Meet Hector Morlet, Perth's newcoming force-to-watch creating catchy, lo-fi pop
After making a low-key arrival with his debut single Picture Frame back in July, the bedroom producer makes it two for two with his second single, Surprise!.
Header image by Michael Tartaglia.
In a few weeks, music websites will begin blasting around 'artists to watch in 2022' lists, and can we just say now that any of them not including Perth's Hector Morlet aren't worth reading. It's an early call, but the bedroom-pop producer has blossomed into one of Western Australia's most exciting musical newcomers heading into the new year, consistently ticking off big wins ever since making his low-key introduction via his debut single Picture Frame back in July.
Picture Frame was a swirling debut that seemed to encapsulate Hector Morlet's charm in a tidy three-minute introduction, welcoming his genre-blending musicianship and the rich tapestries of indie, hip-hop, electronica and pop that blend into his sound. The end result was compared to everything from Hiatus Kaiyote to D'Angelo, but Hector Morlet is someone who stands tall on his own, as a byproduct of Perth's tight-knit music community and the wish-wash of sounds and textures that float amongst its endless talent.
Similar to Picture Frame, it's something that's showcased through his second single Surprise!, arriving today. It's a song that solidifies Hector Morlet's introduction, with hazy vocals weaving amongst an indie-electronica production that's quite difficult to put a finger on, apart from it being really quite forward-thinking and spectacular. That's the beauty of Hector's songwriting in a way, bringing together different sonic fringes to create something that's distinct to him; something versatile, genuine, and incredibly hard to narrow down just to a single 'genre', not that there's really a reason to.
Either way, regardless of what's going on sonically, Surprise! is a joyful blur of romanticism tied together with a bundle of earworming catchiness, re-emphasising Hector Morlet's presence as an incredibly exciting force to watch. "When you’re lucky enough to stumble upon love, don’t forget to cherish how unlikely it can be," he says on the single. "After gradually getting to know my partner, I was struck with bewilderment. How did it happen like that? It was a night like any other but its significance has grown with time; it’s when she walked out of the blue and into my life. In Surprise!, I wanted to explain my stunned reaction to the memory of our meeting."
We have no doubts that there's plenty more to come from the Hector Morlet camp in the year ahead, but in the meantime, take a dive into the brilliance of Surprise! below, and use the time to introduce yourself to Hector before his whirlwind of a forthcoming year takes off:
Tell us about yourself?
I’ve performed in bands around Perth for a few years now. I started playing keyboard in The Bush Chooks (of Jack Davies fame) straight out of school and I’ve been doing it for almost five years now. I started making beats in high school and have been producing music ever since. A couple of years ago I decided to put a band together to play some of the songs I’d been working on. It’s grown into its own thing now and I really love playing gigs with them. Outside of music, I’m not really sure what to say because it takes up so much of my time at the moment. I’ve also been playing around with videos - that’s been pretty fun.
What’s your music like? What does it sound like? What kind of themes does it usually cover?
What’s my music like? My recordings are kind of lofi and fun and hopefully a little interesting/peculiar. Our live performance is pretty fun too and often kind of awkward, but the band - Josh, Kye, Ben, Jack - are killer musicians. I try to make sure that the songs have some potent kind of feeling to them, whatever that might be. I really like music theory and jazz and I try to inform my songwriting with all that kind of stuff, without getting too carried away. I’m pretty interested in cliches too. There are so many patterns and stereotypes in music, and whenever you write a song you’re forced into accepting or rejecting hundreds of them at once. There’s so much music on the internet for us to listen to, it sometimes feels like an endless sea of cliches and randomness gushing into our brains everyday. It’s older and more primal than funny memes and it’s been charged up by the internet.
The lyrics of my songs deal with pretty generic topics: love, friendship, family. I’ve never really found lyric writing that easy, but I try to focus on expressing a single idea that I’ve been thinking about in each song.
What are your production and writing processes usually like?
It all happens at home. I regularly spend time playing around on my little upright piano, where I will often create the chords, bass line and vocal or instrumental melody. I will mix and match other ideas for percussion, lyrics and production after moving the songwriting to software. Then I will arrange the overall song structure and nit-pick little things for months. I write the best lyrics when I start with an idea/thought/concept and work to convey it in the song.
Can you tell us a bit about your latest single, Surprise!?
Surprise! is about how unlikely love can be. After gradually getting to know my partner, I was struck with bewilderment: how did it happen like that? It was a night like any other but its significance has grown with time; it’s when she walked out of the blue and into my life. In Surprise!, I wanted to explain my stunned reaction to the memory of our meeting. Much later, when she had left home to visit her mum in her hometown, she called me and told me that while she was sleeping, a possum had dropped down her chimney and landed in her (unlit) fireplace. I immediately thought: “that’s you!” She had dropped into my life to the same surprise - but unlike the possum, she is welcome to stay.
What do you have planned for the rest of 2021 and beyond?
I’m finishing an EP that will be released sometime at the start of next year! We have a bunch of gigs coming up around Perth and many more in 2022 I hope.
What do you want people to take away from your work?
I’m not really sure, but I just want them to connect with the music, whatever that may mean. I want the tunes to hit a spot in the venn diagram of cliches that really catches them off guard. I want it to make an itch and scratch it too. Something like that.
Where can we find more of your music?
All the good streaming platforms! Also Soundcloud.