Mia Dyson has every reason to be enjoying the LA sunshine at the moment, with a new album hitting the airwaves and an Aussie tour locked and loaded for the next couple of months.
The singer has recently teamed up again with best mates and musical peers Jen Cloher and Liz Stringer to record a beautiful self-titled album where gender and the role of women has never been made more clear. Alongside the album, they have also released a video for the track ‘Believer’ which follows the path of a young girl trying to aspire to be an AFLW player to join her heroes on the football field. It all makes for a lively chat with Dyson.
Not that releasing an album these days, as Dyson says, is quite the same as the past. “It’s weird these days. In the past maybe it was more of a big deal. Now things being mostly digital have changed it.
“But it’s still fun for us because it is a collaborative affair,” she continues. “It isn’t as prestigious or momentous anymore. I think back to when I was growing up. I sometimes wish I was around when you could only get a record in the store. Things seem to be changing rapidly.”
Growing up Dyson didn’t have the usual battle on her hands convincing her parent’s music was a solid career path.
“Luckily my parents were very supportive. Dad is a guitar maker and mum a scientist. I guess Mum wanted me to get to University to have an option in life. I think my bandmates were more discouraged and had a harder time of it.”
As times change, musicians have had to adapt too. The days of signing to a record company based on great live work, or a good demo are almost over.
“It’s harder now to be a muso,” she says. “Before my time the only way to have a career was if a record company showed interest and signed you. My first three records I made were all home records.”
For this album the three songwriters didn’t have to look far for inspiration – they literally just wrote about the times they’re living in, with changing gender roles and expectations, and a desire at the back of their minds for women to be heard more, stronger and less reliant on accepting a man’s world, or word.
“This album is very reflective of the times. Very personal and speaks to people on the human experience. At the end of the day, we all have the same hopes, dreams and goals. In terms of gender, things are getting better and better today than they were. In my experience men and women have become closer.
“And the music industry has changed too. It used to be all men. Now there is much more of a gender balance. Women are taking on better roles, and the workplace is more conducive.”
Continuing the theme of gender, which seems central to the album and in fact all three ladies lives, sees Dyson suggest militant anti-male sentiment actually counter-productive.
“I don’t find blame and accusation very helpful. Sometimes the radical rebel is needed too.”
‘Believer’ is a great song and video, and as Dyson suggests, gets to the heart of who young girls are and what they can achieve now – perhaps more so than in the past.
“The song speaks of believing in yourself. Most things take time to work on in life. The young girl in the video shows grit and desire to do something amazing.”
Dyson, Cloher and Stringers’ album has now dropped, so check it out and be sure to catch them throughout November.
When & Where: Music on the Hill, Red Hill – November 1, Vibes & Vino, Heathcote – November 2, The Lost Lands, Werribee – November 3 & Theatre Royal, Castlemaine – November 15.
Written by Chris Michaels