It is not every day you get to witness an artist like Mvlholland, but today, we celebrate the release of her latest single, ‘6Ft. Baby’! Tackling the Y2K revival in a refreshing and eye-opening way, Mvlholland instead laces the pleasures of the past with raw and personal experiences of the present. Authentic and inspirational, the track is destined for a roadside singalong, capturing a much-needed slice of catharsis through a sense of personal relatability and belonging. ‘6Ft. Baby’ is the anthem you've always needed!
We were lucky enough to speak to Mvlholland about her journey writing the track, her many influences, and of course, the experiences that have shaped ‘6Ft. Baby’!
Georgia: Listening to your track ‘6Ft. Baby’, it's embedded with these definite Y2K vibes! When you look at pop music now, this sound is everywhere- in acts like Dua Lipa and artists like Carly Rae Jepsen hitting their revival eras. How do you feel you've done this differently to other artists to capture this energy?
Mvlholland: It’s so funny with that reference, because we wrote this song, me and Lachlan, on GarageBand and we didn't have any access to any form of professional tools. We were on zoom the whole time and it was when Sydney was in lockdown and we just used the sounds that were on GarageBand. I feel like that has a lot to do with this reference to old-school, Y2K pop culture. We didn't use any references at all when we wrote this song. I feel like when you write with references you use quite a bit of comparison to differentiate yourself as well as put yourself in a kind of category. I got an email when we were in the session- and I went through a really bad breakup- the person I was with left very quickly and didn't really explain the reasoning behind the breakup. I got the email, the explanation email; I was guessing it was just too long for a text because he had to email it-
G: Oh my god!
M: And I was FURIOUS, and I was so upset. But I think I was more angry than upset for a day or two. Lachlan had his guitar and when I was reading it he started singing the first line and I was like “w-w-wait! Go back! Let’s do that!”. We wrote it so quickly and we just used snare drums in GarageBand and he put down his guitar and everything sounded so shitty and I feel like we kinda used a lot of those sounds. In a way, shitty sounds are good sounds. They have a little bit of edge to them. We put it all together that day and we did not change very much- we didn't change anything really from the day we wrote it, and I actually haven't heard any comparisons for the song. No one has really put it in line with other artists, so it's really interesting that it gives off that vibe of like Dua and Carly. I am very flattered! But we didn't really think about it when we wrote it… it's crazy!
G: It's really interesting to think you can have a whole moment of just releasing all these emotions. I mean, even as a listener the track is just so cathartic! What does it mean to you to get to share these feelings and be able to speak openly and outwardly about your emotions to everyone?
M: Writing it was SO therapeutic! I did about three months of therapy (I probably should've done more), but I feel like writing this song was far more therapeutic than actually processing it because I just got to get everything out in a way that was so natural to me. I didn't know what the deal was, I didn't know if we were going to be releasing it. I remember playing it to a girl I was really close with at the time just after I had written it and I was like “hey, what do you think of this?” and she was going through a breakup at the time. She related to it in a way no one has related to my music before. She was like “it made me sad, but angry, but happy, but fuck you!” and everyone I played it to who had been through a hard breakup was saying “oh my god. This is so real, this is exactly how it feels”. It's like you're so mad they took it away from you, that's kinda how the song wraps up. “Yeah, I'm so mad you stole my shirt and I'm mad how everything went down and I don't like all the shitty parts about you, but the worst part is that you took my love away. You took something that was so special to me”. So I feel like I really love that part of the song that acknowledges that yeah, you are angry and it's upsetting and you're mad, but it hurts. There's this line that I have in the second verse that goes “your love was like a fantasy, and now you made me feel like I was getting a degree and losing someone that meant everything to me”. That to me was just like, AUGH!
G: Absolutely gut-wrenching!
M: Basically, it was just very therapeutic and it very much just felt like it was telling a lot of sides to the story.
G: Absolutely! And I think that's one of the things I love about the track- throughout the entirety of it you just maintain this really genuine voice. I think that's something that goes astray nowadays. Songs become these made-up stories and I guess your take, how important is having this authentic sense of identity and a genuine sense of connection through music?
M: Oh my god! I think it is like the most important thing ever! Sometimes I think it would be so cool to be a pop star in the early 2000s and 90s, but a lot of people didn't write their music back then and I feel like you can really hear it. You can hear when it's not someone's words and not what they feel and what they mean. I feel like even in my songs when I write hypothetical situations like my first single ‘83’- it was a great song and I loved it, but I didn't feel as connected and as passionate about it. I feel like it also gives you this push to want people to listen to it when it's your words and your story. The song before this one, was actually about falling in love with this person- that was ‘Foreign Obstacles’. That full circle moment of like “holy shit! I was so in love with you and now I've left you and I'm in a place where I'm heartbroken!” Even talking about it, I've been talking about it a lot these past two weeks and I'm like wow, I'm crying a lot more! I think it's really, really important. My favorite songwriter is Julia Micheals because I feel like you can just hear her feelings, and everything she says feels like she's just written it in a diary entry, and somehow it rhymes and it has a rhythm to it that just works. But it feels like she's speaking to you and I really just love that style of writing.
