Penelope Austin was born in the Southern Highlands of NSW but, from the age of 15, has led a nomadic life travelling the world, most recently basing herself in New York City.
She has since returned to her native turf with stories from the road and songs of lust, loss, rage, fire and reflection. This is a girl who describes her highs as high and her lows as low down and she isn’t afraid to experiment with her fine voice; dragging a note through a breathless arabesque and letting it hang mid-air like a question mark. See our chat with Penelope below!
1. You’ve just released your latest single ‘Dynamite’, are you excited for the public to hear it?
Very. It’s exciting to give my audience a small taste of what’s to come. Dynamite doesn’t feature on the album but gives listeners an insight to who I am. I’ve been working on my album with Robert Conley since returning from NYC & the day we put this track together was really fun. We didn’t overthink it – it was just playful. I can be dark lyrically so it was cool that on the day I was able to write in the mood I was in.
2. What was it like working with Baro?
Baro’s a cool kid.
3. What’s your go to inspo when writing music?
I suppose the place I ‘go to’ is inside. I don’t ever really reference music or other artists it’s all based on either the torment in my head or the butterflies inside. To the outside world I’m not really an emotional person but I harbour highs & lows… Music is my outlet… I know that sounds so cliché but for me I’m inspired by how I feel by things going on around me. Sometimes beautiful. At times dark.
4. How would you describe the genre of music you write?
I get asked this a lot & I feel like a deer in the headlight when it happens… My genre? Lets make one up… Dark electronic pop featuring elements of indie cool hints of heavy rock beats accompanied by spaced out ethereal dynamics with vocals that correlate with a 90’s hold your horses soar garnished with me. Are you confused? I’m confused and maybe that’s a good thing.
5. You’ve been labeled as ‘Australia’s answer to Lana Del Rey’, how does it feel to be compared to such an icon?
It’s humbling… Lana Del Rey is beautifully toxic and a tortured. I have detached myself unknowingly from a lot of what’s current & now – however Lana, as she did the world, got my attention. It’s funny that people are making this statement before hearing. To me… Lana is dark, sexy, mysterious & strong. I will have some of that.
6. Who would you love to collaborate with in the future?
Hozier, Elton John, Beyonce, Prince, Sia & Elvis. The last one providing I make it to heaven presuming he didn’t go to hell…
7. When would you say you’ve had yourself a ‘fan girl moment’?
I suppose my ‘fan girl’ moment was when I went on tour with the Rolling Stones. I was living & working in a tiny town outside London. It was so sleepy & beige at first glance but man did it become so much more. Aside from running a small pub I sometimes performed there too. It was here I met Angie, the daughter of Keith Richards, who invited me to join her on tour with The Rolling Stones in Mexico. After spending days in hostels, I rocked up to the Four Seasons with messy hair, a poor immune system, and entered a world of… Holy fuck!
8. When can we expect to see an EP release from yourself?
My first official single will be released in April with a full-length album towards the end of the year. I’m excited to get this music out there.
9. Which artist are you currently listening to on repeat?
Currently Hozier. However, my musical taste is anything from the 50’s 60’s 70’s and early 90’s especially on vinyl & cassette…
10. Do you have a hidden talent that no one knows about?
I can ride horses & I’m pretty mean in the kitchen.