19-year-old London-via-New Zealand up-and-comer Molly Payton ticks a lot of the same boxes as Beabadoobee, in that she’s a bit grungy, and a bit throwback, but any easy-to-reach descriptor really doesn’t do her justice. It’s music that inspires films, and great adventures. That worms its way under your skin and lives there forever more. A confident coming-of-age opus, new EP ‘Porcupine’ opens with a track we’re very happy calling one of 2020’s best. Here, Molly talks us through the release in its entirety.
I wrote ‘Warm Body’ with Oli [Barton Wood, producer] the first time we met. It was my first time properly writing with someone else so I was terrified I’d suddenly forget how to write, but when I got there he gave me a guitar and a shitty mic and jumped on the drums, and we just played until we had the song. It was probably the first time writing had ever felt fun to me, rather than a serious deep-thinking kinda activity.
How To Have Fun
‘How To Have Fun’ was a song I wrote when I realised I’d been making really terrible decisions! I guess it’s a bit of an ode to being self-destructive. I’m a strong believer in making mistakes – most of them end up helping you grow up and learn, and the ones that don’t do that tend to make for excellent stories and songs.
I‘m Too Smart
‘I’m Too Smart’ is about how tough it is to open up to the idea of being with someone when you’ve had your trust broken in the past. That song was written out of frustration with myself for not being able to let someone in out of fear of getting hurt, even though I loved them.
I only wrote ‘Going Heavy’ about a month ago, but I loved it so much, and it tied in with the rest of the EP so well that we had to squeeze it on. The funny thing is I wrote it with Oli almost a year to the day from when we wrote ‘Warm Body’ together. It’s about being young and reckless.
I still remember the day we recorded ‘Planet Holiday; – it was in the middle of the heatwave last summer and must’ve been around 35°. That day we had to keep the windows closed because it was so loud outside, we had no air conditioning and no water. By the time we got to vocals at the end of the day, I was inches away from passing out.
‘Rodeo’ is my favourite song on the EP. I feel like it’s a moment of fragility in between all the other songs in terms of its sound and its content. Lyrically the EP as a whole talks a lot about keeping people at arm’s length and not being able to form meaningful relationships, but rodeo is vulnerable and sweet and honest. I wrote the song on my own in my room at 3am, and when we recorded it, we turned all the lights off in Oli’s studio and did it as a live recording.
Molly Payton’s ‘Porcupine’ EP is out now.