EP Walkthrough: Will Hyde breaks down the brilliance of his debut EP, with u in mind
The Melbourne-based musician has come a long, long way since our first introduction to him - and nothing shows that better than his debut solo EP.
Header image by Joey Knox.
For someone whose solo project began only this year, Will Hyde has come a long way. The Melbourne-based musician launched the project at the top of the year after finding early success as one-half of electro-pop duo SŸDE; the project being a creative space for Will to showcase his craft as a singer-songwriter (rather than a producer, which was much of his role in SŸDE) while allowing a greater sense of freedom without the boundaries and expectations of his past work. "I got trapped making a certain style of music because I knew it could do well, which is just part of me growing up and evolving as a musician," he said with the project's introduction.
Skip forward ten months, and Will - as a solo musician - is at the cusp of pop's next-generation, teetering on the edge of something remarkably brilliant. It's a project that shows how far he's come in presenting a fully-formed personal vision to light at its most catchy and hypnotic, leaving behind a legacy of dancing electro-pop in favour for something that oozes with intimate vulnerability and high-flying pop simultaneously; his work exploring the depths of his emotions through pop music that's capable of switching between subtle and soaring at the drop of the hat.
It's a combination that's shown itself throughout the singles that have littered Will's 2020, and now with a debut EP under his belt, we're seeing everything it encompasses come to life as a fully-fledged, well-rounded experience that feels reflective of an artist of today - and not just on a surface level, through music alone. Arriving last Friday, with u in mind. is a daring six tracks that explores every facet of Will Hyde both as a musician and as a person behind the melodies; the EP being an introduction to the multi-dimensional musician and every snapshot that's gone into making him who he is today.
The end result feels like a breath of fresh air, or the blossoming of someone that's bound to be a face of tomorrow. It strives between high-flying confidence and subtle moments of vulnerability alike, songs like easy for u. and meant to be. - which burn with a sense of hook-driven euphoria, despite its underlying heaviness - positioned alongside tracks such as too close to love. and dark until september., songs that burn with a sense of emotional longing at their forefront, and aren't afraid to grapple with the brooding darkness of its themes.
Together, they're songs that present a snapshot in the life of someone you really get a great understanding of through their debut EP; with u in mind. reflecting on the turbulence of life even at a young age, and how it all comes together to inform the person you eventually grow into, as Will is experiencing himself. "I love the fact that I can revisit these songs & listen to them as a diary entry/chapter from a different part of my life," he says. "The thing I love about the world is that everything is constantly changing, my situation now is not my situation tomorrow. Knowing I can use these songs as a reference point for getting thru obstacles I will surely face in the future, makes me feel grateful."
It takes a lot of maturation to work that out - even without music as a way to process - but you get the feeling that Will has figured it out, or at least as much as you can. "[It] summarises a lot of emotions over the body of work," he continues. "It’s sort of scattered sonically yet tied together with the same umbrella of emotions I was feeling - hurt, rejection, shame, love, connection, hope."
It's a deeply personal release from someone who has only just begun, and you can listen to the EP below alongside a track-by-track walkthrough dissecting its inner themes and creation, one song at a time.
With u in mind feels like a snapshot in time for me. I love the fact that I can revisit these songs & listen to them as a diary entry/chapter from a different part of my life. The thing I love about the world is that everything is constantly changing, my situation now is not my situation tomorrow. Knowing I can use these songs as a reference point for getting thru obstacles I will surely face in the future, makes me feel grateful.
with u in mind summarises a lot of emotions over the body of work. it’s sort of scattered sonically yet tied together with the same umbrella of emotions i was feeling - hurt, rejection, shame, love, connection, hope.
the first song i wrote for the EP was dark until september, a song i hold close to my heart. it pretty much summed up all of my feelings at that particular time. i was very out of love - with myself & the music industry, tired & exhausted from relationships that had broken down. i was pretty much running on empty yet i was doing my best to stay present and just let my soul find my next thing. i would’ve been happy at that point if i gave up music, i probably could of. yet something kept burning within me that meant that giving up really wasn’t an option in my cards.
so, i was faced with a sobering question where i had reached a stale point in my career & life - what next? that was when i found myself taking a bus for a couple of hours to a studio with alex henriksson, away from home. it really invigorated me because i wasn’t creating from a place of thinking these songs would be for something. i was just writing & alex is someone i’m very grateful for helping me continue to find that drive.
