Australian artist Harry Marshall dives into the story behind his latest single “High Hopes”, capturing his onstage energy on record, freeing himself of inhibitions, and more!
Stream: “High Hopes” – Harry Marshall
It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the seemingly endless opportunities that the 21st century presents, and forget to appreciate what we currently have. Then, when seemingly positive opportunities turn out to not entirely be as they seem, it’s dangerously easy to feel disenchanted.
Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering “High Hopes,” the latest single from 21-year-old Australian singer-songwriter Harry Marshall. Now living in London, Marshall has quickly garnered a ever-growing fan base, along with some serious critical acclaim. It’s easy to see why he’s already turning heads; his lyricism is often heartbreakingly personal while his production serves to effortlessly elevate his track’s stirring sentiments.
I tried to open my thoughts to the
Idea of what I was feeling I
Told myself I wouldn’t be so vulnerable again,
And eyes wide cooling my veins to the
Core I let it all go but
These days it don’t hurt me
like it used to before
“High Hopes” sees Marshall undoubtedly deliver his finest track yet; delving deeply into a situation where he felt like he was unreasonably ridiculed. A undeniable sense of chaotic unfairness and unabashed angry flows through the track like a uncontrollable, raging river. Excitingly, the track sees Marshall channel of the amplified energy that’s ever-preset within his live set.
That energetic live set is arguably what sets Marshall apart from the ever-growing avalanche of singer-songwriters. Although, he already has much-loved tracks such as “Nowadays” and “Mountains” under his belt; Marshall is still yet to release his debut project. Despite this, Harry Marshall is set to play the 500 capacity venue Dingwalls in London on Wednesday the 30th of October.
I took the long walk home
I said I don’t mind I
Gave it all I gave it my all
And these days it’s all in my heart I’ll
Rephrase the line,
And I tried to give it all to you
but the big lights kept flashing by,
I got high hopes and low expectations
High hopes and low expectations
High hopes and low expectations
I got high hopes and low expectations.
With “High Hopes” due for release tomorrow, Atwood Magazine spoke with Harry Marshall about his evolution as an artist, crafting music with his audience in mind, making a dramatic move from Australia to London, and his pre-show tradition!
A CONVERSATION HARRY MARSHALL
Atwood Magazine: Thanks so much for having us premiere “High Hopes,” Harry; it’s incredible! How did the track originate?
Harry Marshall: So the track was written in my friends house in the countryside out of London in July 2018, I had hit a real plateau in my progress and direction in the music industry. I was called in for a meeting with a major label! Now I always try to keep myself grounded but with the sense of desperation I was feeling at the time I started banking a lot on this meeting, and when I was met with an ego-stoking situation where I was patronized and belittled, I was absolutely crushed. My first MAJOR no and I took it so badly I had to leave for the countryside and regain my mental health. It was there that I wrote the song on an acoustic guitar and came back to London stronger and with a new single. So there wasn’t too much to be upset about,
“High Hopes” sees you channel some of the energy that’s ever-present throughout your live shows, making it your most energetic release yet. Was unleashing some of that energy, in a way you haven’t previously on your recorded tracks, always your initial intention?
Marshall: Exactly! It’s a Constant battle binging the energy my band and I have live onto the records. We will always be a unit built around the live show, that’s where the boys and I all started and anyone reading this and listening online should do themselves a favour and come and see us live for the full experience. So to answer your question yes, you’re exactly right. I want to make people move their f#@king hips and dance man, and for a song with a slower tempo to what we are going to release soon, I really think we have achieved that.
“Mountain” was the last track you released, and it tackles how tortuous and testing romance can be. At what point in the creative process, did you think of utilizing a Mountain as a metaphor for that struggle?
Marshall: “Mountain” is one of my earliest songs actually. So I was at a house party looking at this person, absolutely crumbling. She knew how I was feeling and seemed unmoved until we would steal away together and I could get a glimpse over the walls she had built but we would return and she would go back to being unreachable. So I’m at this party and I just kept thinking ,‘You’re a goddamn mountain, and how am I ever going to see what’s on the other side?’ I went home drunk and wrote the song that night, I also never did end up seeing what was on the other side.
