Released today, the third single from Sgt. Hulka, ‘Painted Rose’ sees this intriguing Perth outfit delving into the country music songbook via piano-driven indie pop. In a way, it’s the sort of song that could only originate in an isolated metropolis like Perth, where we’re just connected enough to know what’s going on in every corner of the world and just isolated enough to care nothing for following trends. ‘Painted Rose’ an exquisite piece of piano pop that’s got grooves for miles and is just surprising enough to make you cock your head and ask yourself, ‘Did they just do that?’ It’s bloody good, have a listen.
‘Painted Rose’ an exquisite piece of piano pop that’s got grooves for miles and is just surprising enough to make you cock your head and ask yourself, ‘Did they just do that?’ It’s bloody good, have a listen.
Around The Sound corresponded with Sgt. Hulka’s singer, pianist and song writer, Kirsty Hulka, prior to the single’s release.
“As an artist, I’ve focused a lot this year on writing more music,” Hulka told us. “As a rather extroverted person I’ve really started embracing a lot of alone time. I would often become blocked with song writing and always needing to feed ideas off other people. I’ve recently discovered how to be alone and work with my own ideas. It’s not to say that I don’t love feeding ideas off people, I’m just more confident in my own song writing.”
Hulka’s confidence in her song writing is evident in ‘Painted Rose’ and her decision to draw from whatever influences she wants, while still sounding uniquely just like herself. It’s a sign of maturity as an artist and song writer that few achieve. This renewed confidence is reflected in Hulka’s own assessment of her song writing.
“I believe my song writing is developing a lot more into what I want it to be. I’ve never tried to go with the trends in music, I just love music and I write what I like. I’m drawing a lot of inspiration from experiences in various walks of my life. My most recent song, ‘Warrior’, was inspired by the ongoing issue of men’s mental health and their feeling of always trying to be strong, in control – a ‘Warrior’. I’ve got a lot of friends who have gone through (and are still going through) a lot of issues and unlike females, they often don’t know how to talk about it. This song will most likely be the next single we will release. It’s been nominated in the semi-finals for the Listen Up! Music song writing prize for mental health. I’ve also been asked to perform it at a Mental Health/Suicide Prevention week in Bunbury in October. – that delves into the question of what does the future hold.”
Unsurprisingly, Hulka is excited about where her band sits right now, saying, “I was tossing and turning at the start of this year, trying to decide what direction to take the band in (mostly just whether to add a guitarist). After we recorded ‘Painted Rose’ I decided on no guitars, but backing vocals, really, really solid backing vocals. That’s when I asked Millie (Taylor) to come on board. It’s amazing the difference it makes. I’d like eventually to have two or three backing vocalists but just taking one at a time at the moment.”
As a song writer, Hulka takes a very personal approach to her subject matter and is not afraid to tackle difficult subject matter, such as mental health. Speaking about the lyrical content of ‘Painted Rose’, she said, “Loneliness is a crippling thing. I originally wrote the song a few years back about my Dad and a girlfriend he had. I think they ended up breaking up and getting back together at least 15 times. That’s where the original inspiration came from. I then developed it a little more to make it more relatable generally and adding a few personal experiences.
‘Painted Rose’ is highly relatable and, like the very best pop songs, it’s heart-on-the-sleeve stuff that’s carried by a melody that lets you just slip away with the music while the words settle in the corners of your mind. It’s on high repeat in the Around The Sound office. We love it!
Sgt. Hulka launch ‘Painted Rose’ at Clancy’s Fish Pub, Fremantle on 3 of August with support from Jack Runaway, Skyuka and Green Pools. Click here for more information.