Pronounced “hee-raith”, the album takes its title from a Welsh word with no direct translation, referring to a profound longing for a home you can’t return to as it no longer exists, a sense of nostalgia or grief for the lost places of your past
It’s rather challenging to write about themes of death, infidelity and motherhood with the level of sincerity and candour that Naarm/ Melbourne art-pop alchemist Georgia Fields does.
Drawing inspiration from pain, Fields’ brand of indie-pop explores melancholia and tragedy through a hauntingly intimate first-person perspective.
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On Hiraeth, Fields’ presents an unflinchingly honest depiction of loss; intimately unpacking the traumatic events she has endured alongside a guise of warm textures, vibrant guitar licks and joyous singalongs.
Opener ‘Find Your Way Back’ delivers luscious drum hooks, melodic guitar leads and punchy pop vocals, whilst ‘Persuasion’ drips in soulful swagger and enigmatic harmonies.
‘Water To Water’ unpacks Fields’ experience with miscarriage in a powerful performance that employs stripped-back guitars and a haunting conviction to Fields’ vocals. In another painstakingly intimate moment, ‘In My Blood’ discusses the coping mechanisms employed by Fields after receiving a diagnosis of acute postnatal depression.
Whilst most songs present a contrast between sombre lyricism and uplifting pop musicianship, ‘I Saw It Coming’ steps away from the normal dream-pop stylings, switching it up with eloquent string arrangements and simmering ‘prom’ inspired drum rolls behind Fields’ impressive vibrato.
As ‘an ode to the many languages of longing’, Hiraeth isn’t just an album that offers catharsis for Fields; it’s a bold declaration that will empower fans for years to come. This is an essential release that distinguishes Fields’ songwriting as a cut above the rest.
“Hiraeth feels like a homecoming,” Fields says.
“These songs have been in my head and heart since the pandemic began, some even earlier. I spent a long time dreaming of this album and realising the sound with my incredible producer Josh… I listened to a vinyl test pressing last week and I had goosebumps – my whole body was zinging! But strangely, I also felt very grounded at the same time. I just get this sense that Hiraeth is arriving at exactly the right time. And I’m ready.”
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Fans can also catch Hiraeth live, with Georgia set to tour the album nationally – kicking off with a hometown show on Saturday November 19 at Brunswick Ballroom in Melbourne, before traversing Daylesford, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Creswick, and then finishing up in regional Victoria at Theatre Royal in Castlemaine on Sunday December 18. Tickets are on sale now.
Hiraeth is out now Independently/MGM Distribution. Stream it here.