G: You can definitely spot those influences! You can tell how authentic she is and that is something you've really emulated in your writing. You touched on Julia Micheals being an influence- did you have any particular influences that made you go into music and have they changed now you're in the position you are?
M: Yes! Definitely! I remember the moment where I was like “I wanna do that”- I went to a festival in 2018 at the very beginning of the year. It was February and I had just turned seventeen. Billie Eilish was playing and it was the first festival she was playing in Australia I'm pretty sure and she was on at two in the afternoon. There was barely anyone there. I think she had just released ‘Don't Smile At Me’ and I loved Billie (I am not a diehard fan now), but back in the day I really liked what she was saying and her story. So I convinced my boyfriend at the time to go in with me, and it was one of those festivals where you go in and you couldn't get out. And we were young and wanted to drink and have fun, so it was a big sacrifice to go in at two in the afternoon. We went in and we saw her and she was just so happy to be on stage. I knew that's what I wanted to do, and I even said that to him. I think he thought I was joking! We broke up a couple months later, but he was like “oh yeah, that's cool”. But I was so entranced. I just found it so mesmerizing watching her on stage and watching the way she connected with everyone and how much everyone just wanted to listen to her. It was incredible and the most inspired I've ever felt. I've been around a lot of inspiring people and a lot of amazing things have happened that have pushed me in this direction, but I feel like that is a moment that I remember so vividly. It's funny, because performing live was definitely not my favorite thing in the world so for a while I couldn't even believe I wanted to get up on stage and sing in front of all of those people. But now, I just love the connection you feel in the moment- and I think that was definitely the biggest push. I moved to London by myself about three months later and started writing- and that's where I learned to write.
G: What a place to find yourself! And I did have a question that leads into that. Reading up about you, you've been everywhere! From New York, to London, to Australia. How do you think going on all these journeys and traveling to all these places has influenced you and shaped you both as a musician and as a person?
M: As a person, I think it definitely helped me adapt. I think that's changed a bit during covid. Covid made me more of a homebody. I'm very family oriented now and I love being around the people who are closest to me. But I mean, before covid, as a kid we never went on holidays. We moved countries. That was our thing. We weren't going, we were moving- even if it was for a few months. So I really learned how to adapt to new environments and new people, and I think that moved its way into the industry because I find it very easy to come into new environments and talk to new people. That's one of the biggest things when joining the industry- meeting new people and finding these connections and support systems. I feel like it gave me a lot of tools to find that quite easy. I think I would find that really difficult if not for the upbringing I had. I'm a very impulsive person now. I think it also shaped that part of me. I'll call my label and be like “Hey I'm moving to Melbourne next week”. Then I'll give it three weeks and move back to Byron. I'm very unpredictable because of my upbringing. But I love that. I love having the freedom to do that and not overthink it!
G: I think that's a really cool thing to have. I envy that spontaneity because it does shape your experiences! I think obviously that's funneled its way into you being a singer-songwriter. It takes talent to write- a lot of people can't do both. There are some evident advantages to being able to write your own songs- as you said before, you are full-circle storytelling. Do you find any disadvantages in being a songwriter? Do you offer your own experiences too much to the table or are you ever too vulnerable?
M: Yep! Yep! I definitely think I can overshare, I'm a very open person. A lot of the time you sit down and you're writing with a lot of passionate thoughts at the beginning. You're walking into a room of strangers and bring like “Hey! This is something really traumatic and impactful that happened to me. Let's dive into it and write a song about it!” So it brings a lot of stuff up and I definitely think I couldn't have written ‘6Ft. Baby’ with anyone other than Lach because I have written with him more than anyone else. I feel very close to him and I can tell him anything- he will help me write it in a way that makes me feel the most natural. So we definitely got very real with that song. I'm a little bit scared of it! It feels like I had a bit of a tantrum and wrote everything down in a journal and now I'm sending it off into the universe. But I'm so grateful for that, and it feels like such an amazing thing that everything moved in the motion that it did for me to write this song. But yes, I definitely feel like I overshare a lot- just a dash!
G: I mean, at your expense we get good stories out of it! So that's a win!
M: That's what I tell myself. It's going to be fine because people will relate. No matter what, no matter if it's one out of how many people are in the world, one person… I will be happy that they feel heard.
G: I guess with the topic of a new song coming out, when do you find yourself at your most creative? What position lets all your juices flow?
