Get to know Liv McLean, a new performer out of Melbourne who recently dropped her first ever single, ‘New Pair Of Eyes’.
The track oozes positivity, what with its message of prising oneself out of a negative headspace by looking at things from a different perspective.
It also oozes cool; a soulful blend of pop, R&B and jazz.
Naturally, given it’s Liv’s debut, we needed to scratch the surface a bit more and find out a little more about her.
So join us, won’t you, as we delve into our latest feature.
01. Name : Liv McLean.
02. Where are you based? Melbourne, Australia.
03. How did you get your start in music? I got my start in music by starting lessons in high school, joining choirs and doing extra-curricular performances.
04. Give us five words to best describe you as an artist. Soulful, psychedelic, lively, perpetually creative, versatile (I know that’s six words oops.)
05. Tell us a little bit about your sound and how it developed. Originally I was confused by my sound as I love immersing myself into all genres but when writing my own music and writing multiple originals, I could tell there was always one specific sound that was occurring in each one.
I feel as though my sound combines my vocally rich, soulful tone with psychedelic and electronic beats and instruments to overall mix R&B with psychedelic soul.
06. What’s your earliest musical memory? My earliest musical memory is when my primary school was doing an end of year show and my class got given the theme ‘Wizard Of Oz’ and we were the Wicked Witch Of The West.
I then remember going onstage and after a few minutes my friend next to me flicked his arm into my witch hat and it flew off. I was a little embarrassed at that point because I was the only one without a hat on and tried to reach it but it was too far away and I thought I looked like an absolute fool at that point.
07. Who have been your musical influences? My musical influences always change from time to time. Originally, I was obsessed with belting and pure soul/R&B when I was young which drew me to artists such as Christina Aguilera and Whitney Houston. Now having the capacity to listen to all sorts of genres and all sorts of artists because of so many musical platforms, my influences are endless.
My main influences lately have been Moses Sumney because of his raw vocals and insane vocal range, Radiohead because of their overall dark, sinister vibe and the sounds they use in production. One other main one is Flume as I’m so attracted to his particular sounds that he uses and the beats he creates which are so catchy.
Phoebe Bridgers is also a huge influence because of her huge soundscape and her songs that are magnified and dark.
08. What are your favourite songs of all time? Favourite songs would have to be ‘Doin’ It Right’ by Daft Punk because it’s so catchy especially when the beat drops, because who doesn’t love a beat drop. Side note, I love Daft Punk!
Other ones include ‘Flume’ by Bon Iver (the biggest tearjerker if you ever want to cry) and one right now where if I’m ever feeling revved up or angry is ‘John L’ by black midi. That song has incredible production where to incorporate strings against a raging guitar is mindblowing to me.
09. Where’s your favourite place to listen to music? Definitely Spotify! One of the main ways I find new music is by going to the bottom of an artist’s page and scrolling through similar artists or songs. That’s where I find the hidden gems and sometimes the gems that influence my music.
If I’m wanting to watch live performances then YouTube is the answer for me. Live performances are one of my favourite things to watch because songs can be totally different from its original and usually are way better because you can see the artist’s passion when performing live.
10. Who are your go-to artists when you’re feeling :
Sad? When I’m feeling sad, Adrianne Lenker is my go-to all the time. I’m not a cryer but if I’m sad and I’m listening to her, a few tears will be shed.
Happy? When happy, any dance beats that have a fat drop or just anything lively, particularly Daft Punk, Louis Cole or even Bjork or Tom Misch (a very vibey man).
Introspective? When introspective, especially when looking for something to add to my music, Thom Yorke or Atoms For Peace are amazing to listen to and huge influences for me.
Exhausted? When I’m exhausted, I love listening to songs that are chill and the artists that do this for me are Moses Sumney, Mac DeMarco, Janek Gwizdala and The Parcels.
