After teasing fans with her introspective lyricism and punchy guitar lines on previous singles Call Me, Atlanta, and What The Hell Is Wrong With Me, Melbourne artist Baby Velvet has shared her much-anticipated debut album Please Don’t Be In Love With Someone Else out now via ABC Music. To coincide with the release, Hannah has delivered yet another visually delicious clip for new single Bad With Money, created by Juliet Rowe and photo content provided by Izzie Austin and Ian Laidlaw. Hannah answers a few questions about her debut for Hi Fi Way.
Congratulations on the album, is there more pressure on defining what your sound is for your debut album?
I think if there is pressure it’s only from myself! You only get to make your first solo record once, and I have dreamt of it for so many years getting the sound right was something I worked really hard at. In saying that though I am excited that with each album/piece of work you make you can play with the sounds/explore new ideas.
Did Covid influence the way your worked on the album?
Yes very much so! I had booked in to move to LA in March of 2020, instead I moved into my big sisters bungalow in Melbourne! I had planned to go into the studio with my Producer Kevin Ratterman but then due to Covid we decided to make the album remotely. I bought recording gear, built a sound booth, learnt how to use logic and recorded all my parts myself. Kevin record his parts and we would share files/be on zoom together slowly piecing together each track. It’s an odd way to make an album but also a very incredible learning experience!
Sonically, how would you describe Please Don’t Be In Love With Someone Else?
Kevin’s production brings the shoe gazey, American West Coast, dreamy LA vibes paired with my love of Americana, folk music, harmony singing and indie pop – sonically it sits somewhere blended within those combinations.
Did everything in the studio go to plan?
I think not ever getting to Kevin’s studio was the biggest kink in the plan! Recording remotely was new for both Kevin and I so we had to problem solve every step of the way – but that kind of added to the beauty of it! We were both pushing ourselves to try new things, learn new things. I haven’t even met Kevin in person at this point which is crazy.
When you write do you have your solo work or All Our Exes Live In Texas?
When I write for myself I don’t write with a specific project in mind, generally just writing to get through and idea or feeling or something in my life. I have started writing Baby Velvet Album #2, I’m always adding songs to the Exes pile along with writing co-writes and songs for others.
What did you think when you played the final mix back for the first time?
I cried the first time I heard the songs from Kevin! I was at my sisters house by the beach and sat in the car and listened to them through the speakers – there’s nothing quite like it.
Is it hard to listen to your album like a fan would without thinking what you could tweak or change?
I can’t listen to it without thinking about all the things I would change or cringe at however I do also believe an album just represents that moment in time. In that moment that’s the music I wanted to make, that’s how I sounded/what I wrote/what I thought etc. And the best thing for me is to put it out into the world and work towards thee next piece of art.
Which artists/bands would you consider to be some of the biggest influences in shaping the album?
Jenny O is a huge influence (Kevin produced her album which is how I came to find him), Dr. Dog, Izaak Opatz, Lucy Dacus, Bedouine, Andy Shauf – all things I listened to constantly before making this album.
Are there plans to tour the album?
Yes! In July/August I hit the east coast of Australia with my amazing band – I cannot wait to tour this record, we have worked really hard to recreate the album sound and I love the musicians I play with along with having some of my favourite musicians performing the support bands.
What’s next for Baby Velvet?
The album comes out this month, I’ve made a bunch of lyric videos to put out, I have put together this album done by covers from my friends (each friend has covered a different album track), then Ill go on my Australian Album tour followed by Aussie Festivals. Next year will be making the second record and going overseas!!!
Interview By Rob Lyon