Queensland country sweetheart Hayley Marsten may be releasing her sophomore EP Lonestar tomorrow, but this record ain’t no second fiddle.
Charting her experiences over the past two years – from moving out of home, going to university and furthering her career as a singer-songwriter – Lonestar is a musical memoir that picks up where her last record, 2015’s Even, left off.
“Lonestar is very different to Even – I was an angry 19 year old when I wrote my first record and now I’m more level-headed. While there are still some sassy songs on there, there’s also a love song and personal pieces I wasn’t brave enough to release before,” said Hayley.
Hayley has taken her music to the next level on this EP, working alongside Producer Matt Fell and collaborating with acclaimed artists like Lyn Bowtell and Aleyce Simmonds. Collectively, the songs on Lonestar tell the story of a woman regaining her sense of self in world that often drowns out individuality.
“Lonestar is about dealing with the setbacks, heartbreaks and the negative opinions people throw at you that make you feel like you’re on your own, but keeping your head up and coming out the other side still reaching for the stars.”
“Lonestar is a sign of things to come; it’s where I’ve been for the past two years and it’s where I’m going in the future.”
To celebrate the impending release of her latest record, Hayley is walking fans through Lonestar track-by-track before it drops tomorrow! Read her in-depth notes on each song below…
‘LONESTAR’ TRACK-BY-TRACK DESCRIPTION
#1 Second Fiddle
This is an idea I had rolling around for a while, inspired by dialogue on Friday Night Lights of all things! But I could never quite get it down the way I wanted it and I tried writing it for like four months! Lucky for me a very serendipitous co-write with Allan Caswell brought it out on the paper and it was exactly how I wanted it. Second Fiddle is a song about treating someone as a priority when to them you are simply an option. A situation I’ve let myself be in more times than I care to remember. It’s very sassy, very me!
Ahh the title track! I knew this record would be called Lonestar and what it would sound like as soon as I wrote this. I had the same thing happen sort of, I had this idea ‘I’m in a Lonestar state’ for a long time. I was still at uni at the time and I used to live about 10 minutes away. I had just finished my poetry class and had already been in that writing head space and then it just clicked, I recorded the first verse, bridge and last chorus in my voice memos as I ran up many hills to get to my guitar and finish it! I finished it exactly as it is now in 15 minutes – definitely worth running for. This song really describes how I feel about the last few years and how I feel about the record. I ran into a lot of road blocks and setbacks while writing and preparing for this record; some were things I couldn’t help and some were people who just wanted to break my stride. Lonestar for me is about yes, feeling alone sometimes or misunderstood or underestimating but also not letting that get the better of you and where you want to be, keeping on reaching for that goal, that star.
#3 Coming Home
This is a song I just spat out and then needed the right person with me to edit. I went to the DAG Songwriters Retreat in July 2016 and again I got very lucky with my co-writer because the beautiful Lyn Bowtell pulled my name out of the hat! She made this song what is it and we are both very proud of it. For me it’s about how growing up as a child of divorce affects you when you grow up and have relationships. It always feels scary because you know what might happen if you get too close to someone, because you’ve seen a marriage fall apart. It’s a song I am very close to and I think it’s something a lot of people can relate to.
This was my first ever co-write, also at the DAG with Aleyce Simmonds. I had again finished this song but I knew it wasn’t right and Aleyce helped me edit it and make it what it is! I’ve always loved Johnny & June’s love story ever since I saw Walk The Line, and I always dreamed that I would grow up and have a love like that. When I got together with someone I realised there were so many similarities between the two stories that maybe I had found it! Plus, I had the chorus idea for ages and I just wanted to use all the clever word play ideas I had!
#5 Money Can't Buy Class
This might be my favourite song on the record, although I love them all. But this was one of those songs that was exactly what happened and exactly what I wish I could’ve said. It sparked from a conversation with my Mum, we were talking about this girl, who also inspired the song, she didn’t know me very well but she was having a go at me and saying I couldn’t pull off designer bags and some other choice words. Mum just said, ‘you know what, money can’t buy class’ and it just flowed from there. It’s obvious who it’s about, if she heard it, she’d know!
#6 Until You
My first ever quasi love song! I could never write love songs; whenever I tried they just came off as insincere or inauthentic. I’m not a very romantic person to begin with so I don’t think that helped. But when I wrote this I was thinking about my time being single, at uni and all my friends were too and we lived a fun life (I remember going out three times in a week once). It wasn’t about meeting guys or anything it was just about being free and not having anyone to answer too. At the time, I never thought any other kind of life would be something I wanted or would even find because it was just not on my radar. But sometimes you just meet someone who changes your mind. It doesn’t mean you can’t dance on tables, it just means after you do there’s someone to buy you pizza. That’s the kind of love song this is, a realistic one!
Hayley Marsten’s sophomore EP Lonestar is out tomorrow, Friday 9 June. Head to Hayley’s website to order your copy.
‘LONESTAR’ LAUNCH SHOWS
10 June @ Gladstone Entertainment and Convention Centre, Gladstone
14 June @ Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall, Brisbane