11. What was the first album you ever bought? First album I ever bought I think was on CD and was Rihanna’s ‘Loud’ album. I was pretty young when I bought it but I was obsessed with Rihanna and would always blast it onto my CD player in my room and have the biggest dance to it.
Even though ‘Don’t Stop The Music’ wasn’t on this album, it was my all time favourite from her where I would not stop dancing and sweat up a storm because I would keep blasting it on repeat.
12. Give us a little fun fact about yourself that people might not know. A little fact about me is when I was very young, I would always crawl on my knees and apparently I was really fast when doing it.
It got to a point where my parents were a little worried that I wouldn’t walk properly because I would constantly do it but look at me now! I’m walking fine but my knees do feel a little wonky sometimes.
13. What would your chosen career be if music wasn’t an option? Even though volunteering doesn’t involve earning much money, I’ve always had such a passion to travel to remote towns and countries in Australia and around the world and help out the malnourished communities or communities in need.
What draws me most to this is seeing the impact that donating and helping out has on the people. Even the smallest amount brings such a huge smile to their faces and seeing that everyday would make me the happiest!
14. What’s the best advice you’ve been given in your career? My best advice is to stop comparing yourself to everyone else in the industry, because if you spend too much time on someone else’s tone or their vocal range, then you’ve wasted your time on what you could be doing; getting better and practicing!
15. What’s been the highlight of your musical journey so far? The highlight I think is most definitely releasing my first single EVER as an artist. It still seems so surreal because I’m just an average woman who works at a cafe, as a waitress and goes to uni during the week, so having a part of me on all musical platforms for anyone in the world to hear feels insanely incredible and I feel so privileged to have been given this opportunity by Tremorverse.
16. What’s been the strangest experience you’ve had in the business? The strangest experience I’ve had I think is receiving emails to my own email address from radio stations or other people involved in the music industry interested in my works and wanting to speak or collaborate with me.
Not saying it’s strange bad, it’s strange-great and it feels so weird because this has never happened to me before and I absolutely love it but will never get over it!
17. If you could trade places with any artist in the world right now, who would it be? I would love to trade places with Phoebe Bridgers. She is an upcoming artist who combines rock with folk, pop and even a hint of soul, and I love every bit of it. To trade places with her would be to get a grip onto how it feels to slowly rise to fame but one particular moment that I would trade is smashing a guitar live at the end of her song ‘I Know The End’, not just because it looks like fun, but how therapeutic it would be letting out any troubles or anger into that one guitar.
18. Tell us about your debut release. My debut release ‘New Pair Of Eyes’ was something that was put together just as an assessment and that was then built from an audio student, Keanu Long recreating the song and giving it that R&B, chill vibe that I always envisioned. I felt as though when first listening to Keanu’s rendition, the song had more life and soul to it and had layers that surprised me in the best way.
Using the strings in the chorus is what made the whole vision of my song come to life. It’s looking behind the clouds that are shadowing the positives that we should be looking at and not letting the negatives reign over our thoughts.
19. What do your future plans involve? My future plans involve recording an EP, whether that be by the end of the year or the start of next year, my goal is to just keep releasing music because this debut release was just the beginning.
Particularly after finishing uni by the end of this year, my goals will be brought more to life having more time to concentrate solely on my music. Another huge future plan would be to perform at festivals no matter how small but that’s a huge future goal and one I want to slowly dive into if that ever happens!
20. Where can our audience catch you live? My audience can catch me live hopefully very soon at my own headline gigs or as a supporting act for other artists. Right now I’m just focusing on recording demos and bringing my music to life with the production side of my music so that when released, I’m prepared for future gigs and have some exposure to back me up if people want to book me.
Other than that, I’m just doing BVs for other artists at their gigs and through that, if my audience wanted to capture more fresh artists, then they should definitely tag along!
INSTAGRAM : https://www.instagram.com/_livmclean
FACEBOOK : https://www.facebook.com/Liv-McLean-665032743939900