You were born in Australia and now reside in London; how did you end up making the move?
Marshall: I’ve always loved sad rainy weather and have wanted to live in London since I was 11. It was raining one day and in my young innocence and growing up in the outback I said to my mum, “Mum I wish there was a place where it was like this all the time?’ and she replied saying that there is and its called London! Although living in Paris for twelve months after I finished high school did affirmed that my time on this side of the world wasn’t over, so I worked in construction for six months and came to London via Nashville. I arrived in London with no money because I spent it all making records in Nashville and have loved every second, especially the rain
Your debut track “Epilogue” is stunning - how did you know you wanted it to be your first release?
Marshall: Thank you so much! I wrote epilogue around the same time as mountain and they were released three years apart. I think part of being a musician is knowing to record a song when that song can say what you want it to. The hard part is understanding when you can’t make it say what you want it to say on record, is waiting for when until you can. Epilogue was in my reach at the time, I knew I could make the song say what I needed it to and that mountain would have its time eventually. Thank you to anyone
Between the release of “Epilogue” in 2016 and now, what are the biggest changes you’ve noticed in yourself as an artist?
Marshall: Hmmmmmmmm… The loss of inhibitions I would say. At the start every artist tries to be the artist they envision themselves being in 10 years and that can become pretty damn constricting stylistically and creatively. Putting yourself in one lane and stopping yourself from experimenting in others is stupid if you’re only just finding your feet as an artist and a person. So I will release music I’m proud of no matter what genre or style the song is. If its out then it is an honest piece of work that I am truly proud of.
We managed you to catch your set at Bushstock and it was blazingly obvious how much you love performing. I know it’s probably impossible to answer fully, but could you describe how it feels to perform live?
Marshall: I’ve never done this… but I’m sure skydiving on drugs might come close? No no but seriously it’s my favourite thing to do, for as long as I can remember all I have wanted to be is a touring musician. Theres nothing that will compare to it and I believe we have a show that belongs in arenas and if I didn’t believe that I wouldn’t ask people to buy tickets and come to my shows.
Going on from that, do you ever experience any pre-stage nerves?
Marshall: Of course! I worry like crazy it won’t go to plan even after hours of rehearsals, but thats normal! When you have a band as great mine behind you pushing you up you can’t be too worried about anything for too long.
How do you combat them?
Marshall: Shot of tequila right before we go on, it’s our tradition.
There’s so much incredible music coming out of Australia at the moment; Ziggy Alberts, GRAACE and Dean Lewis are all having amazing years. Are there any Australian artists that inspire you?
Marshall: Australian music is really popping right now so many amazing artists right now, makes me proud to be Australian! My favourites right now have to be Gang of Youths, they’ve been an inspiration to me since their first album in 2015! Some others that I love right now is Boy and Bear, Hockey Dad and my friend Tia Gostelow – she’s killing it at the moment! If you haven’t heard her music definitely check it out. Also Tame Impala’s Glasto set was out of this world and I heard he killed it at Splendour in the grass as well!
Speaking more generally, are there any other artists that you would say have a big influence on the sound or the way you write?
Marshall: I love poetic songwriters, I’m an old romantic and I love music I can indulge in those feelings with. Mumford and Sons were huge to me in high school, Bruce Springsteen as well, The War on Drugs as well and recently The National and Leif Vollebekk have been dominating my playlists.
When you’re writing, do you ever think about listeners’ potential interpretations or are you purely writing for yourself?
Marshall: I think about the listeners of course but for extremities… Like if I’m f#$king sad I want the song to make the listener feel that, or if I want the song to make you dance or cry I am going to do my best to make it do just that. There is no room for half hearted songs with me, when I consume art I want to feel everything. So when I make music I want to it do just that, make you feel everything.
Finally, what excites you the most about the future and the way in which you can share your music with fans?
Marshall: What excites me the most about the future is bigger shows, tours and making a record that people can really dive into. The way I want to share my music with fans is live, I don’t think there is a purer way to consume music and we have very very big plans for the future in regards to our live show and I really can’t wait for everyone to see what’s in store… Hell, even I can’t wait to see what’s in store.
Stream: “High Hopes” – Harry Marshall
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