Annie Hamilton announces debut album & shares new single ‘Night Off’

by the partae



Photo credit: Jordan Kirk (XingerXanger)

“Deft indie pop with a crackle of electricity in its veins, ‘Electric Night’ is a pointed, immediate, immaculate finessed return from a talent to watch.” 
Clash Magazine (Track of the Day)

“Annie Hamilton’s new single ‘Electric Night’ is a giddy rush. The Australian singer-songwriter marshals shoegaze textures, thrumming guitars and delirious lyrical repetition to great effect on this song, which should sound like a downright revelation live in concert.” 

“… [A]nnie’s music is seriously underrated. this has it all.” 
Declan Byrne, triple j

“She finds the extraordinary in everyday life, and creates beautiful, emotionally-rich indie tunes to explore this wonder… Hamilton has a knack for making music that is at once hugely personal and completely universal”
Purple Sneakers

“[E]verything Annie Hamilton has done since feels like a move you’d expect from someone amongst the future of Australian pop”

Adored Eora/Sydney-based musician, visual artist and designer Annie Hamilton today announces her long-awaited debut album, the future is here but it feels kinda like the past, out May 20 on [PIAS] Australia, also sharing latest single ‘Night Off’. Alongside the announcement, she also releases a limited-edition capsule collection of gender-neutral clothing through her eponymous fashion label, available now through her website.

For an album comprised of intense moments of feeling distilled into song, ‘Night Off’ arrives as one of its most effervescent and light-hearted: a sweeping, lovelorn ode to the all-consuming crush, whose shimmering synths and tremolo’d guitars combine with a dynamic, slightly grainy rhythm section to lift you up and carry you away on the waves of its infatuated tempest.

Nothing is the way that it’s meant to be, the world is ending, but it doesn’t matter because it’s your night off and you’re texting your crush. I wanted this song to capture the energy of sparks flying, the giddiness, the butterflies – full of imperfections but more alive than ever,” Hamilton shares. “This song arrived thick and fast one night last year in between lockdowns – I wrote and recorded the whole thing in the space of a few hours. Usually I edit lyrics, rearrange and re-record parts over and over again, but this song had a sense of urgency to it that I didn’t want to touch, so I left it exactly as it was, apart from the later addition of drums by Luke Davison (The Preatures) recorded remotely from his home studio during lockdown.

The third single previewed off of Hamilton’s forthcoming debut LP, ‘Night Off’ following the previously shared ‘Electric Night’ and ‘Exist,’ which secured rotation on triple j UnearthedFBi Radio2SERNME Radio and more, as well as garnering both local and international acclaim from the likes of Clash MagazineBBC Radio 1’s Jack SaundersAtwood Magazine and more.

‘Night Off’ is accompanied by a hallucinatory, kaleidoscopic video directed and edited by Jordan Kirk (XingerXanger) with cinematography by Robert Agostino.

I had the concept for the video floating around in my head for a long time but hadn’t quite figured out how to execute it. I wanted to construct a swirling frenzied fantasy world within the confines of a one-shot video set on the staircase of my house, to convey the feeling of hovering somewhere in the space between reality, memory and fantasy,” says Hamilton, “I pitched the idea to Jordan and luckily he was into it – I knew his style would bring the perfect dark, surreal element into the mix to balance out the DIY craftiness of the props. I made hundreds of cardboard cutouts of bats, raindrops, lightning bolts, moths, stars and moons and enlisted a bunch of friends to be puppeteers – the shoot was chaotic and hilarious and perfectly matches the woozy rawness, imperfection and spontaneity of the song.

Video director Jordan Kirk adds: “I love music videos with a strong and simple theme, and I was drawn to Annie’s initial concept due to this. I believe that working within limits helps creativity, and knew that we would be able to stick to her idea, while heightening it with the right lighting, shooting techniques and editing to achieve the crackling darkness and urgency that is present in the track.

Fans in NSW have the opportunity to hear Annie Hamilton perform material from her debut LP live at her upcoming Great Southern Nights headline show on Friday, March 25 at The Vanguard in Newtown, supported by Le Pie. More info can be found and tickets can be purchased here. Today, Hamilton also announces a headline shows at London’s The Social, taking place on Sunday, July 31.

