripping with passion and affection, carefully honed to present you with an entrancing final product. With influences in jazz, folk, country, and cajan, it’s no wonder their sound is so eclectic.

LIVE REVIEW: Lolo, The Griswolds, New Politics, Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness @ Terminal 5



Any show at Terminal 5 is always a big one, so when I came to see the four-artist, co-headlined Wilderness Politics tour, I knew I was in for one hell of a party.

First up was LOLO, a young Brooklyn native with a lot of soul. Getting on her knees with passion, it was clear she was having the time of her life, commanding the stage with her ability to belt and hold some strong high notes.

The Griswolds have the look of your favorite early 2000’s pop-punk groups with a nice danceable flavor. They put out happy vibes with their upbeat songs. The energy during the quick set was irresistible — “If You Wanna Stay” was especially fun for dancing along.



Here’s what’s curious about The Griswolds — in spite of their incredibly fun tempos, giving the crowd all kinds of excuses to scream and dance, in songs like “16 Years,” lyrics like “I’m half the man I used to be/Tequila, lust and gambling/Oh, mama, I need rescuing” aren’t exactly the happiest upon closer listen.


In any case, there’s no need for anything flashy to enjoy a Griswolds show — they’re simply a group of charming Aussie guys wowing the crowd by having the time of their lives.


Journeys, the show’s sponsor, is holding a contest to win a pair of shoes hand-decorated by the band themselves.   Enter here!



I was almost caught off guard when David Boyd burst out waving a bright red New Politics flag, displaying their tally mark logo.

Boyd (vocals) and Søren Hansen (guitar) originally hail from Copenhagen, but Boyd called Terminal 5 a hometown show, trying to get the New Yorkers to be the loudest crowd yet. They’ve been living in Williamsburg since ’09, and met current drummer “Long Island Louis” Vecchio here in the city.


Boyd, a breakdancer, made the most of the beats center stage to showcase his skills, even if it doesn’t quite match up with the pop punk sound.


For the crowd favorite “Fall Into these Arms,” Boyd came out to the audience’s hands to dance and surf the crowd right back to the stage, leading into the multitalented Hansen performing a powerful solo on the piano. “Girl Crush” brought the energy back up with Andrew McMahon joining the band on stage.


The former lead singer for Something Corporate and Jack’s Mannequin, Andrew McMahon now performs solo under the moniker of Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness. The set design, consisting of grass platforms for the keyboard and drums, and some turf to top the piano, was a rare display of greenery in the city, though it felt a little more like a suburban backyard, minus the picket fence.


McMahon performed a diverse set of songs from his previous bands and solo work. Fans responded well to songs like Something Corporate’s “I Woke Up In A Car” and “Punk Rock Princess,” evident as everyone seemed to know all the words.  It felt as if you could hear the echo of the audience for the duration of the set.


When I first walked into the venue, I was approached to have my cheek swabbed by volunteers of the Love Hope Strength foundation to register for bone marrow donation.  McMahon took time out of the show to talk about his own experience with cancer, having been diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in 2005.  He announced that this marks ten years of being cancer-free, before performing the Jack’s Mannequin song “Swim” for “anybody who’s going through something.”


There certainly were crazier moments during the show, like McMahon crowd surfing his way down to the bar to get a shot of Jäger. The highlight, however, was the childlike joy that fell across the room during the performance of “Cecilia and the Satellite,” penned for his daughter.  He brought everyone back to elementary school with a giant parachute, making for the perfect encore.


All photos shot by Ysabella Monton for AudioFemme.