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How Imogen Clark Went From Western Sydney Pubs to Abbey Road Studios

The AIR-nominated singer-songwriter recruited some Gang of Youths members and Camp Cope’s Georgia Maq for her latest single

Imogen Clark

Michelle Grace Hunder

AIR-nominated singer-songwriter Imogen Clark has had a big month, releasing her new single, “If I Want In”, which took her Western Sydney heritage all the way to London’s iconic Abbey Road Studios.

Clark has come a long way, though, and earned her way to recording in one of the most famous music spots in the world. Her high school years were spent playing in dusty Sydney bars at night, cutting her teeth as a performer and vocalist just as Amy Shark and others once did.

Inspired by the likes of Bruce Springsteen and Sheryl Crow, Clark has released several well-received records over the last few years, including the 2021 EP Bastards, and now “If I Want In” is her second single of 2023, following the tender “My Mother’s Daughter”.

“If I Want In” is about making the choice to go your own way and become the person you have to become, even though everything and everyone around you is trying to pull you back onto the expected path,” Clark says about her new single.

“It’s about acknowledging where I come from and how it shaped me, but I won’t let it define me. It’s about a little girl who spent her days at Penrith High School and her nights playing covers at Western Sydney pubs, dreaming of the big world out there and finding her place in it.”

Clark recorded the track in Abbey Road’s famed Studio 3, widely known for being the birthplace of so much classic Beatles material. She says the sessions were “invigorating” and “creative”, but only once the intense aura of Abbey Road had retreated – it’s not often that an artists gets to use one of Abbey Road’s treasures, the Mrs. Mills piano, the exact instrument that some of Paul McCartney’s most iconic songs were played on.

Clark also had a helping hand from several Gang of Youths members and Camp Cope’s Georgia Maq, and the latter’s contribution came about very casually indeed.

“It was 1am at a club in LA, Georgia was there with some of Amyl and the Sniffers and I just said, ‘Hey will you sing on my record,’ and she was like, ‘Fuck yeah,'” Clark recalls. “She brings so much soulfulness and strength to the track, and it felt so appropriate having another ex-pat muso on the song, someone who is living the lyrics and following her dreams in the big wide world.”

You can watch the music video for “If I Want In” below, which was filmed in Sydney, Nashville, LA, and other places important to the musician.

“If I Want In” is the first taste of Clark’s upcoming full-length album which is set to be released in 2024. Before then, she’ll be performing the track and other cuts at two upcoming Holiday Hootenanny shows, one in Sydney and one in Melbourne, with a different collection of guest artists joining her to perform her songs, their songs, and surprise covers.

Imogen Clark’s “If I Want In” is out now.