WOMEN OF NOTE:
Mylee Grace | Musician
Life since 2020 has affected each of us differently, for Mylee Grace the past year has provided the perfect setting to complete a 7 year project of song writing, recording, producing and finally releasing her first album, Whiplash in the Moshpit. Although Mylee’s music is finally taking its place in recorded perpetuity, her sound has met the ears and hearts of followers far and wide, playing live performances for over a decade.
Writing her first song at the age of 8, Mylee’s musical tendencies are second nature, growing up under the guidance of her instrument playing, folk singing mother on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. With most of her 20’s spent wandering the globe, Mylee has come to plant her roots in a small coastal town of Northern New South Wales with surfer and artist husband, Ozzie, and two children, Rocky and Goldie. Often found in song and dance or with surfboards in tow, their beach-side and youthfully spirited lifestyle lends the backdrop to her musical pursuits. Described as “music that makes you feel like you’re on holidays with friends”, the sweet melodies sung by Mylee Grace are as melancholic as they are effortless and joyful. An ode to summers past and remaining forever young.
We spoke to Mylee about her writing process and the release of her new album.
Mylee wears the 01 Set in Walnut and 02 Robe in Mustard.
Location: The Northern Rivers
Where are you from and where are you now?
I'm from the Northern Beaches of Sydney. Currently living on the Northern Rivers.
Can you describe where it is that you live and the view from where you are sitting?
I live in a holiday town by the sea. My view right now is a messy rack of clothes.
When is your favourite time of day?
You wrote your first song at the age of 8. Where did your love for music begin?
Growing up watching my mum play her instruments and sing her beautiful folk songs caused my love of music to be second nature
Was there a defining moment when you realised you wanted to be a musician?
I’m not sure there was ever a defining moment. Music is just always something I keep coming back to. My relationship with my own music is not always a healthy one. I can go for long spells without creating and then I start to doubt myself as an artist. When I come back to creating and playing music I feel whole again.
What has best informed the sound of your music?
The early Folk music of Neil Young, Dylan, Cohen and Joni Mitchell were the musical backdrop to my childhood and they are imaginary mentors for my writing to this day. I also love a good old Dirty country song and garage pop / punk of the 80’s and 90’s
You started your first band, Mylee and the Milkshakes, at the age of 23. How has your music or band changed over the years?
The milkshakes were born from “ The LoveLand Band '' which was what my partner and I called our duet when we first fell in love. When we started playing live with friends we changed our name to ‘ The Milkshakes ’. Since we were ultimately a hobby band we’d frequently change our name. We’ve gone under “ Mylee and the Mopheads'', “Mylee and the Mummies “ and ''Mylee and the Mechanics“ to name a few. To this day The Milkshakes are ever evolving, members come and go but they are essentially whoever I'm collaborating with at the time.
Your latest album is due to release on the 19th of November. Can you tell us how long this was in the making and a little about your writing process?
The album is a collection of songs written over the last 7 years. Some of the older songs have already lived their own lives, having been played live and some song structures have been chopped and changed. Other more recent songs were written freshly before they were recorded.
Where has the inspiration come from for the album?
Inspiration came from observations made around me, People and their stories, My relationship with family, friends, nature and self.
Is there a message you would like to deliver through your new album?
A common theme in the album is letting go and breaking free of old stories. There are also lots of car driving references.
Have lockdowns and the pandemic changed your approach to being a musician?
When you’re seeking inspiration, who, what or where do you turn to?
New ideas and joy always come to me when I'm in nature. Being nearby or in water is a constant healing space. I just need to visit a lake or get tumbled by some waves to feel ready to create again.
What do you listen to on repeat?
“How Lucky“ by kurt vile and John Prine
What is next for Mylee Grace?
Writing the next album and a face mask
How do you stay grounded?
I haven’t quite mastered the art of meditation however, I’m really good at visualising roots coming up from the ground and infiltrating my feet.
How do you find comfort?
Hugging my family
Describe your favourite place in the world?
It’s beaming with golden light and there are birds singing my friends dancing
How do you prepare for a good night’s rest?
a big glass of Magnesium, a bath and a book
What do you dream of when sleeping?
I used to dream that I was driving fast and my brakes kept failing. These days my dreams are a little less stressful
Photographed by Kiri Hance.
Interviewed by Montana Purchase for Deiji Studio’s Field Notes