Rolling Stone Australia


Future Is Now: Hazel English


Future Is Now: Hazel English

For our regular Future Is Now column we profile the hottest artists who are climbing the charts, breaking the Internet or just dominating our office stereos.

SOUNDS LIKE: Mellow folk-pop that cools like a sea breeze on a warm summer's evening

FOR FANS OF: Highasakite, Waxahatchee, Whitney

WHY YOU SHOULD PAY ATTENTION: Hazel English's debut EP, Never Going Home, is a record of subtle tensions – the groove sways and bounces, melodies rise and fall and lyrics melt from confident statements into ambiguous turns of phrase. Although polished with a digital finesse, the record has an analogue feel, one that nods to the bands that shaped English's musical upbringing. From listening to B.B. King in the car with her dad, to Fleetwood Mac playing in her parents' North Sydney home, to learning covers of the Cranberries and the Smiths on guitar, English brings elements of each artist into her work: "Albums and bands that are really timeless, they're probably the ones that have the most influence."

Inspired by her move from Melbourne to Oakland, California – minutes from the San Francisco Bay Area – Never Going Home is an EP that moves forward, though it dwells in self-conscious idiosyncrasies. While her voice floats over buzzy guitars and spacey synths, English's lyrics zone in on intimate and introspective moments – often lifted straight from her diary. Most songs are threaded together by notions of control. "Figuring out when's good to let go, and also figuring out when you should take a stand and when you should take more ownership – that's a theme I keep coming back to."

SHE SAYS: "I guess I felt like I'd finally got to a point where I was proud of the music I was making and I wanted to share that with people. If it's gonna be bearing my name I want it to be something that's true to me, a true reflection of who I am. For me that's really important because honesty is everything to me and I want people to feel like I'm giving them something real. I don't want to be disingenuous."

HEAR FOR YOURSELF: "Control" is thoughtful and upbeat, a track that tackles some of the album's more poignant themes.


Topics: Future Is Now   Hazel English


Get updates on all the good stuff! Sign up to our Weekly Newsletter.