Australian pop artist Vera Blue has just released the first taste of the next era of her music, and it's a jam perfect for the warmer months. Lie To Me sees her embracing the feeling of getting to know someone better and developing a connection with them - a far cry from her last album Perennial, which talks about a relationship that's ending.
Lie To Me is one of Vera Blue's most impressive vocal performances yet and showcases a vocal range she's developed over three years of constant touring, including playing huge festivals like Splendour In The Grass and Lollapalooza.
Ahead of the release of Lie To Me, we spoke to Vera about her 2020, writing Lie To Me and how her music continues to evolve, as well as how she's excited for fans to listen to the new music and provide their own input on what the lyrics mean.
Cool Accidents: You’ve just released Lie To Me, and it’s a very summery, tropical single – given the current state of events, as well as the weather in Australia, can you tell me how those sounds came to form the basis of the track?
Vera Blue: This song was written over a year ago and it was written in the summer at Andy Mak’s studio near the ocean. I think organically our instrumental experimenting took quite a tropical summery feel, but unintentionally which was cool. This song was a slow burner in terms of wanting to release it.
Even though we wrote it and produced the bones of it in a day we felt like there was a lot missing from it, and the only way to find those parts was to give it time to breathe. In doing so, we discovered it needed loads more vocal samples, harmonies, live drums and textured synths.
Your first album talks about a break-up, whereas Lie To Me talks about the feeling of falling for someone – do you feel vulnerable putting such feelings in a song, or does sharing such intimate moments in your music help you come to terms with the events in your personal life?
I do feel very vulnerable, but at the same time writing music is super healing. Pouring out all of my emotions into a song and being able to be vulnerable is really quite empowering and I think it helps me connect with others and allows people to relate.
Lie To Me is the beginning of a new era for you – does it feel like a natural evolution of your music, or is this a conscious decision to take a leap forward, and how do you expect fans to react?
A bit of both really! I feel like lyrically it’s a very natural evolution because I’m always drawing inspiration from what is happening in my life which my producer will then imitate through production. We always try to push ourselves into new territory in terms of sound and experimentalism, but only if it’s necessary for the song.
We love letting the emotion of a lyric inspire a sound or even a drum beat to inspire a lyric. Everything is always based of emotion and has a purpose.
You’ve described the sounds in Lie To Me as coming from a “more poetic and obscure experimental place”. Can you talk a bit more about what that means, and how fans can expect to see the fruits of that experimentation emerge in upcoming releases?
I think it all comes down to finding obscure ways to say something simple using metaphors and imagery. I think there’s true beauty in mystery. Sometimes when we come up with a strange sentence that doesn’t feel like it makes sense, we stumble across double meanings that create intriguing messages for the listener.
All of the lyrics make sense to me but may not make sense to others. I love that when people listen to it, they can relate to it in their own way. It’s also really fun to delve into poetry. I surprise myself when a lyric will pop into my head if I open my mind and just let the words form interesting visuals.
You performed Lie To Me for the very first time as part of YouTube Music Sessions. How have you gone about developing this live-streamed performance, and has the process taught you anything about your live show?
Yes! Well I could’ve done a stripped back version but I missed my band so much and wanted to have a big ol' jam with them so I thought I’d get us all together and perform the song with all of the production and high energy that the song deserves for its first live performance.
You mention that you wouldn’t have previously been able to perform some of the notes in Lie To Me. Can you talk to me a bit more about how you think your vocals have evolved since you started making music, and how you’ve managed to strengthen them?
I think from all of the years of touring and singing over loud crowds, competing with noises like the band and boomy venues, projecting my voice has strengthened it and allowed me to have more control and trust in my voice which is super cool! I can fearlessly go for notes and vocal tricks that I could never have done prior to touring.
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Finally, picture this time in 12 months – what do you think you’ll be doing, and what do you hope to achieve from now until then?
I think just bunkering down and working on new music and creating something that I’m truly proud of is something that I always want to achieve. I’m having so much fun creating music that excites me and it gets me pumped to do live gigs to. I guess for now while we can’t follow up our singles with tours, I’ll just keep on working on new music that I’ll be eager to share!