New Single and Video
Colourful and unique, LA. Faithfull has announced her new single Heart Back, a gut-wrenching pop smash with a clear, vulnerable message, available now. This exciting newcomer has also released a raw, expressive video that conveys the truth behind the song through dance and visuals, and this effective clip has already racked up almost 60,000 plays on Facebook since its release.
Heart Back is raw, in every sense of the word. Produced by the legends at M Squared Productions (NUSSY, Imogen Brough), and evocative of Amy Shark's heavy, hip-hop inspired beats, Heart Back is some seriously fresh pop from LA. Faithfull, otherwise known as Lisa Anne Faithfull. The chorus soars, with sharp, synth-laden production that nods towards Lorde's renowned debut LP Pure Heroine, and Faithfull's voice is the soft, reassuring comfort throughout. The song was inspired by a difficult time in her life, as she reflects, "Heart Back is about the moment when you fall apart and realise that maybe no one will ever be able to put back together those tiny pieces of your heart that feel like they are lost when tragedy strikes. I actually wrote the lyrics the night I found out my dad had prostate cancer…I was going through the motions of looking at my dad's face when he had to tell us, and watching my mum's reaction of pure fear - and then feeling that it will never be the same again…even when you have good days, you're always worried about the next bit of bad news."
The clip for Heart Back is stark; set in a grey, industrial landscape, yet manages to show that beauty can exist and thrive in any dark situation. Faithfull stands alone, in this concrete space, surrounded by the lyrics of the song written in chalk across the walls. A skillful dancer expressively moves through the space, interpreting the music in a way that words could never. Speaking about the process of making the clip, Faithfull says, "The idea is that the white, concrete space represents the mind. We spent hours covering the walls, pillars and floor with the lyrics of the song, which represents the feeling of anxiety - where you're trapped in your mind going over and over your thoughts. The dancing represents the pain, and sometimes the dance is beautiful but that's because I feel that sometimes pain isn't ugly. The camera angles and filming were the reason I asked the incredibly talented Connor Dalton (Slowly Slowly) to film it. He's one of my best friends and has a incredible eye for angles, and while some people might have all set shots and steady shots, instead for us the camera is constantly moving like a whirlwind, which is how this song feels in my head."
With a tour set to be announced shortly, this thrilling indie pop artist cannot wait to show the world what she was born to do. "As a kid growing up with anxiety I was awkward, had almost no social skills and my mind would run 24/7. But…put me onstage with a mic and it was like silence - no anxiety at all, and it just felt like home! The stage is one of the only places my mind is still, calm and silent, and maybe that's why I'm so drawn to being onstage!"
Heart Back is available now.
Stream: HEART BACK
Watch: HEART BACK
BUY: HEART BACK
Interview with LA. Faithfull (Lisa Anne Faithfull)
Question: How would you describe your music?
LA. Faithfull: Honest, raw, emotional (laughs) and a little bit emo? I'm really drawn to making music with powerful vocals, big beats and soaring synths! I guess it's a mix of indie and pop… so indie pop! I've always been very inspired to write honest stories but with a really cool vibe.
Question: What was the main inspiration behind Heart Back?
LA. Faithfull: Heart Back was written the night I found out my Dad had prostate cancer. The song is literally me venting emotions and feeling. I felt like no one was ever going to be able to put my heart back together and I was in pieces.
The song is about the moment that your heart breaks; when tragedy happens and your whole world feels like it will never be the same. The chorus actually started with me screaming (while crying) "Can you put my heart back?" and the rest came from there.
Once I wrote the song I played it to a friend who said "This song is about my breakup!", and I realised that the feeling of heart break is quite universal and can actually apply to so many different scenarios: breakups, loss, etc. It's what unites us as humans because we have all felt that at one point or another and we can all understand in our own way; Heart Back is for everyone going through that feeling.
Question: Can you tell us about filming the video for Heart Back?
LA. Faithfull: Filming the video was amazing. When I get an idea in my head I can actually visualise the product before we've even shot it; so to have the initial idea come to life before me was the coolest thing ever!
I'm very hands on and wanted the video to be raw and directly from me to my audience because the story was so important to me and the video had to match the vibe. I asked a friend of mine, Connor Dalton, to film it – he's amazing and puts up with all my crazy plans and ideas (laughs). The two of us sat there and edited the hours of footage together.
We found this amazing white basement which to me represents my mind and I had this awesome idea to cover the walls in the lyrics of the track, over and over again, to represent my anxiety and the process you go through of feeling trapped in your own mind with your thoughts spiraling around you! We got chalk and spent hours writing the lyrics out, and then did all the filming. When it came time to clean the walls, instead of it coming right off, it turned the whole space pastel pink! It turns out it takes the same amount of time to write out the lyrics of Heart Back x 10 as it does to re-paint the whole space back to white, we were there, with rollers and paint brushes, for hours after (laughs) thankfully the owners were cool!
Question: You've been likened to Amy Shark and Lorde; how does that feel?
LA. Faithfull: Oh my goodness I feel like words can't even explain the feeling, I get, when I read that!
To be likened in some way to artists who I've admired for a long time and who are these crazily talented musicians… well there aren't actually words for that!
It's very, very humbling because I've played music for a very long time and Heart Back was literally me venting my emotions on a track. To have that be the track that people love and be the one that gets likened to such amazing artists is just incredible.
I feel like the song started off so personal but I remember hearing it back, after we recorded it, and thinking 'Wow! That's the most real thing I've ever created!' It was really special and that's why these compliments mean so much.
To have it even compared to Amy Shark and Lorde just takes my breath away and also gives me the drive to keep writing and being honest as an artist!
