Embellished with sequins and smoke and slipping you something to take the edge off, Melbourne garage rock princess Hannah Kate has returned with the release of a stellar single by the name of ‘Sunday Mourning’.
This latest track by the five-piece holds a wake for the weekend drowned in layers of dizzy, glittery pop-infused psych-rock. Stuck somewhere between dream and nightmare, ‘Sunday Mourning’ captures the lethargy and languid listlessness of that limbo between energy and apathy, hope and hopelessness. The spirited slowburn might not help you fall asleep, but it will supply the soundtrack to your sleepless nights, extending an (albeit dismembered) hand to hold in the dark.
Flanked by an all-star cast of Dougal James (Sunken Sea), Tali Harding-Hone (Tali Mahoney), Michael Vince Moin (Tramcops), and Samuel Drew-Rumoro (Pseudo Mind Hive), ‘Sunday Mourning’ has been a regular feature of the Hannah Kate live show repertoire for about a year now. And while she feels disconnected from the headspace that led her to write the track, the tired tale it tells has taken on new meaning these past months. “I was just feeling really unmotivated and uninspired to do anything. I think it was just one of those weeks where I was just waking up late everyday and then not feeling like doing anything, then feeling stressed because I'm not being productive when I should be,” said Hannah. “Which is kinda funny because I feel that a lot of the time now, but I wrote this song way before COVID even happened.”
The track’s haunting, hypnotic lamentation of life meets full visual realisation in its music video, a B-grade horror film -esque dreamscape shot and directed by Mickey Mason. “I always really struggle to think about a visual idea for a song. I think the two are really separate for me,” said Hannah of the collaboration. “Although the song's not really about a hangover, we were going to pretend that it is. It's sort of like the hangover of death that just goes wrong and all this creepy stuff starts happening. But it's also kind of a joke.”
And while not taking herself too seriously yet being unapologetically and effortlessly cool is Hannah Kate’s whole shtick, the song does reveal a greater insecurity lurking beneath the surface. Despondent deliberations - ‘Am I wasting away? Am I wasting my days?’ - gravitate around that central line: ‘I feel pressure all the time to be good at life’. “I always had this idea that I had to be always succeeding and doing well,” said Hannah. “Then as I got older, it’s like - what does that even mean? Does it even matter?
This trepidation comes to a head with the first ever feature on a Hannah Kate track, a spoken-word poem written and performed by Charlie Perry. The chorus swirls away into the pitter-patter of percussion and reverberating chords as a deep, haunting drone wonders: ‘Will there be any point in this, from me going through this?’. Charlie’s voice echoes out and the song rises once again, cymbals crashing as Hannah empties all of her energy into a final, powerful vocal performance proclaiming just how exhausted she is. The last legs of the fuzzy melody tinker out and fade away, sounding almost as if it is coming from an old radio somewhere inside an old, abandoned, haunted house. You knock on the door, but nobody’s home.
The poem was the product of an unexpected collaboration. “I don't think I really liked the song as much until that bit was in there. It just sort of tied it all together, which was funny, because it was a last minute thought that we had in the studio. It wasn't planned or anything,” said Hannah. “It was just perfect. It really resonated with how I was feeling when I wrote it, which was cool. I think he just got it straight away.”
At a time when these feelings of wasting away are creeping back up and new inspiration feels like a distant daydream, the release of ‘Sunday Mourning’ has breathed new life into the everyday for Hannah Kate. “I feel like I have a purpose again … now that I have a release that I'm working towards”. The single is the fourth teaser track to be released from the band’s forthcoming debut album, which will be a “mixed bag” to represent the best of HK up until now. “It's going to be pretty close to what you would see at a live show, just with lots more parts, weird instruments, getting carried away in the studio,” said Hannah. “It's still in the works.”
Missing live music as much as any muso, Hannah Kate can’t wait to get back to “seeing bands... and then not seeing bands as well. Like, missing a band to be outside talking to other people and then going back in and seeing another band. Like, 'Oh, sick set!'. But you didn't even see it sometimes. You were outside having a ciggie.”