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Here's Five: Mousey Shares Five Songs That Inspired 'Lemon Law'

Here's Five: Mousey Shares Five Songs That Inspired 'Lemon Law'

C.C. / Tuesday 1st October, 2019 9:47AM

Canterbury's Mousey aka Sarena Close has made significant strides in the short period since releasing her supremely catchy debut single 'Extreme Highs' in June. That song earned Mousey a shortlist nomination for this year's APRA Silver Scroll Award, she's attracted a bevy of fans with equally sure-footed tunes 'If You Really Loved Me','A Lifelong Pursuit' and 'Take Me to Harley Street', is supporting Tāmaki Makaurau guitar-pop heroes The Beths on selected dates of their spring national tour, and is about to embark on her first ever Australasian tour celebrating this Friday's release of her debut album Lemon Law [update: it's out now, hear it here]. We felt now was the perfect time to catch up with the prodigious talent, to explore the ideas and inspirations behind her eagerly anticipated new record. Mousey generously selected five songs close to Lemon Law's heart, and provided insightful commentary on each track below...

Mousey – Lemon Law Album Release Tour 

Friday 4th October - YOT Club, Raglan*
Saturday 5th October - Wine Cellar, Auckland*
Sunday 6th October - The Jam Factory, Tauranga 
Thursday 10th October - The Cook, Dunedin*
Friday 11th October - Blue Smoke, Christchurch*
Saturday 12th October - Moon, Wellington*
Thursday 17th October - The Plant, Blenheim*
Friday 18th October - Barrytown Hall, Barrytown*
Thursday 24th October - Ma Maison, Akaroa*
Friday 8th November - The Retreat Hotel, Melbourne
Wednesday 13th November - Transit Bar, Canberra
Thursday 14th November - Valve Bar, Sydney

Tickets available HERE via UTR*

1. 'Kiss Off' - Violent Femmes

I was listening to this album so much before and during the recording process. I absolutely love his wild vocal energy and fearlessness. I had to push myself to let go and not be too ‘nice’ and ‘in tune’ vocally. I purposely embraced the takes that were more messy and lose because of this record. My worst fear was that my record would sound sterile. It was definitely a shoot for the moon and fall in the stars kind of situation, if I could go back in time I’d rough a few things up a bit more.

2. 'Unfucktheworld' - Angel Olsen

Angel came up a lot when it came to my guitar playing. I studied piano for three years at Jazz School in Christchurch [Ara Institute of Canterbury Music Arts] but I knew that I didn’t want much piano on this record, so I adapted. I am not a guitarist and had / have very low self confidence with it. I would constantly be thinking “Why would I do it when Ben (a real guitarist) is sitting right there” but Ryan (my producer) was constantly encouraging me to do it because it’s my record and he wants as much of ‘me’ in it as possible. Angel isn’t a great guitar player but she has great vibe and feel. This song is a classic example of the simplicity and effectiveness of strumming with her thumb.

3. 'We’re Going to Be Friends' - White Stripes

The 'Dolphin Song' was heavily inspired by the innocence of the lyrics and melody. It was actually really tricky to keep my eyes on the goal which was a child perception. I remember writing this and constantly having to stop myself from steering the song into a serious direction, I wanted the language to only be what I would have seen as a kid, the simple things I could see as a child that I value looking back as an adult. For some reason I found it really hard but I remember constantly thinking to myself, if Jack White can embrace the innocence of a child for a whole song then so can I.

4. 'Mr. Lonely' - Bobby Vinton

The song 'With No You' was inspired by all crooner type 60’s pop but especially this song. 'With No You' was originally a finished song in 6/8, we even recorded a whole version of it but it didn’t sit right with me so Ben (my guitarist) suggested we do it in 4/4 and we rolled with that. If you strip the production back and change it to 6/8, it’s not hard to see the similarities to 'Mr. Lonely' (but hopefully not enough for a lawsuit!). I’m not sure why 21 year old Sarena loved this song but I’m glad she did because it helped create a special song on my first album.

5. 'The Predatory Wasp of The Palisades is Out to Get Us' - Sufjan Stevens

When it came to backing vocals I really wanted to have a homely vibe like on this song. I chose a few clean but casual voices that just happened to be close friends to come into the studio and I think they nailed it. I’m over the moon about the backing vocals on Lemon Law. But other than the production… my songwriting is so inspired by Sufjan and for this record, quite a lot of the melody writing is inspired by him but you probably wouldn’t draw the lines because our voices are so different. I am a fan of a really strong melody that spans over a big range and hits the right places in the chord, like Sufjan does. I am so thankful that he exists in this world and gifts us with such incredible music.

Mousey's debut album 'Lemon Law' is out on Friday 4th October.


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