"For the first time, I wrote songs to go with those chords..."
Philippa Nihill, of The Underground Lovers fame, returns today with Find Her Way, the title track of her album of the same name.
A stunning number, Find Her Way is a playful homage to the lush string arrangements of the 70s and partly a big nod to the Klatuu song Calling Occupants, made famous by the Carpenters.
It's a dreamy track where time moves sideways, and suddenly, our favourite Occupant alien is searching for a way home. The strings soar, and the rhythm drives a killer chorus that begs repeat listens.
Nihill’s voice is tender and warm, with the piano arrangement providing a salve to the upcoming colder months.
Nihill shares the inspirations behind Find Her Way, “My mum taught me to play the piano when I was a kid. I spent hours trying to figure out parts from records we had in the house, the Carpenters, the Bee Gees, Carly Simon and Carole King. Those chords are my go-to whenever I sit at that particular piano. For the first time, I wrote songs to go with those chords.”
Find Her Way is accompanied by the music video we’re premiering today. Featuring Nihill on a beach, sitting by a piano, and then staring right at viewers, she draws us directly to the chilly, windy beach. The crackles on the screen provide a lo-fi feel - the cinematography by Sweeney Crabb is beautiful.
On Find Her Way, Nihill teamed up with Gene Argiro (Sunfruits), who “got” exactly what she was going for - not only on the single but on the album as a whole.
She explains, “There’s a woozy and playful nature to the songs themselves where time and audio styles merge and cross reference. Gene got that from day one.
"We pretty quickly settled into what I think is a really great blend of classic 70’s style (Find Her Way and Love Song For Sierra Nevada) and a more current electronic pop style (Light Dream and Glisten).
"We worked online for the most part with regular Zoom sessions and constant file transfers. Amidst conversations about lockdowns, the weather and the craziness of life, we found this great cadence, a rhythm that mostly bought out the best in the songs and each other."
Find Her Way, out tomorrow, is Nihill’s first solo album since 2000, when she released A Little Easy.
Nihill’s dreamy, comforting vocals make up a huge part of Melbourne’s The Underground Lovers' success and longevity, but she’s just as striking on her own.