Coming out of Brisbane with fists swinging, Keziah Davies has released her debut single 'Sertraline,' under the moniker Spring Hill Walkers Club. The track tackles issues of depression & normalizing talk surrounding anti-depressants and mental health. It starts off with gut-busting bass & a drum shuffle, and gets only more hectic from there:
After covering her single, and hearing it debut on 4ZZZ FM, I knew we had to interview Spring Hill Walkers Club, because they've really got something special, and there's only more to come. And we were lucky enough to hear back from them! So, with no small amount of pleasure, I give you... The Spring Hill Walkers Club Q&A:
So, this is your debut single. Can you tell us a little about yourself and what turns your life has taken to lead down this path?
Let’s see, in regards to my life as a musician, I used to play keys in a few bands (Winter Solstice, Pensive Penguin) many years ago. Everything kind of petered out for a few years but I never stopped writing songs. Spring Hill Walkers Club came to life after lots & lots of encouragement from friends, especially my pal Krishan who wrote Sertraline with me & produced the EP. Even though he lives in Melbourne we managed to send demos back and forth and pull everything together.
I know that the track ‘Sertraline’ is about the stress of working full-time as a medical receptionist last year during the pandemic, being broken up by your then-boyfriend and dealing with it all. Would you like to open up about this at all?
I guess it was a strange time for everyone when I wrote this song, dealing with the pandemic and numerous lockdowns. I’d also been dealing with depression on and off (never really ‘off’, I suppose) for most of my adult life. When my partner and I broke up it was a bit of a catalyst that made me realise I wasn’t doing well, and so I saw my GP and started back on antidepressants - after a trialling a different SSRI I ended up on Sertraline (Zoloft) and it really helped - so that’s where the name of the song and the chorus hook comes from! The song is about weird mixed-up feelings of living with anxiety, and while it’s scary for me to talk about sometimes, I think it’s really important that more people speak up honestly about their mental health and don’t feel like they have to hide their experiences.
Speaking of the pandemic, what are your thoughts on it all as someone on the frontline last year? And what advice would you give another upcoming musician during these weird times for the music & performance industry?
I’ve been pretty lucky & privileged throughout the pandemic, living in Brisbane for one, and I've never been out of work even in lockdowns thanks to my day-job in the health industry. So it gave me the opportunity to save money for this project, especially since I wasn't spending money going to gigs. The music industry has been so turned on its head.
As for advice, I don’t know if it’s good advice, but I’d say just to do what you want/release what you want instead of waiting for gigs & touring to go back to normal! For a while I was sitting on these songs, thinking I’d like to get a proper band together before releasing them, but realised that gigs were likely to get rescheduled so there was no point in waiting. Best decision I’ve ever made.
What does your songwriting process look like? Was this song typical of your regular songwriting process, or did it morph over the course of its creation? Has the way you write songs changed over the years as you evolve as a musician?
I have pretty much always written songs on my acoustic guitar, usually coming up with the bones of the song. With this track I think I only had one verse and chorus done before sending a demo down to my mate Krishan who lives in Melbourne. Usually he adds a few extra parts but this one really did morph into something else. He came up with the bass riff and guitar progression and suddenly the song was where it needed to be. I’d say the main way my songwriting has evolved is that I’ll chip away at songs a lot more, compared to in the past when I would write a song and decide it was done and never revisit it again. I now like to let things sit and come back to them because I often end up coming up with better ideas.
I know that your friends Chrissy (drums) & Krishan (bass, guitars, production) aided you in the studio with bringing the song to life & laying down music layers. How did you meet these two beautiful people? Will we be seeing them during live performances?
Chrissy, Krishan and I all used to play in a band together called Winter Solstice, along with two of our other pals Arion & Rosie (you should check out the singer Arion Fickel’s solo stuff, it’s incredible), so we’ve known each other for years! Over the last 2 years Krishan had been pressuring me to record some of my music & when time finally came to record and I needed a drummer I reached out to Chris despite it being years since we’d hung out. We only had one rehearsal before recording but she is an absolute legend and had all the songs down pat instantly. As for playing live... Krishan lives in Melbourne but I’m hoping next time he visits Brisbane we can all get our shit together to play a show somewhere, if Chrissy isn’t too busy with her other band The Glycereens.
Your debut EP Panic Attack is set to release later this year. What can you tell us about it so far, and what can we expect from this stellar release? I know I can’t wait to hear it, ‘Sertraline’ was just amazing, and I can’t wait to hear more.
I’m so proud of all of the songs on the EP after spending years toying with releasing music and never being brave enough to do it. There’ll be another single, Anxiety, & a video to go with it out soon, and then the EP will be out on the 25th November. No EP Launch but depending on COVID maybe a live show early next year!
‘Sertraline’ touches on the need to de-stigmatize antidepressants and normalise dialogue surrounding mental health issues. If you could reach out to others who are struggling with mental health, what would you say to them after coming through all you’ve dealt with?
I think what’s helped me is knowing that I’m not alone, that so many people deal with these feelings. Hearing artists like Carla Geneve & Merpire sing and speak so candidly about their mental health had a really profound effect on me, so if I can do that for someone else then that makes speaking up about it all worth it.
What does the future hold for Spring Hill Walkers Club going into 2022 and beyond? Which artists would you love to tour with or support live, if given the chance? (Feel free to get as wild as you like, dream big or small!)
2022 will hopefully see Spring Hill Walkers Club start playing a few gigs, and maybe another EP too. I’d love to make it down to Melbourne to play a little show. As for dream artists, big ones would be Snail Mail, Soccer Mommy or Mitski. But closer to home some bands that spring to mind are Julia Jacklin, Merpire, Clea & Moaning Lisa.
And there we have it, the tid bits, odds n ends from Spring Hill Walkers Club. thanks again to Keziah Davies for getting back to us and opening up. I can't wait for the next single & EP drop. If we ever get blessed with a live gig, I know where I'll be. Be sure to follow them on Freshly So-Cal medias to keep up to date and know when the big EP plops out into our eager hands: