unveiling lisa mitchell's new cool
Riding around in cars with boys and photographing the dreamy musician in a whole new light.
Photography Alexis Aquino
It's hard to believe that ten years ago Lisa Mitchell was a baby-faced sixteen-year old gracing our television sets as a contestant on Australian Idol. She claims that a highlight of the time was having an excuse to skip some of her Year 10 classes, but even then she stood out as a unique presence with a heavenly voice and talent for song writing. Over the decade since, she's explored her range and honed her craft with a couple of folk-inflected albums - Wonder in 2009 and Bless This Mess in 2012 - and is now back after a short break with the first single off her soon to be released record, Warriors.
On her new song The Boys, she's ditched much of the guitar and piano that's become something of a signature, replacing it with a kind of mesmerising pop sound that would make Lana Del Rey proud. With a dreamy music video directed by Luci Schroder and a tour with American indie band Grouplove on the horizon, we caught up with Lisa to shoot some exclusive pictures and discuss exploring new territory.
Hi Lisa, where are you right now?
Hunched over my iPhone at my parent's kitchen bench in Melbourne.
You're about to release your new album, can you tell us a bit about it and your creative process.
Yes! I'm about to release my new album, in Australia this year and in the US and Europe next year. I never really set out to make the album about something in particular, as I like to just let what wants to come out, come out. But I noticed that a lot of the songs are based on my childhood, where I grew up, in Australia, in Albury. It's a bit of an exploration of why I am the way I am, I think.
The Boys is musically a bit of a departure from what you're known for. Is this reflective of all the tracks on the new album.
The new album is a bit more pop and electronic than Bless This Mess. We've used lots of analogue synths and electronic drums so it's been fun exploring new territory. It's always fun to push it into places you haven't been before.
I'm sure your music resonates with people because it is so honest and personal.
My music is very personal. I don't really sit down at a desk everyday to write. Every song is inspired by something that struck me enough. I guess I'm an opportunistic writer.
You've been making music for most of your life. What do you think you'd be doing if not music?
Probably finding a way to be making music. ; )
I have to ask, do you love pink?
I hate pink. Haha. Yeah, I'm a bit obsessed with pinks and reds at the moment. Maybe it warms my icy heart.
Your Instagram is a very sweet and beautifully curated trip through a pastel dream. What makes things inspiring to you?
Thanks! I like things that aren't scared to be a little warmer or darker or stranger or awkward than you usually see. I like things that look how I feel...Or how I'd like to feel.
Who are the artists you love?
My favourite voices at the moment are Antony and the Johnsons, Swati Natekar and Buoy. I'm loving Haley Bonar too. Visually I adore Del Kathryn Barton's paintings and Tamara Dean's photographs.
Finally, what is the last thing you learnt.
That being kind is sometimes better than being genuine. Is that controversial?
Photography Alexis Aquino
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