Premiere: Meet Lucy Sugerman, who offers a glimpse of the future with her debut single
The Canberra-based musician is on the edge of a break-out moment, and her debut single i wanna kiss boys cos i’m bored proves exactly why.
There's a lot of talent in the next generation - that's something we know, and something we've been harping on about for as long as we've existed - but I don't think that quite captures the amount of promise and potential held in Lucy Sugerman. She's an act that's without a doubt primed for a breakthrough moment, working herself there through extensive work across a range of musical artforms throughout the last few years in her hometown of Canberra (and beyond that really).
In 2018, for example - as a bright-eyed 17-year-old - she supported Ali Barter and Nicole Millar, while also orchestrating and arranging material for the Canberra Youth Orchestra the same year. It seems that it encouraged her to deeper follow the songwriting path; the next two years or so spent working with some of the best songwriters and producers in the country - Alex Lahey, Dustin Tebbutt, LANKS, Dylan Nash, Joel Quartermain, Hauskey, MUKI - amongst further shows, while also being awarded mentorship through APRA AMCOS' Women in Music program.
Everything has really been building towards the release of a debut single, and as we premiere it today, it all comes together for a powerful, dizzying display that makes you pay attention. Titled i wanna kiss boys cus i'm bored, the track is a playful three-minutes of genuinely quite incredible pop music, with dancing guitar melodies and crisp percussion forming a wind-swept underlay for her infectious vocals, which prove so addicting that you have to keep coming back time and time again.
It's a wonderful debut that encapsulates all the time she's spent on her craft, as well as all the excitement that surrounds her name. It's full of life and energetic - amongst some of the most striking pop music we've heard out of an Australian newcomer this year - but also captures her sassiness and personality beyond that too, through the lyrics' humour and spirit, and how she's able to sharpen her words with some really great songwriting.
"As we all tend to do at some point or another, I went through a long period of seeing other people solely to try and get over an ex. It’s safe to say, it didn’t help and left me feeling quite hollow afterwards every time," she says on the single, which was written and produced alongside two of our other favourites: Hauskey and MUKI. "It’s something I experienced on both sides, a worrying amount of times - I’d be telling someone I don’t want anything serious, and they’d say the same, and then for some twisted reason, we’d end up talking about our exes. Feelings are weird.
"i wanna kiss boys cos i’m bored explores the concept of those kind of rebound relationships in a bit of cheeky and tongue-in-cheek way, and how they really (unfortunately) do not work for me."
It's a brilliant start for a brilliant artist sure to define the year ahead in homegrown pop music, and you can check it out below through its self-directed, self-starring video clip, as it premieres on Pilerats ahead of its official release tomorrow, November 26th. Underneath that, introduce yourself to the person behind it too.
Tell us about yourself?
I started off playing violin from age 4 after I saw someone on the Wiggles playing the violin. Then I really wanted to be Carole King. I’m 19 and born and raised in Canberra, I love sustainable fashion and thrifting, I embarrassingly have over 300 Spotify playlists for every mood and event imaginable, I love hosting dinner parties and I’m a sucker for good craft beer. I’m one of those people that regularly does yoga, I’m a skier and I also love drawing and art and (attempt to) do my own graphics and merch design. But I mostly write songs about my feelings and everything I see around me and love playing them for people.
What’s the ‘vibe’ music-wise?
I would describe it as confessional indie-pop with a side of folk storytelling. I’m really inspired by the 60s and 70s songwriting geniuses I grew up listening to thanks to my parents, like Carole King, The Carpenters, Joni Mitchell, Rodriguez and Bob Dylan, as well as the rise of indie and bedroom pop. I’m a sucker for vintage amps and wacky old-sounding synths, and I love incorporating evocative and specific details into catchy pop melodies. Visually, I’m super inspired by my Vietnamese heritage and have really enjoyed incorporating those elements into the photos and music video for the song.
What are your production and writing processes usually like?
I think my favourite thing about songwriting and creating music is that it happens differently every time - I really enjoy switching it up between a sporadic writing session alone in my room at 2AM or a week of set co-writing sessions with other writers and producers.
Can you tell us a bit about this new single, i wanna kiss boys cos i’m bored?
I wrote it with legends Hauskey and MUKI in a writing session last year. It starts off super playful with a driving bass line and lots of funky guitar & synth moments, which contrasts with the sombre and stripped back moody ending. I’m so excited to have this track as my debut.
As we all tend to do at some point or another, I went through a long period of seeing other people solely to try and get over an ex. It’s safe to say, it didn’t help and left me feeling quite hollow afterwards every time. It’s something I experienced on both sides, a worrying amount of times - I’d be telling someone I don’t want anything serious, and they’d say the same, and then for some twisted reason, we’d end up talking about our exes. Feelings are weird. i wanna kiss boys cos i’m bored explores the concept of those kind of rebound relationships in a bit of cheeky, tongue-in-cheek way, and how they really (unfortunately) do not work for me.
The music video pokes fun at the fact I even wrote a song like this and the way I go about relationships as well as modern dating and stereotypes. The concept was music video Lucy inviting all her exes to a coffee date that become more like a job-interview-relationship-interrogation.
What do you have planned for the rest of 2020 and 2021?
For the rest of 2020 - I’m playing a single launch show on Fri 27th November here in Canberra with a bunch of awesome special guests like LIV LI & Kirklandd and then finishing off the year heading off to a songwriting camp on a gorgeous rural property (we can do that again!!!!). 2021 will see a whole lot more of my music being released, collaborations, music videos, (hopefully) more shows and art. I also just moved out of home - so definitely a new chapter in more ways than one.
What do you want people to take away from the project?
My fondest memories in music have been playing shows and songs and people coming up to me after and telling me about their own experiences and how a song captured exactly what they were going through - it’s really special to be able to connect with people in that way. I always write very honestly, so I hope by being authentic, introspective and completely myself, people can walk away feeling they’ve experienced something real and relatable. Hopefully they also get a bit of a laugh sometimes and the songs can feel like an escape from the heaviness of the world.
Where can we find more of your music?
Earlier this year I released a song with LANKS as a part of his double album Spirits Pt. 1 & 2 called I’d Do It All Again - Will and I wrote it together the day we met as he listened to my boy problems at the time. He’s such a gem of a human and also one of the most talented and genuine people I’ve ever met. Super honoured to be a part of the record. I’m also live-streaming the single launch on Nov 27th from 7:00pm AEST - more information to come on my socials!