Question: Which is your favourite song to perform live and why?
LA. Faithfull: I'm about to go on tour and start playing the new tracks off my debut EP, coming out later in 2018, and to be honest I think they are all going to be amazing to play live! My whole set is stories from my life: living with anxiety, dealing with family stuff, getting drunk to forget my thoughts, falling in love and all those life things - I can't wait to play them!
I'm pretty sure my favourite to play is going to be Heart Back because it's so special to me! I've been rehearsing it and I can't do it without crying, yet, so audiences will probably see me bawl my eyes out. When you write such a raw song and record it you think 'cool it's done, awesome' - then you remember you have to play it live and you're going to have to control those tears! I think it will be very special for me to sing that with a live audience.
Question: What should we expect from the upcoming tour?
LA. Faithfull: The tour is going to be all new tracks from my debut EP including my new single, Heart Back, I'm going to go all over the country and will be backed by this incredible band of amazing musicians! People can expect raw honesty from me onstage, as being onstage is my freedom. The stage is like going home, for me, as from a very young age I found suffering anxiety that I couldn't talk to people and look them in the eye but put me onstage and I was fine!
My anxious thought-spirals go away when I'm onstage, my mind is silent and for that time I get to be free from my thoughts! It's probably why I'm so drawn to being onstage.
Audiences can expect honesty and realness when they come to one of my shows; there will be heartbreak, happiness, party vibes and heaps of sweet beats, probably some singalongs and big bass stuff, and energy. It will be rad!
Question: If you could have anyone, in the world, attend your show, who would it be?
LA. Faithfull: Ooooh that's such a hard question! There are so many people including other musicians that I'd love to attend a show and hang out with backstage - MJ would be cool or Justin Timberlake or Lady Gaga! In saying that, my answer would be, my grandparents - I'd love them to see me playing live because they have always been so interested in my music. My Nan calls all the time to check how it's all going (laughs). However, they are getting to that age, where they can't come.
Question: Do you prefer performing live or recording?
LA. Faithfull: I love both; they are both such different feelings for me!
Recording is like an excitement because you're making this incredible thing from scratch and then watching it grow. I'm a bit of a perfectionist so recording is also super tiring because nothing is ever perfect and I put so much energy into the whole process, so normally by the end of it I'm exhausted…
Performing is definitely my favourite - it's why I make music. The connection with the audience and sharing something that is a huge part of you, with a whole group of people, and letting them in to be a part of it, it's the best! To me, that's what music should be, something that connects people on some level whether it be through our pain or happiness for that hour or however long we are at a show together, we are all united and that's so awesome - nothing like it in the world.
Question: What is the story behind the name?
LA. Faithfull: So LA. Faithfull is actually a monogram of my full name Lisa Anne Faithfull and yes Faithfull is my real surname (laughs). I remember it was the worst possible surname you could have growing up, people were always making fun of it. When I started performing more and getting into bands I thought 'hey this is kind of cool'. I'm constantly asked if it's my real surname and it's cool that I was born 'Faithfull' and it already sounded like it could be a stage name! I'm actually so lucky because I think I'd be terrible at coming up with a stage name (laughs) I probably would have just gone with Lisa!
Question: What motivates you most when writing music?
LA. Faithfull: Music, for me, is my way of processing the things that happen to me in day to day life.
What motivates me the most is when something sad happens - it sounds sad to say that but it's true. I feel like once I write the sad things down, it helps me get through it. I'm constantly motivated by all the stuff life throws at me and my friends. I'm also motivated by my observations as a tattooed woman and how I am treated because of that, I'm motivated when I fall in love and out of love or when my friends tell me terrible dating stories (laughs) I can always find motivation somewhere to write!
Question: Which music/artists are you currently listening to?
LA. Faithfull: I am always listening to music - I've got my wake up music which is normally like a chill out kind of vibe, then my afternoon music which is more up and then my zone out music, to chill on my balcony to. Life is like a soundtrack!
At the moment I'm loving Aussie musician Ruel, his voice gives me all of the feelings – it's like nothing I've ever heard! I swear I've listened to his version of Weather by Jack Garrett hundreds of times!
I'm also really loving Amy Shark's EP – it's always on my vinyl player in my lounge, it just such an incredible EP and so good for listening and chilling out.
I've also been playing Lady Gaga's most recent album a lot too, it's so raw and the emotional content of her song Joanne - I actually can't listen to without crying, every time!
Question: What or who was your inspiration to go into the music industry?
LA. Faithfull: When I was 8 years old my parents took me to a Billy Thorpe gig. It was me, my parents and a room full of tough looking biker guys (laughs). Billy played this acoustic cover of 'Over The Rainbow' and I just remember looking around and seeing the whole crowd just sobbing, and all the hairs on the back of my neck were standing up. I said to my Dad "How cool is that? That's what I want to do, make music to make people feel something." I understand it's a weird thing for an 8 year old to think, but from that day I was going to be a musician. Over The Rainbow is actually tattooed on my forearm, I got it to remember that very moment and why I wanted to do music.
Question: If you could collaborate with another artist, who would it be?
LA. Faithfull: There are two artists that I dream of collaborating with one day. One would be Snake Hips, because I'd love the chance to belt out the vocals on one of their incredible tracks and I'm a huge fan of everything they do! The song would be one of those huge production vocally gut wrenching songs, you know the ones!
The other would be James Bay; I'd really love to do a duet with him. Every song he has ever released has blown my mind and the emotion he delivers his tracks with, well no one else can do it like him! I'd really love the chance to write and sing with him.
Interview by Brooke Hunter