Based out of Eora/Sydney, Annie Hamilton appeared back in 2020 with her self-titled debut EP, announcing herself to the world, just as the planet closed it doors. Two years on, Annie has been doing anything but standing still, as showcased on her stasis breaking debut album, the future is here but it feels kinda like the past. Created both entirely alone and in collaboration with with co-producers Pete Covington and Jake Webb, Annie has described the album as being, “about the passing of time”, but it’s also about how time sometime stands still, the middle ground where, “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”.
the future is here but it feels kinda like the past opens with the closest thing it has to a title track, Providence Portal. The tracks seems to exist in a similar world to the recent Squirrel Flower album Planet (i), a sort of nightmarish near future, where the sun sits heavy in the sky as the Earth slowly burns, and among it all sets a human longing for a connection, or perhaps just some closure, “I’m on some blackened burnt-out no-phone-signal gravel road, I know that nothing lasts, I know I drive too fast, I know the future’s here but it feels kinda like the past”. It’s an instantly intriguing scene setter for the album that follows, a record of hazy push-and-pull, spanning genres and thoughts, and weaving it through it all is the feeling of time passing, a ticking meandering river leading from the past to the future, whether we like it or not. Take the recent single Exist, it sounds euphoric and anthemic, like the middle ground of Death In Vegas and The Go Team, yet in that musical high is a lyrical low, “you’re waiting, patient, on the train as it derails, you’re crying quietly on my couch”. That sense of dressing one thing up as another is present throughout the album, a record of wolves in sheep’s clothing and sheep trying to howl at the moon. Take the enigmatically titled, All The Doors Inside My Home Are Slamming Into One Another, it’s almost gentle, until you dig into the complete emotional tumult of the lyrics, “put down your phone, it’s killing me, you never really look at me. I pick a fight to kill the time, am I enough? I don’t wanna lose the rush”. As the record closes on the burling synths of Whirlwind, it still seems to be lost in a state of flux, there’s a sense of coming back to something, yet still laced with the sense of comforting imperfection, “I can’t wait to see you this time, on my way, you know I’ll cave when I see your face”. Living up to its title, the future is here but it feels kinda like the past is a record not of clarity but of doubt, a record for everyone stumbling through life, doing their best and celebrating every fleeting moment of clarity that comes their way.
FTR: For those who don’t know who is Annie Hamilton?
Hello! I’m a musician and designer from Australia. I’m about to release my debut album, the future is here but it feels kinda like the past, which I’ve spent the last two years working on. I also have my own clothing label – I make a lot of my own clothes for my music videos and shows as well as a small collection of silk shirts and pants printed with my illustrations.
FTR: What can you remember about your first show?
My first show was an open-mic-night in a pub in a tiny town in Iceland called Ísafjörður. I was living there for a couple of months as an artist-in-residence, writing music and designing a clothing collection. I had just left my previous band, Little May, in which I played guitar and sang backing vocals, but I’d never sung lead vocals live before and I was so nervous about anyone hearing my voice. I played three songs to an audience of approximately ten people and got a free beer. It was a thrill!
FTR: Why do you make music? Why not another art form?
I make music because I have to… like, I have a very deep pull to do it from somewhere inside. I can’t not do it. If no one was listening I would still be doing it for myself. I write as a way of documenting, processing and navigating my life. Playing music has always been hugely comforting to me – there is nothing quite like the feeling of just sitting alone with my guitar or piano for a few hours when no one can hear me and I can just sing and play. I find it extremely fulfilling. Writing music is also a way for me to figure out what I’m feeling – a lot of the time there are things I don’t feel like I can clearly articulate with just words but I can convey them through music. The chords can tell a story that words can’t. I make other art too – I do a lot of illustration, photography and graphic design and love to sew and design the clothes for my fashion label, but music feels like the most pure art form to me, and also the most elusive and mysterious.
FTR: What can people expect from the Annie Hamilton live show?
I’ve been recently working on adding a bunch of tracks from my album into my live set, as well as a few favourites from my EP from 2020. For the upcoming album tour I’m going to be playing the album in full along with my incredible band. I love treating the live set as a different beast to the recordings, so I rearrange the songs a bit depending on the setting. For me, the goal is not for it to sound exactly the same as the record, but for the live show to be an experience for the listener – so I try to arrange the songs in ways that will allow me to connect with the audience as much as possible, like playing some parts of songs solo before the band comes in. I want it to feel intimate and massive at the same time. I love playing live and I am so so excited about all the shows I have coming up.
FTR: What’s next for you?
I’m about to play a bunch of shows around Australia to celebrate the release of my album, and then will be heading over to the UK to play some shows! I have a headline show at The Social in London on July 31, and am planning a co-headline tour with my mates CLEWS in August (watch this space!) plus a bunch of other shows around the UK and Europe. I’ve also been writing continuously over the next few months and am excited to keep working on new music once this record is out 🙂
They Listen To…
Clews – Lean Across
Mallrat – Teeth
Methyl Ethel + Stella Donnelly – Proof
RVG – I Used To Love You
Genesis Owusu – The Other Black Dog