Hailing from Sydney, indie musician Angela Garrick – better known by her stage name Angie – has been creating and performing music for over a decade. She has performed solo in North America, Brazil, France, Greece and Australia, and has been a part of multiple musical incarnations. I sat down with Angie ahead of her upcoming record launch in Canberra on Friday 27 May.
Can you tell me a little about yourself?
I’m from Sydney and I’ve been composing music for around fifteen years and playing music since I was about eight years old. I’m also an artist and create art installations by collecting responses from the public and then presenting them in a different way. The two areas are obviously quite distinct, but those are my two main projects.
How would you describe your music? Who does it speak to?
I have no idea who it speaks to actually. Ideally anyone, but even one person would be amazing. I guess I’d describe my music as confessional, emotional, and kind of a process of creation. It’s very cathartic for me. Any time I’m able to write a song is wonderful, because it helps so much in so many ways. My solo music is very connected to my inner self.
You’ve played in a number of bands, including Circle Pit, Straight Arrows, and Ruined Fortune. What made you decide to go solo?
Well, I didn’t really want to go solo and it wasn’t something I ever planned to do. It was more a case of being in a situation where my projects were not really functioning and I didn’t really have anyone around that I wanted to create music with. For me to go solo, it was like I either stopped playing music altogether or I start making it by myself. Stopping music was never really an option.
I do still find it a little weird to be solo, though I’m used to it. It is strange coming from punk rock bands to going solo and making non-commercial music. It’s enabled me to continue making music, and if I hadn’t that would be really sad.
What’s different about your latest LP Shyness from your previous two?
Shyness is very different. It’s framed around piano and acoustic guitar, whereas the first two are very electric. Even though both previous records have keyboard and piano songs on them, they’re centred on electric guitar. The configuration of the album is completely different. There’s also no drums at all, which kind of rare for an album. It’s very bare-boned and exposed.
As you’ve said, there’s a pretty notable shift away from some of the sounds of your earlier work. Was there a particular reason for the move towards a softer sound?
I did this residency in Brazil in 2014, which was for music. The studio space that I was allocated had no power-points at all. So that simple thing has kind of created a whole new direction for me. If there’d been a power-point, I would have probably just made another album using electric guitar. Instead, I shifted towards acoustic guitar and had to record in analogue. Although I was initially frustrated, I had to get over that hurdle. So the songs on Shyness were all formed on acoustic guitar and I came to play piano around them.
We often hear about the gender disparity in music. Has this had an impact on the way you experience creating and performing music?
It hasn’t really had an impact on the creative process, which is a very personal thing for me and relates to my sense of existence and self. I feel very female when creating and performing; my femininity is something that I’m aware of while performing and that’s something I enjoy. I think we have a lot further to go in terms of the disparate gender differences in music, as well as other areas.
I feel very enamoured and inspired by female artists and musicians, particularly when they’re on their own. Having worked by myself after feeling very vulnerable and afraid of doing it, I hope that other young females will feel inspired to do the same.
It can definitely be a really inspiring thing to see other women on the stage.
Definitely. I don’t think I’d have done solo records if I hadn’t seen inspiring women creating solo records around me. I think more women should feel inspired to go out there, and not worry about what others think.
You’ll be performing in Canberra on the 27th of May at Ainslie Arts Centre. What are you most looking forward to?
I really just want to make someone’s weekend a little bit nicer if I can. I love Canberra, and can’t wait to experience the other musicians that will be performing. There are so many good musicians in Canberra, and the venue is wonderful so I can’t wait to experience playing there with a grand piano. It’ll be the only concert I’m doing on an actual baby grand.
Where can people hear your stuff or find out more?
I’m a making records sort of girl, so I’d suggest you go to your local records store and demand they order copies before they all run out!
Angie will be launching her latest LP Shyness in Canberra in an all-ages performance at the Ainslie Arts Centre on Friday 27 May. You can find out more and purchase tickets here.