Canberra indie pop/folk singer-songwriter Hope Wilkins has emerged from lockdown with a vulnerable and intimate new single “My Head (I’m Not Sorry)”. The single follows her repertoire of indie pop/folk songs after beginning her music career with ‘Waste’, her debut single in 2019. Drawing influence from the likes of Dermot Kennedy and Holly Humberstone, Wilkins’ sound has been reviewed by Triple J Unearthed artists as heartfelt and melodic, with the same charming spirit as busker singer/songwriters like Ed Sheeran or Tash Sultana.

With a smooth and steady energy paired with an unapologetic hook, “My Head (I’m Not Sorry)” is reminiscent of artists like Jack Johnson and Stella Donnelly. Wilkins’ confessional lyricism, clean vocals, and sparkling harmonies are perfectly balanced by gentle instrumentals … picture listening to this song on a rainy morning in bed, holding a steaming cup of coffee.

With a busy past twelve months selling out a string of arresting live shows, we chat to Hope about the song and her excitement to get back on stage.

Growing up, what first got you into music?

I’ve always loved singing, ever since I can remember. I remember walking past buskers when I was a kid and just being completely captivated and thinking that playing music was the coolest thing in the entire world. I had this pink little cd player that I used to blare albums on non-stop – artists like Avril Lavigne and the Veronicas, and I used to write a lot of poetry as a teenager. I had a few friends in high school that played guitar and taught me the basics and when I finally got my first guitar on my 14th birthday, I taught myself from there and started moulding my poetry to music.

Can you tell us a bit about the meaning behind the lyrics?

I guess the lyrics are somewhat like a diary entry. I didn’t even realise I had all these feelings buried in my subconscious until they were pouring out of me. The lyrics are a reminder to not regret the thoughts that make us human and to recognise that sometimes we shouldn’t feel the need to apologise for the chaos in our minds or the way we’re feeling.

What was the writing and recording process like?

I originally had the chorus melody floating around in my head for a little while but hadn’t quite found the right lyrics to sit with it. Then I was away on this beautiful little property on a song writing retreat playing around with some chorus ideas when I was delirious at 2am. The roots of the song were already there, but the verses and the dreamy guitar layers were written on the day to follow the vocal melody. There was a lot of room to add all these huge elements during production, but I ended up loving the kind of vulnerability it brought being more stripped-back. It was a song that came together really quickly and naturally.

What are you most excited about getting back into live shows?

EVERYTHING! From the connection you have with the crowd when you’re performing to the way it feels to perform it. I think everyone is just so excited to be able to experience live music at its full extent again.

What can we look forward to from you in the future?

I’ve recently been focusing on all elements of my music by teaching myself to record and produce my own music from home. I’ve got a bunch of new songs I’ve been working on, so I can’t wait to finish them and get them out into the world!

Follow Hope on Instagram at @thatshoplessm8
Listen to ‘My Head (I’m Not Sorry)’ here.