Abbe May says we should listen to Hayley Couper. Abbe May is right! Meet the dreamy pop rocker from Tasmania
Go digging for music by Hayley Couper and you will come up with just two songs. Apparently there is an EP floating around, but I couldn't find it. Whatever, these two songs are incredible. On repeat. The guitars, the drum mix, the voice, the soul and the pure gritty grain is reminiscent of Fleetwood Mac, PJ Harvey and Florence Welch. Heartbeats was released in 2012 on triple j's Unearthed and received rave reviews. It's been a long time between drinks and her latest release Caught Up came out in December last year. And it is a truly great track. More music is coming soon, thankfully, and the pop-rocker has just released a music video for Caught Up. Hayley has been around for a while, winning a spot on the Falls Festival bill thanks to triple j Unearthed, and playing more festivals and gigs, featuring around the traps, here and there. Actually, go digging a little deeper and she appears in quite a few YouTube videos, on stage at several live performances, rocking out with that incredible voice and daring to cover Fleetwood Mac's Dreams - successfully, no less. But don't be fooled. She is just getting started. Australian artist Abbe May said, "Hayley Couper is one of Australia's great hidden treasures. Her music is both immediate and refined. She's a classic artist who will no doubt be celebrated in time. Her voice is velvety, dark and strong. Her music is intensely melodic, rhythmic and perfectly partners and uplifts the romantic vulnerability revealed in her song themes. She's the real deal." Hayley took some time to chat to Music Love about her plans for 2017, life in Tasmania and how Fleetwood Mac is her religion.
What does music mean to you?
Pretty much everything, really. I’m always thinking about music. I love how entwined it is in our memories. Like, there is always a song that takes you back to a time or place. One of my earliest memories is me belting out Sinéad O'Connor's Nothing Compares To You in the car, when I was like three or something. I still love that song. It’s my karaoke go-to.
There are only two singles that you've released that I can find (Heartbeats and Caught Up). Both cracking tracks. When can we hear more?
Oh thanks! Well, I have some more music coming out really soon and an album coming out this year.
Your voice is incredible. How do you look after it?
Haha. Thank you! Um, well I drink a lot of water and try and stay hydrated. But then sometimes I do the complete opposite and drink a lot of whisky, which is fun but apparently not the best for your voice. I’ve never really had vocal lessons, but I try and find a quiet place before a show and do my own weird little warm ups.
Who are your favourite Australian women in music?
For sure, there are so many inspiring woman making amazing music right now. At the moment I’m really psyched for artists like Tash Sultana. She’s ruling the world, just being herself and making this beautifully raw and unrefined music. I also recently saw Melbourne band Cable Ties for the first time. They are incredible!
Life in Hobart – best bits?
I love the energy. Dark Mofo and festivals like that are so much fun, Hobart really comes to life. But I also love being able to slow down when I’m there and and enjoy nature. My Dad has a sustainable farm on the coast and I live there when I’m home, so I feel really lucky to be able to switch off from the chaos and enjoy the simple things.
Life in Melbourne – best bits?
There is always something to see or do. So many gigs! Maybe sometimes too much - I have FOMO on a weekly basis.
Favourite place in Australia?
The South and East Coast of Tasmania. I also have a special place in my heart for the Byron Hinterland.
Favourite café in Australia?
Tough call, but Dimitri's Feast in Richmond is my regular go to.
Favourite non-music artist in Australia?
Darren Wardle, his paintings are out of this world.
What is the plan for 2017?
I’m just about to go to Eastern Europe to spend some time writing and exploring. And after that I’m going back into the studio to finish off recording my debut album.
You cover Fleetwood Mac like a boss. That is a comment.
Fleetwood Mac is my religion.