If you’re in the mood to experience some of the finest Aussie indie-rock on offer, then it’s high time you familiarised yourself with the musical majesty of Harper Bloom.
For most fans of Aussie music, the name Harper Bloom might not be one you’re across just yet. However, it’s one name that will be hard to ignore before too long.
With a style that evokes memories of Courtney Barnett, Alex The Astronaut, and other fellow musical legends, Bloom’s compositional and songwriting skills are unmatchable. With her recently-released ‘Mary’ serving as her debut single and the first taste of her forthcoming EP, fans are already getting behind this stunning Melbourne artist.
Ahead of the release of her EP, we had a chat with Harper Bloom to learn more about her, getting an insight into her tracks, her influences, and what’s coming up next.
Check out ‘Mary’ by Harper Bloom:
How did your artist name come about?
I decided to take an artist name because my real name, Hayley De Pledge, was just a few too many syllables long! I’d have people mispronouncing it at the early showcases and open mic nights, so, I decided to take on a moniker.
I went for Harper Bloom because I have always been inspired by Nelle Harper Lee and her ability to use literature to convey a powerful message about the world around her. She also writes extremely metaphorically which I admire.
Bloom came from a fictional character in the movie Big Fish. He is this old grandad who lives this bright colourful life and no one believes his stories, but they are all loosely real. I just resonated with his quirky character and desire to live an adventurous life.
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How would you describe your music to your grandma?
My grandma is super cool and hip!! She used to come out and support me at my first open-mic nights, so she has heard it all. I would tell her it’s Paul Kelly meet ELO. Although that could be completely dreamt up in my head, so maybe it’s safer to say upbeat folk-pop with thoughtful lyrics.
Tell us about a few of your tracks; their titles and what they’re about?
There are four other tracks on the EP (besides ‘Mary’). The next single I will be releasing is called, ‘Walk My Way’. It is a little love story inspired by America’s deep south in the 1950s. It’s very upbeat and has a fun acoustic riff that drives the song along.
Then there is ‘Sunflower Girl’, which is much more autobiographical, it’s kind of my own coming of age same-sex love story that I hope others will resonate with. It’s a bit slower but it’s sprinkled more heavily with electro-pop. The other two are called ‘Faith, Sex And Skin’ and ‘Railroad Avenue’.
What do you love about your hometown?
I am from Perth, so I have to say the beaches are hands down the best in the world and Rottnest Island is one of the most peaceful places on the planet! It’s like a big country town though, haha. So there are positives and negatives to that.
Career highlight so far?
To be honest, it was probably the last show I played before this whole COVID-19 thing kicked in. It was mid-March and I played my first ever band show which was super fun. It is a super different experience coming from performing as a solo singer-songwriter.
There are three awesome dudes (Jack – keyboardist, Joe – bass, and David – drums) and I am stoked to have them on board – they really help the songs pop, and I can’t wait to get out and play again with the band when this whole thing is over!
Fave non-music hobby?
Well I used to be a beach lifeguard when I was back living in Perth, so I would be down at the beach most days, either surfing or swimming. Since moving to Melbourne things have changed beach-wise, haha. I guess I have become more of a bar type person hunting for the next hole in the wall bar.
I do enjoy hanging out at the library too, with a few old poetry books and anything by Jack Kerouac. I am obsessed with the La Trobe Reading Room in Melbourne State Library, it’s such a beautiful room. So, I would sit and read there a lot when I am not working. Its closed now though :(
What’s on your dream rider?
I have a small and healthy obsession with dark spiced rums, so I would have to say unlimited Dark ‘N’ Stormys. I would save the rider for after the performance though!!
Dream music collaboration?
This is tricky narrowing it down to one… I would have to say Fleetwood Mac (five for the price of one). I am in love with Stevie’s vocals and songwriting. She is an extremely metaphorical writer.
I have watched a lot of documentaries on her and she draws a lot of inspiration from characters in mythical tales and she kind of resurrects these stories in her performances. She’s amazing.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Hopefully I would have been lucky enough to go on tour playing with artists I really admire. That is the ultimate dream. I would have hoped to have released a couple of albums that really resonate with people. It’s scary to think that far ahead. I’ll be 35 by then! Crazy.
What’s your go-to karaoke song?
It would easily be ‘Total Eclipse Of The Heart’ by Bonnie Tyler. This comes out after a few rums regardless of if there is a karaoke!
What’s on the cards for the future?
I am going to release my second single around June this year. I am currently in the works with David Hansen on a music video for the second single so that is exciting – he directed the Mary music video and is super talented.
Then my whole EP will come out later in the year. Hopefully by then COVID-19 will be gone for good, as I would love to go on an east coast tour with my band promoting the EP, around the end of this year. It would be great to do a show over in Perth too, so my friends and family can see me play live again.
Apart from that, I am just going to keep writing away and hopefully fill up a book of songs that I am really proud of 😊.