Introducing Hazlett and his incredible voice on new single, First World Problems
The rising Brisbane talent shines on his stripped-back new single – something for fans of James Vincent McMorrow and similar acts.
After spending years behind-the-scenes ghostwriting and working as a touring musician, Brisbane's Hazlett has stepped out of his cage and leapt into the limelight, and we're incredibly thankful that he is. The Brisbane-based musician has one of those 'voices for the ages' – think Leonard Cohen, Ben Howard, James Vincent McMorrow and co. – a voice that he well and truly showcases on his brilliant, stripped-back new single First World Problems. It's a soft and subtle affair, with Hazlett's talented carol floating above a hazy, indie-tinged pop production that perfectly contrasts Hazlett's honest lyrics. "I'm usually not the talking type," says Hazlett on his approach to music. "I guess I just save it up and I write it down in a song" – and thank god that he does.
Although First World Problems feels like a single written by a veteran in the songwriting scene, when it comes Hazlett, it's only one of the first few tracks he's released through the solo project. So, to get to know him and his magnificent voice that little bit better, we flicked him a couple of questions to read over while you get swept over by his charming grace.
Tell us about yourself?
A friend of mine said I was a jock stuck in a hipsters body once and I guess that's not too far from the truth. I've been writing since I was 15 but very rarely sharing any of it until recently. I've quit music three times. I've never had a headache. I played the trumpet for eight years. I think I drink too much coffee. I once beat Jack Nicholson's son at Basketball.
What’s the vibe music-wise?
It's nylon string guitar meats drum machines; it's old singer-songwriter stories meets open pads and synth waves. I love when different worlds collide.
What are your production and writing processes like?
It might be cliche but it changes every single time. A song usually starts with a lyric I wrote in the middle of the night, an instrument I have no idea how to play or my best friend asking if I want to go to karaoke with Lindsay Lohan. My one constant is a Swede named Freddy though. He's my right-hand man with everything I write and record.
Can you tell us about your new single, First World Problems?
This song was written after a night in London. I was chaperoning my friend, who loves a beverage, to a drunk haircut at some fancy place in Soho. Long story short he passed out next to me and a bottle of Chardonnay on the train home. Next thing I know I'm pissed off because my phone died and that's when everything came into focus. It was a train full of people, no one talking to each other, everyone staring at their phones or on the phone to someone else complaining about some meaningless bs. It hit me like "man, we don't communicate with each other well at all." There's a fine line between stranger danger and understanding one another, so there are less friction and fear between differences. I seem to have a habit of finding a deeper meaning in light situations. I haven't decided if this is healthy or unhealthy.
What have you got in store for us in 2018?
Last year I recorded three EPs so this year is the fun part of getting everything I've worked on out there. A new song is coming in April, another one in June followed by a full EP.
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