It has taken a long time for me to finally get the confidence to write and record an EP. I don’t know how best to explain the hesitation. Perhaps I’ve been waiting for the perfect time or the right song or a defining moment that meant I couldn’t hold off any longer. Perhaps. I don’t know. What I do know is that I’m finally about to do it. The recording dates are tentatively scheduled, the songs are written, the website is just about built and last weekend, one of my dearest friends – photographer Zoe McMahon – came around to take some pictures.
Zoe is a tall, slim beauty of a gal with a gorgeous mane of hair and a generous heart. Knowing my budget (zero) she gave up her Saturday regardless and took hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of photographs. To say I’m no model is the understatement of the year. To say it was overcast and rainy and not a great day to be trying to shoot in natural light, another contender for understatement of the year. And yet, Zoe did a brilliant job.
I’m saving most of the photographs for the launch of the website proper – stay tuned – but I decided to share this one early (unedited, untouched) because it mixes a few of my personality quirks in a way that I think can only happen when you are collaborating creatively with dear friends.
I say friends plural because it is important to add here that another darling of my life – Yvonne Moxham – was also gracious and kind enough to give up her weekend to style the shoot. Moxy (as I like to call her) is another total babe of the tall, slim variety. A stone cold fox, ace musician and a fashion force like no other, Yvonne was there at the ready with bobby pins and gaffa tape and sequins and dry shampoo and more outfit changes than I could ever hope for in my wildest aspirational Tammy Wynette dreams.
With two dear gals by my side we managed to get a great series of shots. But I’m especially fond of this one for a few reasons.
I’m in the front room of my former rental house in Sydney’s inner-west, where the paint peels off the walls and floor is old school seventies linoleum and the sound of jet airplanes flying overhead is a quarter-hour occurrence. I’m dressed a floor length know-no-subtlety gown I bought from my all-time favourite place to shop: Southern Thrift, East Nashville. And on the wall behind me is a framed picture of a slightly blurred but still recognisable of Gram Parsons floating on the Indian Ocean – my last attempt at collage/ shrine-building/ having fun with glue and glitter.
The whole thing – a little bit Sydney, a little bit Tennessee, a little bit strange and ridiculous… Only in the company of two women who play such a big part in my world – who know it and understand it and get it – could a photo that says so much about me happen.
One of the biggest realisations I’ve had since deciding to make music is that you can’t do it on your own. You need friends and allies and a community who love you, want you to make art and want to support you in doing that. And so I’m grateful to Zoe and to Moxy. For volunteering their time on the weekend. For their love and care. And for being such unique, creative, inspiring women. Not just when they are helping me out of course – all the time.
Zoe’s photgraphs can be found here.
And Moxy makes music here.