Although, a veteran of the music industry, this past year has manifested the inception of alt-pop singer Hanssøn’s craft. After the collapse of a relationship, she’s walked out stronger, focused and armed with new material.
The Sunshine Coast native relocated to New York City on scholarship to attend the New York Film Academy in 2011 and never left. The pace of the Big Apple was more her speed than her homeland.
“I fell in love with the city. It’s such a rush. Australia’s great, but it was too slow for me. Even growing up, I’d spend my lunchtimes writing lyrics and my friends would be like let’s go play, and I’d be like no, I’ve got work to do.”
More importantly, she became more in tune with herself and grasped what she wanted her career to look like, and it didn’t involve theatre, just empowering pop anthems.
“Because I wasn’t in my comfort zone anymore, I sort of just evolved and figured out exactly what I wanted to do.”
But, it seems like things became—I dare to say— translucent after the breakdown of a relationship. The ending marked the beginning of her career. Feeling like she was suffocating in the city, she did a spontaneous five-week, 40 show tour around America.
“There were so many pieces to it and there were a lot of things that happened in that time that I learned about myself and them and my friends,” she confessed. “There’s that expression, ‘Be grateful for the friends that really support you when you’re doing really good, but when you’re doing bad, be even more grateful for those friends that are there.’ I really went through some ups and downs personally. The guy I broke up with just really broke my heart, and I went into a bit of a spiral.”
The spiral may have been exhausting and undesirable, but it sure as hell was motivating for her to create a record.
“That’s why I went on the road last year. I was like fuck this, I can’t stay in New York. I needed to clear my head and get a break. Going on the road was really a catalyst for writing all this music.”
Hanssøn has been writing music for ages, but it took a kick in the butt from producer David Sisko, to get serious about recording and finishing the eight tracks, which will make up her debut record, Colours of the Fall.
“He really pushed me with my writing. I’d bring songs to him, and he’d be like, ‘No, I think you can go deeper with this.’ I really learnt a lot about myself as a songwriter in that process. Art is always kind of you’re always doing it for yourself unless you’re a hack and doing for the subscribers. It was very self-serving.”
The first track released, “Always High,” a true bop translates just how insouciant and no nonsense she is in an upbeat pop-track filled with synths and insightful lyrics.
“‘Always High’ was kind of a funky song I wrote about the guy I dated after him. It’s kind of a go fuck yourself. I’m not going to fuck with you if you’re going to be like that. It was a fun vibe to lead with. Some of the other songs on the album are pretty heavy, and I wanted to make a cool first impression. We wanted to start light before we drag everyone into the deep end.”
The follow-up single, “Deadwood,” hauntingly explores the breakdown of a friendship that left a bad taste in her mouth after “jumping through hoops” to be someone she wasn’t.
“When I finished writing it, I wanted to be done with it. I didn’t want anything left like let’s just burn it— all the shit between us, the memories and all this crap. I don’t want to hold onto any of it. It ended up being about how to find that clarity to realize something is finished and then taking out the trash.”
The music video— to hopefully drop in the next month— is literally her and some friends burning “it,” with tasteful touches of witchcraft.
Hanssøn shared there's a good mixture of emotions and feelings on the album with a fierce song titled, "Switchblade," and a delicate ballad, "If the World was Ending."
"It talks about the idea of being canted to someone on a soul level but not being able to reconcile that in the reality we live in," she said of the ballad.
With that being said, get ready to be thrown into the deep end with Colours of the Fall because as Hanssøn has learned, you have to save yourself.
“I had to find my own strength in this situation. When you’re with someone for awhile and you support someone and get shit on, it’s hard to bounce back, but I feel like I have.”