On the edge of the Victorian border is where you will find Eliza Hull’s family home. It was there that she wrote most of her new record. The songs spilled out as she ran her fingers over the old piano keys. Maybe it was something about the fresh country air that allowed Hull to unravel her thoughts and put them into song form. Perhaps it was the familiarity of home that allowed her to be herself without distraction or expectation bearing down. Whatever the case, songs were written and bit by bit became fuller in sound and scope. Some things changed in the production process; some songs came about unexpectedly while others were a product of her own toil, but in the end, the idea and the heart of the music was retained. Now that the album is complete Hull looks back upon its making. Colloborations include Gossling, Ainslie Wills and Texture Like Sun. Sometimes it was challenging to create something from nothing, yet Hull appreciated it all, doing what she loves- music.
When did you begin writing the songs for you debut album? Did you have a collection of ideas all ready to go, or was it a step-by-step process that unfurled as you went?
As soon as I finished and released my sophomore EP “The Ghosts You Never Catch” I began to write my debut album. I actually planned to have a little bit of a break, but that didn’t last! I love to go home to Wodonga to my mums’ house; my old childhood piano lives there and always sparks new songs. They all came fairly quickly. I also did a bit of co-writing with artists like Ainslie Wills and Texture Like Sun & UK writer Tim Gordine. Right at the end as I was finishing the album I wrote three more songs that ended up making the album.
What encouraged your song writing? What were some of the inspirations behind the songs? Was it certain events, occurrences, feelings, break-ups, make-ups? Or was it literature, current affairs, poetry, philosophy?
A lot of the songs are about relationships; about a break up and about finding new love too. I also wrote a couple of songs based on dreams that resonated with me in the morning. And then one song titled ‘Army’ is about letting go of fear, it’s about the war we sometimes have against ourselves.
Did you ever have a strict process where you sat down with the intention to write a song, or did you prefer to sit back and let it unravel naturally?
I have tried that many times, having a routine where I get up and try and write but it actually doesn’t really work for me. In saying that though I definitely had times where I dedicated to song writing for the album and sometimes the songs appeared and then other times they didn’t. I guess it’s about not letting that be a problem if sometimes the songs don’t come. When I meet up with other artists to write, it’s definitely a completely different feeling, there is a little bit of pressure in the air, which at times can be just what two songwriters need.
How did your new single ‘Caught’ come about?
I wrote it back in Wodonga at my mums’ house on my old piano. It was one of the first songs that I presented my producer Hayden Calnin with. We worked on that straight away. To be honest it is not necessarily my favourite song on the album, but I felt like it’s a great introduction to the record, it is also slightly more upbeat for me which I really like. The song is about being ‘Caught’ in a relationship. A lot of people associate being caught, or being trapped as a negative thing, but for me it was the opposite it’s about surrendering to the happiness that being ‘Caught’ can create.
Did you want your debut album to have a flow and continuity to it, or are each of the songs stand alone tracks?
I hope that there is continuity. Hayden Calnin and I certainty tried to create that. I feel there is a journey through the album, from darker to lighter shades, from faster to slower. I hope that people feel that too when listening.
How did you come up with the title ‘The Bones Of Us’? What do you mean by it?
To me it is about exposure, the bones are below the skin so the letting go and shedding the layers in order to see more of someone or something.
What was the recording process like? How does the musical camaraderie work between yourself and Hayden Calnin?
I like working with Hayden because we are on the same page musically. A lot of the time we don’t have to discuss how the song will unfold, because we both can imagine it, and it always ends up where I thought it would. That’s the beauty in working with him.
What new things did you learn this time around while recording?
That tea breaks are part of the process, that just because a song comes quickly doesn’t mean it is any less of a good song, and that it is easier to record during the winter months.
Do you think that your music would sound much different if you took to doing the whole process on your own?
I have often wondered that, the next album I am planning on giving it a go on my own in terms of all of the writing and producing and then just going into a studio with an engineer and recording the songs within a short time frame. That is the plan I have right now.
What was the most rewarding thing you took out of the making and recording process?
I love making music and this album was a lot of fun. There were certainly some moments when I was recording vocals at my beach house with Hayden where I just felt so grateful to be doing what I love.
How do you plan on transferring these songs to a live setting? Will there be much altering?
There won’t be much altering, although Dylan Hill who performs live with me is an amazing electronic artist in his own right and he has put his spin on a few of the tracks. I love how he does that; he gives them a new light.
You have played with some great live acts. What have you learnt from watching other musicians perform? Did you strike a chord with anyone in particular?
I really enjoyed performing alongside SAFIA recently. They were so relaxed and friendly, genuine people. I think there are a lot of bands I have met that are not the nicest to their support acts, I really don’t get that! SAFIA were the exact opposite, they were beautiful people and I loved watching how relaxed they were before and after their shows.
Who are some of your most loved artists?
At the moment Sade, Jeff Buckley, James Vincent Mcmorrow & Daughter
Do you often look to musicians for inspiration before making music, or do you look elsewhere?
Sometimes I do this trick where I listen to an inspiring song and I write subconsciously just anything that comes to mind. I hope that I haven’t been too influenced by anything I was listening too!
Your music can be dreamy and ethereal- do you find the landscape or the space that you are in is represented within your songs?
Good question, I think the music is definitely a projection of how you feel, or the space you’re in. I guess ethereal and dreamy is based on my reflective nature. It seems whenever I reflect I also can’t really think about the ‘happy’ times, instead more of the harder, confused times in life, this is therefore projected stylistically in a more mellow, ethereal way.
Do you have a favourite track on the album?
Surprisingly the track that is my favourite was the last one I wrote, which is just the piano and vocals. It is extremely stripped back and was recorded live.
What are you most looking forward to once the album is released?
For it to be experienced by others.
Eliza Hull’s single launch is this Saturday the 20th of September at the Toff in Town.
Eliza will be playing alongside special guests Texture Like Sun and Lanks.
Find out more about Hull at elizahull.com