Q&A: Penny Hewson

Q&A: Penny Hewson


Define your genre in five words or less: 

Alternative indie rock singer-songwriter.


Bearing the terrible clichéd nature of this question, what do you reckon people will say you sound like?
I get comparisons along the lines of Feist, Cat Power, Belle & Sebastian, Lisa Miller, Holly Throsby.


What can a punter expect from your live show?
I’ve stripped it back to bare essentials for solo shows. Most of my recent songs are piano-based with sparse instrumentation, as it’s the way the songs sound in my head.  Though I play a couple on guitar also, as that’s my first instrument and feels a more natural way to perform.


Do you have any record releases to date? What are they? Where can I get them?
My new album It’s An Endless Desire just came out on Popboomerang Records and is available on iTunes, in stores and via mail order. I released a bunch of records with Sea Stories in the ’90s, and then I had a band in LA called My Zuko that made an EP I’m really proud of. Then there’s my first solo album called ME which is more of a lo-fi guitar-based indie rock affair!


What makes you happiest about what you’re doing?
That I’m doing it! I spent a lot of years not doing it so it feels really good to be back into it again.


What part of making music excites you the most?
I get excited mostly when I surprise myself.  Whether that’s writing a song or in the studio, when things are flowing and I create sounds and melodies that didn’t exist until I came along.    


What part of making music discourages you?
That I can’t do it more often. It would be such a great full-time gig if it was possible to create a solid income out of it.


Tell us about the last song you wrote.
The last song I wrote was sitting at my piano late at night and just feeling really like I was where I was meant to be in the world. I guess I’ve travelled some distance to arrive here.

When are you playing live?
This Sunday September 16 at Pure Pop Records (5pm) then next Thursday September 20 at the Wesley Anne (8-11pm) – with The Killjoys duo and Hamish Cowan (Cordrazine) solo.