Hailing from Otautahi/Christchurch, musician Mousey — aka Sarena Close — has a new album out, the follow-up to her Silver Scroll-nominated debut album, Lemon Law. We catch up to find out more.
How have events of the past few years affected your ability to create and perform music?
Life hasn't been as crazy busy as it was pre-Covid so it's actually given me a lot more free time to make music. The lack of touring has, of course, been disheartening but we've still managed to get out and around New Zealand at times, which I'm grateful for.
Your new album My Friends is out now. In what ways does it mirror your first record, and how does it differ?
I think it mirrors my first record, Lemon Law by being a really diverse piece of work. The fun parts are really fun and the deep parts are really deep, both albums are a real journey in that regard. When thinking about how it differs, the first thing that comes to mind is my own personal development with skills like production, vision and my writing is more mature.
What's the story behind your new song My Hands Are Made of Glass?
It's about a behavioural pattern that I'd always get myself into. I won't go into too much detail but, basically, I would hide away and not talk to or see anyone for long periods of time.
How do you reconcile your theme of wanting to hide away from the world with putting yourself out there as an artist sharing your music?
I don't really think those two things overlap for me. The main reason for hiding away is my fear of hurting other people, not fear of vulnerability. So putting my music out into the world is quite different.
What one song should listeners new to Mousey check out first as an introduction to your music?
Something off the new album, maybe Wait for Me.
What advice would you give a young songwriter looking for inspiration?
Do what you enjoy doing and focus on that. There's no point sucking yourself dry doing things like making videos for social media if you hate it. Spend your time investing in the things you enjoy.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Honestly, I have no idea! If it's anything like my life is right now I'd be very happy.
What's the best thing about the New Zealand music industry? And the one thing you'd change/fix?
Most of the people in the industry are so supportive, and down to earth. There aren't a lot of swindlers here (especially in my hometown of Christchurch) which makes me feel safe.
If I had to pick one thing to change though, I'd love the general public to be more connected to their local New Zealand music scenes. It would be a complete game-changer for our venues, artists and musical ecosystem if even one in 10 people went to a few shows a year for a small up-and-coming artist. There feels like a huge disconnect between the general public and their local music scenes. Our artists and venues are broke and struggling so please come to a show! It's fun!
What one great song by another artist do you wish you'd written and why?
I'm not sure, maybe Masterpiece by Big Thief. It's so beautiful.
You're curating a post-pandemic festival — who's on the bill, alive or dead?
Obviously from the previous question I'm super-passionate about New Zealand artists! So maybe Anthonie Tonnon, Troy Kingi, Merk, Tiny Ruins, The Beths, Julia Deans, Mermaidens, Aldous Harding and all the other amazing local indie/alt acts plus maybe Leonard Cohen, Kate Bush and David Bowie to top it all off.
Mousey - My Friends Album Release Tour Dates:
Sat April 2 - Christchurch - Loons
Thur April 7 - Wellington - Meow
Fri April 8- Auckland - Tuning Fork
Fri April 22 - Dunedin - Dive
Tickets On Sale Now From mouseymusic.com