Known for her work fronting The Jezebels, the exceptional Hayley Mary has now ventured out on her own to release her debut solo EP The Piss, The Perfume.
With Hayley Mary’s vocals at the front and centre of each incredible track, her debut five-track EP has just been released into the world today. With fans still hanging on to her place as frontwoman of The Jezebels, this EP is the perfect chance to see just what makes Hayley herself.
With her unique personality shining through her lyrics and vocals, and plenty of stunning guitar hooks throughout, Hayley’s EP kicks off with brilliance which continues the entire way through.
From writing the EP in the midst of a cross-continental move, and including several influences for the sound, The Piss, The Perfume is sure to please the ears of fans who have been waiting to get a little more of Hayley’s quirky self.
Check out ‘The Piss, The Perfume’ by Hayley Mary:
Even though Hayley is no stranger to the anticipation before releasing music, she notes as this is her first time debuting solo tunes that it’s a little bit different of a feeling. “I’m quite excited,” Hayley remarks. “It’s a blend of excitement and stillness — like the calm before the storm.”
“I’ve done this before, but not solo, and I feel a little bit more prepared to not get too caught up in the excitement about it. I feel quite down to Earth about it, I suppose. I’m excited, but I know it’s still just day-to-day.”
“You present things like it’s all happening at once, and it’s all a big explosion of excitement and release, but really you still have to be working on writing and be sure that you’re living your life and enjoying your life in the moment.”
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Being the frontwoman of The Jezebels since its inception in 2007, Hayley mentions that even though she’s stepped forward by working on a solo project, that she isn’t taking a step back from the band.
With rumours circulating that she’s an ‘ex-Jezebel’, she’s set things straight by saying that while the band has experienced stagnation due to inevitable interruptions, it’s not finished, and her branching out solo shouldn’t signify that in any form, stating that “the solo project was always inevitable”.
“The first few years the band had interruptions of health issues, meaning that we had to stop touring, and cancel whole world tours. That was quite horrible and depressing, and really I was quite lost with wandering the Earth without a purpose.”
Check out ‘Mace Spray’ by The Jezebels:
From these moments of aimless wandering, Hayley found her inspiration for working on music as a solo musician, but found it difficult to get her bearings from the start, commenting that it took her “a really long time to find [her] direction, solo-wise”.
“I did a lot of throwing things against the wall and them not sticking, and trying to co-write with lots of different people, and just playing around with style, and I didn’t really know who I was. It took me years to work out the direction, and I think I’ve only just done that now, and that’s why I’m ready to release something.”
“It’s been a long journey with a lot of emotions in it, but I feel like ultimately it’s kind of right and the thing I was always meant to do in the end.”
Even though writing the EP worked out in the long run, Hayley states that it took a while to find the inspiration to write at all, noting that at first she felt like giving up writing music all together. Luckily, her partner – Johnny Took of DMA’s – was there to pull her out of the rut, and keen to help her with the push she needed for inspiration.
Between her partner chasing her around the house with the guitar insisting she write something to moving across the world to Scotland, the content of the EP started to take shape, and helped to pull Hayley out of the inspiration lull she was experiencing.
“Before I met Johnny, I was kind of wandering around the Earth trying to find the people who would help me make my solo record, and now I live with him and we have a studio in our room, and we have guitars everywhere, and everyday we wake up and play, and it’s part of my world now.”
“It means that when you have an idea or when the muses bestow an idea upon you, you are ready, and you’re not just wandering the street without your guitar, and it doesn’t get lost on a lost soul, which I think it was a little bit before.”
“The love element is a massive one, too. It sounds really cheesy, but being in love does create a bit of energy that makes you see the world with magic”
Check out Hayley Mary’s ‘Like A Woman Should’:
In terms of lyrics, Hayley revealed that the EP takes on a bit more of real life with a sense of escapism looming, moving past the more concept-type content that her writing focuses on in The Jezebels.
“There are elements of escape and nostalgia, and romance, and that kind of thing in the aesthetics, but I think that the content is maybe a little more realism than The Jezebels. I think it’s a bit more common concerns, love songs, pretty straight-up in its contents. It’s reflecting on life as this person I really am, rather than thinking of concepts and philosophical things.”
With her partner at her side, Hayley mentions that without his influence, the EP probably wouldn’t have the same energy throughout noting that Johnny did influence her quite a bit.
“He pushed me to get in touch with myself a bit more as a real person, rather than a theoretical entity. I think that it inspired the sense of optimism and energy in the songs. Also, musically, I have written a lot of songs, but his work ethic and driving me to keep writing every day and to keep pushing on, and putting songs together with different ideas just helped me to see it as a craft you keep working at. I think he made me a lot more prolific.”
Along with producer Scott Horscroft at the helm, this trifecta of talent came together to produce exactly what Hayley was hoping her solo work would — a mix of multiple genres with a hint of nostalgia that makes one recall “a fantastical childhood of harmony” between one’s parents.
“I said I wanted it to be Motown, I want it to be punk, I want it to be Australiana, I want it to be country, I want it to be Celtic, and he went, ‘yep, yep, we can do all that!’ He meshed it all in, some how, and it worked.”
“I told him I’d always wanted to make a record that sounded like a memory of your parents dancing in the kitchen, but your parents are Cyndi Lauper and Roy Orbison. I think he nailed all that, but also managed to glue five fairly disparate songs together into a cohesive and contemporary whole.”
Check out The Jezebels’ ‘Endless Summer’:
With her EP’s title track, ‘The Piss, The Perfume’, having already received heavy rotation through triple j, second track ‘Ordinary Me’ having premiered through NME, and newest single ‘Like A Woman Should’ only releasing this past week, Hayley expresses that the initial response to her new music has been great since “you never know with these things. Nothing is never in the bag.”
“I’m hoping that [everyone] will get behind the EP, but it’s the wild west out there. You can go forth on your own accord if it doesn’t, but I’m not trying to think about it too much. If people get on board, then that is great!”
With initial reactions conflicting between fans, and many taking comparisons of The Jezebels, Hayley takes notice that responses have been a bit back and forth, but mostly positive.
“Different people say that it’s nothing like The Jezebels, but other people say that they can’t tell a difference between it and The Jezebels, so I think that it depends on what elements of the songs that people listen to.”
“Obviously, if you just listen to vocals then maybe you’ll hear a lot more crossover, but also at the same time, I have quite a different sense of my voice on the EP. I suspect that not all of The Jezebels fans are going to like it. I think that there’s many things about The Jezebels that are not in this, and that’s kind of purposeful because I am a different person from when I was playing in that band a few years ago.”
“I don’t think that I realise how much people still think of me as Hayley from The Jezebels, and it’s going to take a while to push through as my own identity. I hope that most fans will like it, but I think it’ll gain a different perception almost entirely.”
Check out Hayley Mary’s ‘Ordinary Me’:
Hayley Mary Live Dates
Friday, March 20th
Lansdowne Hotel, Sydney, NSW
Sunday, March 22nd
Mechanics Institute (Brunswick Music Fest), Melbourne, VIC
Saturday, February 1st (Sold Out)
Lion Arts Factory Courtyard, Adelaide, SA
Friday, February 7th
(Supporting Ali Barter)
Volt, Ballarat, VIC (18+)