Molly Payton has shared her latest gut-wrenching single, “Asphalt”, taken from her forthcoming full-length project due for release next year.
The Auckland-born, London-based singer-songwriter describes the track as an “anti-single”, made while she was in limbo between labels and managers.
But being independent for the first time in her career meant that Payton could strip her songwriting back to its purest form and return to a place when “I was sixteen,” she says, able to write, “without any care for structure or radio playability or anything except capturing that feeling of restlessness and hope.”
The result is a simple, two-chord ballad that swells around Payton’s rare and melancholic cadence; her voice even has an emotion-fuelled quality that recalls the late, great Nico.
“I wanna be happy, I don’t wanna be beautiful, you make it look easy, how do you switch it on,” she sings as she ponders the pressures of coming of age in the music industry.
Made in collaboration with Oscar Lang, the added freedom of not being tied down to a label meant that Payton had full creative control over “Asphalt”, making it the perfect first taste of her upcoming project.
“I picked it to be the first single and shot the music video before I met my new management or a label,” she reveals, “because I knew no one would want me to make it a first single. ‘Asphalt’ is the song that made me love making music again, and I am so grateful to it for that.”
“Asphalt” is Payton’s first release since “Bandits”, a collaboration with Oscar Lang released earlier this year. Over the last few years she’s released a string of EPs including Mess, Porcupine, Compromise, and a mini-album Slack. Her first full-length album will be released next year.
On the touring front, Payton has three shows lined up in her home country after taking part in BIG FAN’s Birthday Series earlier this month. Beginning on November 17th at Real Groovy Records, she’ll also play at the Powerstation on December 12th and at Laneway Festival on February 6th.
Molly Payton’s “Asphalt” is out now.