Since arriving on the scene in 2015, young alt-folk artist Hannah Cameron has been writing songs that softly creep under your skin.
With an album and EP already under her belt, tomorrow (8 June) Hannah releases her newest record, 'I Lay Where You Lie'.
Hannah has shared with scenestr her thoughts about each of the songs that feature on the eight-track release as well as gifting an exclusive stream of 'I Lay Where You Lie' a day early.
"I think that this album ended up being kind of an exercise in empathy," Hannah says.
"The songs are about relationships, friendships, honesty, trust, acceptance and forgiveness and the grey zone in which all of these things exist."
1. No Pen Of MineI wrote the lyrics to this song on a train when I was travelling a few years ago. It’s about accepting that which is outside of your control and allowing that acceptance to be a source of strength and solace rather than an admission of defeat.
We invited Kieran Hensey into the studio to record some sax and asked him to improvise a few lines over the bridge with a view to choosing the best take.
As a bit of a joke/ experiment, James and I decided to play back all of the takes at once and the result totally floored us. The Kieran Hensey Sax Orchestra was born and it gets a few mentions throughout the album.
2. The Dark Is Kinder On The Eyes / 3. What’s It For'The Dark Is Kinder On The Eyes' and 'What’s It For' were written as kind of a suite and thematically they centre around the different ways that we perceive and present relationships.
I think there’s this interesting phenomena whereby relationships that exist in a more private realm (aka not online) are often perceived, if only subconsciously, as less valid or serious than those that are made more public.
On the other hand, it’s also easy to forget that we are all curating the picture of our lives that we want to present and that it’s rare for us to put the bad out with the good. I wanted to try to articulate the pitfalls of this double-edged sword.
These two tracks feature James Gilligan on fiddle, bass and electric guitars, Leigh Fisher on drums/ percussion and Kieran once again on tenor sax. An absolute dream team of a band.
4. Moth To FlameThe age old dilemma of being drawn to that which is bad for you. We had booked out two days to track vocals at SoundPark Studio and this magical and very unexpected thing happened where we got the whole album out in one evening.
So the next day we called up our good friend Louis King who came in and played some beautiful guitar on this track.
5. Punching WallsProbably the heaviest track on the album (both sonically and lyrically). It’s a song about bad relationships and losing yourself to another person.
I asked Kieran (who usually makes the tenor saxophone sound like an angelic flute) to be 'ugly' and 'abrasive' in his playing. I wanted it to feel guttural and gritty and I think he nailed it.
6. Where I’d Rather LieThat moment of feeling like you love someone so much that you could let them go. A grandiose and kind of ridiculous notion in reality, but beautiful in theory. This track is particularly special to me because it features my best friend Clio Renner on piano.
7. Just Leave Me Here'Just Leave Me Here' is about feelings of hopelessness, but it was written as a song of comfort. I realised that sometimes people don’t want to be told that things are okay, they want to know that someone is listening and that they are understood.
8. What RemainsA song about forgiveness. It was written during a time when I was hurt pretty brutally by a close friend. I had this moment of realising that I could choose how I wanted to respond and that it’s easier to love and forgive than it is to hold on to hurt.
This was the last track to be completed and it was taking us a really long time to figure out what it needed. I said (kind of as a joke because it felt like we had tried everything) “let’s just put some bassoon on there and be done with it”.
Next minute we were calling up our mate Johnny Bassoon and he was laying down some sweet, sweet horn lines. It started out as a Joni Mitchell-inspired steel string strummer and somehow ended up here, which makes me smile every time I hear it.
'I Lay Where You Lie' is released 8 June.
13, 15 Jul - Bello Winter Music Festival (Bellingen)
Hannah Cameron Tour Dates
Thu 9 Aug - Northcote Social Club (Melbourne)
Fri 10 Aug - Junk Bar (Brisbane)
Sat 18 Aug - The Bridge Hotel (Castlemaine)
Sat 25 Aug - Golden Age Cinema and Bar (Sydney)