Prove your humanity

With Groovin the Moo just around the corner, Melbourne artist Angie McMahon spoke to Grok about new music, performing live shows and Pasta.


You released your latest single, Pasta, early last month. Can you tell me a bit about the meaning behind this track?

I was just trying to be really honest about my lack of productivity, and trying to be humorous about it too because really, I feel lost a lot of the time, and that can get me down. I’ve always wanted to write songs, and I went away to the country to write a bunch of stuff, but I wasn’t getting anything done. I was eating only lasagne because that’s what I’d cooked for myself for the week. I knew I was capable of writing something good while I was away but I couldn’t get out of my rut. So, the song is me trying to sing myself out of feeling useless.


Your debut album, Salt, is coming out sometime this year, what can listeners expect from it?

Well, my favourite moments on the album are the really intimate ones—the opening song, and some of the last songs, where I feel like I poured a lot of myself out. Then in the middle, there’s the rockier stuff, the singles I’ve released, which people are familiar with now I guess. It’s just a collection of the songs I’ve completed and have been proud of over the period between me graduating high school and reaching age 24.


How do you feel your music has progressed since putting out your first single?

I guess I’ve had a lot of new experiences since then, so more stuff to write about, like how to navigate turning into an adult. And I feel more confident in a band setting, and thinking about what the music and all the instruments will sound like, not just the lyrics. I’ve got a long way to go with writing, I need to practice it a lot more. But I do feel like it’s progressing. I hope I can be more musically articulate.


You have such a unique, deep and powerful voice, how did you develop your personal sound? Thanks! I copied a lot of the singers I heard growing up. I used to want to sound like Missy Higgins, then k.d. lang, then Adele, a bunch of others, and I would just test the limits of what my voice could do. I had a couple really nice singing teachers when I was in high school. I sang in a soul band for a couple of years too. I really like covering pop songs and trying to sing them in a way that felt like my personality.


I saw you toured the US for the first time recently, how was that for you? What’s your favourite thing about touring and performing live shows?

It was great, I think my favourite thing is sharing the moments on stage with my band, having fun with the music and feeling people react to it. I like seeing new places and the funny things that are on TV, and the different foods and different weather, but sometimes that stuff gets blurry because I’m thinking about doing the job well. So, the trip went by pretty fast. I feel very lucky to have done it.


You’re heading our way for Groovin the Moo soon, what’re you looking forward to about that?

Yes, I’m so excited! I just want to spend a lot more time in WA. There’s so many parts of it that I want to see. I’ve only ever been to Perth, so I’m excited to see Bunbury and explore a little.


After GTM, what’s next for you and your music?

I’m going to UK/Europe for a few weeks for some shows, and my album will come out in a couple months, and then some more touring! We’re going to do an Australian tour later in the year, which I’m looking forward to a lot.


Angie McMahon will be playing Groovin the Moo festival in Bunbury on May 11.