M: I think, when I'm upset. Which is upsetting because I don't like to be upset, but I feel like I need my life to be moving quite quickly for me to be putting it into words. You know, if I've spent three months in Byron with my family I'm stumped about what I write about. Nothing interesting happens. So I feel like when I've spent a few months in Sydney or I've been away or I've had a whirlwind experience happen, I find that really inspiring. But I'm definitely due for a breakup. I need new music and I need to find someone worth writing about. But I also don't like leaving my house right now! It's very hard! I don't know what to do! I think it's definitely heartbreak. Even if it's like family heartbreak. I started writing when my dad went through a divorce when I was twelve and he was really affected by it. I was so young. I didn't feel like I had a voice to express how him being sad made me feel. I had this journal from Typo- I still have it and I wrote all these songs! There are actually some good ones. I looked back on it the other day and thought there were some I might use! I feel like I take a lot of experiences from other people. Like my parents, they had such crazy lives and had such amazing experiences that I feel like it would be a waste not to dive into that and share them.
G: Writing on behalf of people who can't share their stories is always a really cool thing to explore! And, I also think you should be getting a Typo sponsorship out of this!
M: You and me both! I haven't been to Typo since I was twelve. Even when I'm in the studio with producers who I'm close with, sometimes I'll ask them questions and be like “so, what happened to you lately?”. I remember one of my friends, we were writing together, and he was telling me this story and I was writing a song as he was talking to me. And we were done talking and I was like “great, I got the song!” If I feel stuck sometimes I like to start interviewing other people!
G: That's one way around it!
G: One thing I'm really interested in, you mentioned live performing used to be something you weren't fond of, but you've grown to love it- if you could tour with anyone, locally or internationally, who would be on your bucket list tour.
M: Okay. I mean like logistically like coverage and world tour vibes… Lorde, yeah maybe Lorde. But in saying that it's like Lorde's 'Melodrama’ album. I'm gonna be specific album-wise. Who else? I have such a weird music taste like I listen to… OH you know what, Taylor Swift! I take everything back. Taylor Swift.
G: And we got new music from her today!
M: Oh my god! I saw that the album leaked last night, and it took everything in me not to look at it. So much self-restraint! I'm so excited!
G: There's so much new music! New Arctic Monkeys as well, and the new 1975 album is still on rotation for me!
M: Oh it's so good! You know who else has released an album recently that I love, Sabrina Carpenters' ‘Emails I Can't Send’. That was really good. I love soft-pop. Also, this TikTokker, Nessa Barrett, she just released this emo, grunge, pop album- it's REALLY good! I am so pleasantly surprised, I love that for her. The number of people that doubt social influencers as musicians, and she's just proven them all wrong. Bravo!
G: That's an interesting thing to get your take on as well! What do you think of this influx of new music that stems from a fifteen-second Tik Tok trend and then that person will become famous from it? Obviously, there's an audience who hates this phenomenon and some people only see is as these groups of people that go to a live show and only know that snippet. What are your thoughts on this all?
M: That's so crazy you say that because I saw this video last night of a Steve Lacy concert and the entire crowd only knew one line. One line. I think that's amazing for him because it's given him this incredible coverage, and a lot of artists this incredible platform that they would have only had later on with a slower development, but I think that would be really tough. Playing a concert to say 3000 people and them knowing one line. Knowing that they came for that one line and not for the body or work that you've spent years creating. I think that would be really rough on them but you have to be grateful for any type of success now. It's so hard! I remember seeing recently, we were looking at statistics, my manager and I, and something like 50,000 new songs come on every new music Friday. So if you're one of those people that make it, even for that fifteen seconds, people are relating for fifteen seconds. I think you need to be grateful and happy for people that find that success. Success is success, and sometimes it's not as authentic as you want it to be or the way it used to be, but times are changing. Everything has changed so much in three years. Being angry and being upset isn't going to change that, you just have to adapt and accept. And be happy for everyone! Who gives a shit!
G: Very insightful, thank you! I guess just to close up, what do you hope for with the release of ‘6Ft. Baby’- to listeners, and to you. What are you hoping for this release?
M: I hope people know it's okay to be sad and angry at the same time. And to know that it's okay for someone to fuck you over and realize this is your narrative. I feel like a lot of people feel like they have to tell both sides of the story, and I think just tell your side. Feel the way you want to feel and live your narrative. Do whatever you want and whatever makes you happy. If writing a kind of aggressive and kind of mean song (… I feel bad… ) If that brings you a sense of relief and a sense of closure, then do it. If this song brings someone a sense of relief and closure then I think that will make me happy. I really just want someone to scream it at the top of their lungs in their car while they're driving down a freeway. That is my goal!
G: That can be arranged!
M: You're the one!
'6Ft. Baby' is now streaming!