The Australian singer-songwriter Hamish Anderson makes it a point to include “guitarist” when discussing his music, even though with just one listen, you can tell the guy has a knack for strings. Anderson released his debut album Trouble in 2016 and through his blues vibes and classic rock tendencies, the album felt like a warm welcome to an artist on the rise. With hit singles “Trouble” and “Hold On Me,”Anderson toured the United States, making appearances at festivals like Firefly Music Festival and Mountain Jam, which was one of the last music festivals that the late Tom Petty headlined. “Even to have my name in tiny print at the bottom of a t-shirt with Tom Petty’s name is pretty awesome,” Anderson humbly remarks, recalling performing at Mountain Jam.
With clear influences from classic rockers such as Tom Petty, Fleetwood Mac and the Rolling Stones, Anderson says that since his debut album, he feels he’s truly been able to find his own distinct voice while keeping those musical inspirations close to his heart. The artist’s second album is due out in the spring of this year and already we’ve been offered two contrasting singles from the album: “No Good” and “Breaking Down.” Anderson tells me that following Trouble and his extensive U.S. tour, he returned home to Australia and it was there that the words started to pour out. “It was very natural and I didn’t force it,” he says of the three months he spent writing. Anderson adds that though there was definite pressure before he released Trouble, he feels there might be a bit more with the artist’s second album. “David Crosby once said something about how an artist has ten years to do their first album because you’ve been writing forever,” he explains, referencing one of the founding members of the Byrds. He adds that on any artist’s second album, that’s when push comes to shove and you see what they have to give in a lot less time.
The upcoming album’s first single, “No Good,” was one that Anderson had started working on and after a long eight months had completed, which he says was very out of character for him. At the core, the song is about accepting that a relationship is not going to work. “There is a defiant edge to it. It isn’t like, woe is me,” Anderson explains. The song boasts a signature guitar, drums and bass-driven musicality to it while offering infectious vocals. These are the characteristics that Anderson says are woven throughout the whole album. “Trouble was a little jammy and little more loose. I really wanted to have big choruses and have this album be more song-driven.” Anderson adds that along with producer Jim Scott, the pair focused on digging deeper into each song on the album and exploring different arrangements to complement Anderson’s poignant lyrics. “I just really want the honesty to come out through the lyrics and the production as well. There are mistakes all over it but that’s the music I love. That’s part of the charm,” he says.
With a far from manufactured sound, Anderson offers music rich in emotional layers and skillful musicality. From strong blues and rock songs to more minimal love songs, Anderson’s confidence as an artist is destined to lead him to a well-rounded sophomore album.
Main photo credit: Elaine Torres