New South Wales singer-songwriter Angus Gill has recently dropped the second single from his debut album Nomad. The single is called ‘Hands Are Clean’, and it is an emotional, country-tinged anthem from an artist with a promising path ahead of him. Angus have us some insight into the track, its background, and how it came to be.
“I wrote Hands are Clean a few years ago with Drew McAlister. I brought in an idea that I had sitting in the back of my head ever since I saw an episode of ABC’s Australian Story that featured Karise Eden, winner of the first season of The Voice Australia. Karise mentioned in the documentary that she chose to get artworks on her arms to cover up the scars of her past and I thought, it goes to show that you just don’t know someone’s story or where they have come from. Hands are Clean encompasses the the universal truth that you can’t judge a book by its cover.
It is the second single lifted from my debut album Nomad, which I produced and mixed, featuring collaborations with my mates Adam Harvey, Luke O’Shea, Gina Jeffreys, Drew McAlister, Troy Kemp, Kevin Bennett and others. I had written most of the songs well ahead of recording them and this allowed me to road test which ones my audiences were connecting to and by that point I’d started to develop arrangements for the songs too, so the process from a songwriter to a producer felt quite natural. It did feel like a very gutsy move to make at the time, but I’m very proud of the end result and glad that I chose to make the decision that I did. Hands are Clean is probably the most progressive song on the album musically and I think at first it may have came as a curveball to some of my listeners, but I’ve been overwhelmed with the reception of the song and music video.
I shot the music video with a mate of mine Michael Carpenter from MC Imagery and the process of filming this clip again was fantastic. Michael is an insanely talented all-rounder, being a multi-award winning producer, engineer, songwriter, musician, videographer, lecturer etc and his creativity is infectious. The shoot was all done within a day’s work and took place at a few different locations around Sydney. The performance scenes were filmed at the historic (and haunted) Gladesville Mental Asylum, which provided the perfect gritty backdrop. Although, I must admit I did keep reminding Michael of just how many dead bodies were apparently buried underneath the property. Luckily we didn’t have any ghost cameos appear in this clip (as far as we know!). The other main location was King Street in Newtown, where we approached people from all walks of life and asked if they would look directly down the barrel of the camera or do a simple action. This helped illustrate the hook line of the song, “when you point your finger at me, make sure your hands are clean.” I have considered approaching the NSW Department of Health and offering up my song to pre-schools to assist with their no germ campaign! And I’ve also taken it upon myself to make sure everyone else is safe from germs too, by introducing my own line of Hand Sanitiser with the lyrics of the song printed on it!”