being away from home is the centrepiece for this whole piece of work. easy for u is the only song on the EP that i made back home. the rest, i made travelling - i went around Australia, New Zealand. that was where i was able to stay creative & inspired. i meant a lot of people that helped make these songs as a result!! :)
the thing i like about all of these records on the EP is that there isn’t really a clear cut resolution at the end. life is like that. sometimes u just gotta be trying, that is enough. that was the case here!
i hope these songs can connect or influence u in some way. if they could be a part of ur journey, that would be a dream to me <3.
easy for u.
shooting this video was really exciting for me. i’m finding my feet as an artist again and with that, i’m learning what i like - to wear, to shoot, to put across. these visuals feel like they compliment the vulnerability of the song & also expand on the story. it was important to me to have something simple to follow so that humans watching it could take it in - sometimes complex storylines in music videos confuse me.
my favourite part of finishing my first music video was working with a stylist - i love fashion so much and i enjoy the fluidity that fashion can take. we really went with fits that had both ‘feminine’ and ‘masculine’ touches and that’s always a thrill for me to play with. it’s part of me expressing how i feel on the day! i hope this video connects with u, inspires u & helps u explore urself.
when i wrote this song i had been away from home for quite a long time. that space had given me a lot of time to think about everything. including the past. i noticed there were certain relationships that i was holding onto & it meant that i was not being present. the only times i was present was when i was in the studio. that’s the only time i could really enjoy…
so i got out of the shower one morning before a session with liam quinn, and had a melody in my head - the chorus of what would be over u.. in the second verse i really am just sort of stating the frustration i was feeling - like, ur driving me insane. i’m driving me insane. the way i got full clarity was using this song as a point to be like, okay, i’m gonna start making sure i’m bringing myself back to this present moment now. i gotta make a change and stop thinking about these relationships in my life.
meant to be.
meant to be. is about thinking u are over someone, only to see them and realise u still have a lot of feelings left in that relationship. i think that that comfort and connection i have with someone never really fades over time. there's always feelings that i have left with that person that can come back up and make me remember the good times. i find it hard to let people go and really detach myself from relationships completely... so this song really is about an inner conflict with myself… i am sometimes so optimistic that it blinds me to the troubles at the root of the relationship. getting back with that person & allowing them in my life doesn’t mean i would have a different outcome with them. it’s hard to face the root causes to the breakdown, but it’s the only way to move on from it.
i wrote this song in New Zealand when i was travelling! it was my first time there & it really inspired me. a change in scenery always makes me feel a little different and brings out a different creative side to me, which was super refreshing. i remember feeling sorta homesick for the first time in my life. i had been travelling for around 4+ months on and off. mostly living in different places (spare beds, on floors hehe), around Australia. someone made a comment to me which sort of made me feel like an outsider, a misfit. i had to hold myself back from making a reactive comment in defense/out of shame. so i just sat with it.
then i realised that being a misfit is only a bad thing if i make it out like that. in reality, it doesn’t matter what i am, as long as i feel i have people who i connect with, that give my life meaning. that was what i went into a session at Simon Gooding’s with. i want the track to feel inspiring/uplifting. it’s me saying, even if u feel like u don’t deserve love, i will be there for u - u give my life so much meaning & help me feel like i belong. it’s basically having that one person u can lean on at the end of the day. u don’t need too many of those humans, just a couple to give u a shoulder to rest on sometimes :)
too close to love
when i was making too close to love with Ned Huston, we had just met for the first time. we really clicked & just started talking about relationships, both intimate and with friends. i think something that had been playing on my mind was the fact that sometimes i over think a relationship & then lose all scope of where i actually am inside of it. with others, i find it hard to figure out how i feel about that person. that was definitely relevant at that time in my life & it was part of a bigger picture where i was assessing why certain things fell apart for me.
it’s always tough not to be able to give someone ur full love back & we wrote it with that feeling in mind. it’s about commitment issues & looking back on something that could’ve been. i like the fact that the writing on this song feels exactly like introspection/the constant pattern of thoughts passing thru. it’s like - “i should call u, oh wait you’ve probably moved on, okay i won’t, damn i miss u”
dark until september.
i wrote dark until september during a time in my life when everything was falling apart. i was evaluating a lot of things in my world - the person i had become, the person i wanted to be in the future & i had sort of fallen out of love with the music industry. even tho i felt those feelings i still found myself in a different state, away from home, travelling by bus for 2 hours to do studio sessions everyday with a close friend, alex henriksson. it felt right to still make music even if i didn’t know what it was for. i was realising that some of the relationships i had in my life weren’t as reliable as i thought. i was searching for something in others & that left me feeling sort of empty. this is me looking for love inside myself in a time when all i felt was hopeless & tired.
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