March 25, 2022 | The Vanguard, Sydney
July 31, 2022 | The Social, London

Obsessed with memory, dream worlds, fantasies and parallel realities, the future is here but it feels kinda like the past is a transportive, mystical journey that traces the contours of a balmy, high summer night, from the muggy, red-dirt afternoons that give way to electric blue twilights, through the navy-black nights sporadically, breath-takingly lit up by the whip of treacherous forked lightning, dissolving into warm, fuzzy mornings that sit perched on the window-sill of reality, another day. Sonically and thematically, the future is here but it feels kinda like the past lives in these listless hours of liminal consciousness, a self-contained, through-the-looking-glass universe where time becomes elastic, memories blur imperceptibly into one another and seeds of deep emotional truth come to you in surreal, warped imagery.

Synthetic yet raw, polished yet organic, digital yet gritty, Annie Hamilton’s debut studio full-length hangs suspended in time, cast between a past that is irrecoverable and a future that is seemingly never arriving. Maybe this promised future will never arrive, but, then again, maybe we don’t want it to anyway – maybe we want something else. Maybe, as so many did throughout the pandemic, we would rather turn backwards towards nostalgia, elsewhere towards escapism.

Inspired by this pivot towards interiority and comfort, galvanised by the opportunity to start afresh, Hamilton decided to scrap her entire backlog at the beginning of the pandemic: demos, half-written songs, half-recorded works-in-progress all abandoned, starting over once more with a completely blank canvas and a committed willingness to get lost in a new world of her own creation. With the time and space to approach writing, recording and co-producing as a full-time occupation, and, assuming that the pandemic would not last as it eventually would, she felt it important to capture that moment in time before it flickered out ephemerally. Instead, the future is here but it feels kinda like the past hits upon something broader and more universal.

It’s about the passing of time,” explains Hamilton, “how sometimes it flies by and sometimes it drags on forever and we’re always looking ahead wanting something more or wallowing in nostalgia, stuck in a past that probably wasn’t as good at the time as we remember it… the sense that the grass is always greener. The sense that there is never enough time to do everything that we want to do, or the feeling that we should have done more with the time that has already passed.

Working on her own, in collaboration with co-producers Pete Covington and Jake Webb (Methyl Ethel), and featuring contributions from Jenny McCullagh and Rosie Fitzgerald (I Know Leopard), Matt Mason (DMA’s) and Luke Davison (The Preatures), the future is here but it feels kinda like the past collects little moments of emotionality, snapshots now perfectly preserved in time forever. From the record’s opening run of the warping, grandiose ‘Providence Portal,’ through the anthemic, uplifting-yet-existential ‘Exist’ and onto the giddy, unbound ‘Electric Night,’ Hamilton’s ethereal vocal delivery enchants entirely with one distinct message: “come through the portal with me”.

For any soul willing to undertake that journey, the future is here but it feels kinda like the past delves into heady fantasies and daydreams that feel viscerally yet supernaturally real in numbers like ‘Night Off’ and the field-recording-rich ineffable ‘Interlude (A Dream)’, glitching constantly, lurching its listener past flickers of far-off, colliding worlds (‘Bad Trip’) and other lives (as in the lush ‘Again’ and widescreen, dramatic number ‘Pieces of You’), before sweeping you up into the uncertain, looming stratosphere with the fuzzed-out ‘Labyrinth‘ – and into the mercy of ‘All The Doors Inside My Home Are Slamming Into One Other’, which gently lays you down in the first sunbeams of day to rest in time for flighty closer ‘Whirlwind’, as the cycle begins again.

Rejecting straight-forward narrative structure in favour of pinning down hyper-specific yet universally empathetic moments, the future is here but it feels kinda like the past is a stylised-yet-grainy collage of snapshots that span a mammoth range of emotion, sound and genre, but are tied together as documentation of little human moments, full of contradiction and duality, reality as metaphor and metaphor as reality, stumbling through life and trying to make some kind of beautiful, fleeting sense of it.

the future is here but it feels kinda like the past by Annie Hamilton
is out May 20 on [PIAS] Australia

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