Byron Bay residing UK artist Meg Hitchcock reveals her shimmering, soulful debut single Hello Moon. The release arrives alongside a charmingly chaotic visual, reminiscent of 70s and 80s cult classics such as Beetle Juice and The Rocky Horror Picture Show. A classically trained musician, London-born Meg Hitchcock often finds herself leaning into theatrical elements, describing her artistic expression as “dark, but colourful, quirky, and humourous”, intrigued by the eccentric nature of 80s horror films.
Hitchcock wrote Hello Moon while back living in the UK earlier this year, where she had returned to pursue her career in music. Having stepped away from the alternative lifestyle Byron Bay had afforded her, life in London saw Hitchcock re-entering the world of long city commutes and loneliness. Mel gives Hi Fi Way greater insight in to the single.
How has the build-up to your new single Hello Moon been?
Undeniably pivotal. We’ve been having so much fun creating the track and especially the music video! It’s heavily inspired by 70s and 80s movies such as Beetle Juice and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, so we’ve been spending our time playing dress up and pushing the boundaries of comedy and that old school ‘horror.’
Can you tell us a little bit about the track’s recording process?
The majority of the song was created on Ableton by myself and Marquee Moon, as we ping-ponged ideas back and forth from London to Byron Bay back in January. We then recorded the vocals with Allen Pegg at Old Dog Studios in the hills of Byron as lock-down restrictions eased. The song features production from Eric Coelho (Angus & Julia Stone, Dope Lemon), however, the final mix was complete where we started – on Ableton – but this time altogether in Marquee Moon’s home studio with the added presence of our third musical musketeer Jesse Higgs. This was then sent off to Argentina, South America, where it was Mastered by Patricio Claypole at El Attic Studio who ran it through his 1960’s analogue reel-to-reel tape machine, bringing an added analogue charm and elevating the vocals to a richer level.
Sonically, how would you describe the music of Meg Hitchcock?
The best way I’ve heard the music described is… “it’s as if Madonna and Kevin Parker (Tame Impala) met at a bar during the 80s.” Musically we use a lot of synthesisers and euphoric electric guitar lines, and vocally, I’ve had classical training, it seems that when all of these assets combine something quite sonically interesting is formed.
Who would you consider to be the biggest influence on your music and why?
Personally – my teenage vocal coach, close friend, and extraordinary opera singer – Cecilia Smiga, she was one of a kind and her mentoring gave me the idea that music could be a path to dedicate my life to.
What was it like performing at Party In The Paddock, with only a handful of rehearsals?
Luckily my band, or as I like to call them – my musical family, are extremely talented and we’re very in sync. So with a couple of rehearsals playing into the night during the week leading up to Paddock, we managed to get everything in line so that when it came to our main stage debut we could focus on having fun.
How did you come to find yourself in Byron Bay?
I first settled in Byron – by mistake – back in 2017. I had visited once before the year prior, and there was a moment in time where I and a close friend were at the airport and had to decide… go back to Sydney where we had been living for six months, or go on a whim… to Byron Bay. With no intention or cause, we’d found ourselves in the Bay, and before I knew it I’d found a home-away-from-home. Within this time, I met my – now – musical family and started performing again at small house concerts, as well as experimenting in the studio. London was calling, and I thought it was time to head back and give music a go more seriously. Little did I know what was to come in the near future. I spent six months in the UK and then the opportunity to perform at Party in the Paddock Festival (Tasmania) arose. Just like that – I was back on Aussie soil. Our set was magical and funky – it reconfirmed that this was the path I wanted to lead. Afterwards, I popped up to Byron to visit for a week, before my friends drove me to Brisbane Airport to return to the UK. As we drew close I broke down in tears, my gut and intuition were screaming at me to not get on the plane. It was the strangest, most illogical decision I’ve ever made… we turned around! Two weeks later the world was in lockdown, and I was fortunate enough to be close to my musical family and as soon as restrictions eased we were straight in the studio recording ‘Hello Moon.’ It seems that I was catapulted back onto the path I was always meant to be on.
What are some of your favourite tracks at the moment?
New music wise I am really loving Cub Sports new album LIKE NIRVANA, such a strong collection of tracks! Otherwise, I’m into a few vibes at the moment… The first being quite moody and includes tracks such as: The Smiths – How Soon Is Now?; The Cure – A Forest; Don’t Change – INXS. The second is more of an ode to my teenage years and includes Fluorescent Adolescent – Arctic Monkeys; Learn to Fly – Foo Fighters; Great DJ – The Ting Tings. The last vibe is more sultry and includes Lovefool – The Cardigans; Crazy for You – Madonna; Love to Love You Baby – Donna Summers.
Interview By Rob Lyon