Packed with hazy alt-country rock Newcastle’s Demi Mitchell delivers The Overflow, a glorious debut full length matched with a stack of launch shows. Full of soul, the deeply personal release explores the vulnerability of relationships through dark lyricism, with Mitchell using the album as a means of catharsis. Each track is full of hazy guitars and melancholic beats but the glue that holds everything together is Mitchell’s dreamy vocals. Demi drops by to answer a few questions about her new album for Hi Fi Way: The Pop Chronicles.
Congratulations on the album The Overflow. Are you excited with where this album might take you next?
Thank you, I’m hoping that it continues to take me out of my comfort zone. I’ve always loved writing music and very much enjoy the recording process, but performing live has been a process of overcoming nerves for me. So I’m looking forward to playing more and more shows and feeling comfortable owning the stage.
What was your reaction when you heard one of your singles on the radio for the first time?
It’s always a little surreal to hear your songs on the radio for the first time. I’m really lucky that the songs have been getting plays on stations all across Australia, it’s a very pleasant surprise. The first time hearing a song on the radio made me feel proud of the hard work that went into making the album.
For those who don’t know Demi Mitchell how would you describe your music?
A mix between dark folk, alt-country and indie rock. Best enjoyed either with a bottle of red wine in a dimly lit room or the background soundtrack to a highway drive. The record is more towards the softer side, but on stage with the band we like to add more of a rocking grungy vibe.
Did you always intend on putting a lot about you in to the songs rather than just observations of life around you?
I’d say it’s a mix of both really. Sometimes writing a song can start with an experience of your own and then trigger thoughts/ideas that reflect broader observations in the world around you, and vice versa! I’ve often used songwriting as a means to better understand myself and experiences I’ve had, it’s a way of seeing things from different perspectives.
What’s the biggest lesson learnt that you wouldn’t repeat again when you record your next album?
We recorded the album over three days, tracking the vocals, drums and guitar all live to give it a raw edge. I was really happy with this process and have no regrets. There’s not really anything that I wouldn’t repeat again, but more things I’d like to further refine like working towards being a better writer and musician. I’m not very disciplined and have a short attention span so I guess I’d like to work on that!
Was it hard work recording eleven songs in three days?
I found this process much easier than tracking individual tracks. It felt very natural to be singing and playing guitar with Rog playing the drums at the same time, as it’s emulating a live experience and allows you to get into the groove of the song. Rog encouraged me to play the lead guitar parts myself, something I don’t have a lot of experience with, but I had a lot of fun playing around with guitar pedals and messing about until I stumbled across something that would work.
What bands/artists get you excited musically?
All the greats like Neil Young, Leonard Cohen, Nick Cave, Karen Dalton, Bob Dylan, J.J. Cale etc etc keep me inspired to write songs. There’s also a lot of new music that I’m digging that gets me excited, especially artists coming out of Australia and NZ at the moment. Aldous Harding’s record Party was one that really hit me in the feels and continues to do so, it’s a tasteful masterpiece. Nadia Reid’s record Preservation is world class too.
Do you have any plans to tour more broadly including little ‘ole Adelaide?
Yes! Stayed tuned for a run of shows before the end of the year! I’m yet to visit Adelaide and would very much love to. I’m a big fan of an Adelaide-based band called Wanderers and have been encouraged by lead singer Dusty to head over for some shows, so it’s definitely on the cards!
What’s next for Demi Mitchell?
I’ll be taking the album on the road and playing to anyone who will listen! I’m super stoked the album is finally out and am keen to be on stage performing the songs and meeting new people around Australia. So I’ll see you! 🙂
Interview by Rob Lyon
For more information about Demi Mitchell head to https://www.demimitchell.com/