Fazerdaze discusses the creation of her first album Morningside, touring and shares with us the contemplative moments of her teenage years that fuel her songwriting
Recently, we’ve seen a diverse range of musicians and bands playing in Hong Kong, such as Christopher Owens, Sleep Party People and The Bilinda Butchers. And when New Zealand indie darling Fazerdaze – real name Amelia Murray – made her long-anticipated Hong Kong debut at MOM Livehouse, we chatted with her about the making of her album Morningside.
Interview with Fazerdaze (Amelia Murray)
Starting off as a small project by the 24-year-old – a self-titled EP that was entirely recorded in her bedroom studio three years ago – Fazerdaze is now beloved by many in the music scene. In May, 2017, she released her full-length debut album Morningside with Flying Nun Records, and has since gained widespread success with her mesmerising emotive riffs and dreamy magnitudes.
Hi, Amelia. Thanks for chatting with us. When did you start playing music?
When I was around 14 or 15, I started to get really absorbed in music. My family was going through a difficult time, and I was a bit of a loner at high school, so music was my escape from it all. I picked up the guitar around then and writing songs became an emotional outlet.
Your music is lowkey melancholic with a soft, bittersweet undertone. I’m torn between feeling cheery and succumbing to pessimism when listening to songs such as Half-Figured. Can you describe your songwriting process and train of thought?
I find writing music similar to having dreams – in the sense that it’s hard to explain where the songs come from, but at the same time they are also total insights into what is going on in my head. I’m often pretty down on myself, so I think Half-Figured was written when I’d really hit rock bottom with that. I just felt like a useless mess of a person, and I had a lot of anxiety about leaving my bedroom.
Which song on the album Morningside do you feel the deepest connection to, and is there a story behind it?
Maybe… Little Uneasy. I think I subconsciously wrote it about my high school boyfriend – the push and pull of needing to say goodbye to each other and to move forwards with our lives.
How does coming from New Zealand (Wellington in particular) influence your music?
It’s a small and arty city. As a teenager, I spent a lot of time going to the city library, getting out CDs and books, and basically hanging out there all the time. Having access to all of that stuff really opened my mind up, especially before the internet or blogs were really a thing.
You’ve really blown up this year and are playing to bigger crowds. As your lyrics seem to come from a pretty personal place, what do you feel about having all these people resonating with your music and contemplating your most intimate thoughts?
It is a little scary, I admit. But I trust in doing art that feels innately true to myself, it attracts my kind of people and filters out people that probably aren’t really my kind of people anyway. The people or fans that I meet after my shows are like instant friends – they feel really familiar, and I think it’s because my songs are a reflection of who I am and how I feel about things.
We’d love to know about any influential albums that have affected your music.
Probably Mazzy Star’s So Tonight That I Might See. That album introduced me to the idea of simplicity and purity in songwriting and singing. Before that album I was trying to be impressive, showy and complicated.
Is there anything you’re looking forward to doing while touring in Asia?
I’m really looking forward to the food!! I love trying new food.
Keep up-to-date with Fazerdaze here