The first few times you fall in love, it consumes every part of you. When things are new, it feels impossible to navigate all the strong emotions you’ve never felt before. This leads in to unhealthy patterns, intense emotions and overall confusion. It’s a feeling we’ve all been through but, sometimes, it can be difficult to put into words.
This is exactly what Gold Coast singer-songwriter Mimi Bailey captures with her newest track Crossroads. The single uses classic pop production and textural guitar layering to create a intricate textures and sounds to support her vocal storytelling.
“Here we are standing at crossroads, the only path we seem to know. Never takes long for the cycle to begin again”.
She sings each chorus, plainly painting a picture of the harmful pattern.
I was enraptured by Mimi’s storytelling and just had to pick her brain to learn more. Luckily, she had some time to spare!
You’ve just released your new song Crossroads. Can you take us through what this song is about?
Lyrically, Crossroads centres around a personal experience of a young, repetitive romantic relationship. When the pair repeatedly separate, they wish they were together. Therefore, a ‘treacherous’ cycle begins. It’s actually intertwines with my previous single, The Last Time. Both aim to capture the hopeless but equally as thrilling emotions of ‘running in circles’ with someone you love deeply.
Your last two releases The Last Time and Last December were pop tracks, contrasting this new, more country sound. Will you be releasing more country music in future?
Yes, definitely. I originally started as purely a country musician. Country music will always be important to me – like a first love. Ideally, I would like to continue to crossover between country, pop and singer-songwriter. I prefer composing mixed-genre music.
What songs/ artists where your biggest inspirations when producing Crossroads?
There’s one track that stands as the biggest inspiration for Crossroads, particularly regarding the production process – Taylor Swift’s country-pop track The Other Side of the Door. However, the country-pop sound we aimed to capture was broadly inspired by the entire ‘Fearless’ album, both 2008 and 2020 versions.
What was the song writing process like? Did you have the lyrics, concept or the chords first?
For Crossroads, the concept definitely came first! I write most of my songs with my friend and fellow muso Steve Gibb – we have been writing regularly since I was 15. In this case, we discussed the concept and Steve mapped out the chords while I roughly penned out lyrical ideas. We then sung it together until everything fit into a logical sequence.
Does your process differ depending on if you’re writing a pop song or a country song?
No, but it does differ each time. Sometimes I focus solely on lyrics and structure first – especially if we’re aiming to portray a storyline. Other times we begin with chord progressions or rhythmic styles to set a context for lyrical content. Production wise, the process is still similar for each track, but obviously the instruments and sonics differ to align with the targeted genre. The drums and main instrument (guitar or piano) are usually tracked first, then main vocals and other instruments.
What are the top 3 albums that shaped your identity as a musician?
I could list many albums here…but the top 3 that come instantly to mind are: ‘Barricades and Brickwalls’ by Kasey Chambers (2001), Taylor Swift’s ‘RED’ (2012) and The Chicks’ ‘Home’ (2002). I love these albums and artists because of their sonics and storytelling abilities.
Who is your biggest inspiration, musically or personally?
I don’t think I could pick a single musical or personal inspiration. Taylor Swift, Kasey Chambers and Natalie Maines will always be empowering musical forces in my life – I even have Maines’ lyrics ‘take it on faith’ tattooed on me from her song of the same name. Personally, my parents and friends are my world. My parents are incredible people and they’ve always encouraged me to go after what I want and write songs. Lyrically, I am inspired by other’s stories or and my own personal experiences.
With the new lockdowns in South East Queensland, live music has been affected yet again. Who are your favourite local acts that you’ve seen live?
I’ve mentioned them a few times, but my favourite local act is punk-rock band These Four Walls – their energy and musical abilities never fail.
What advice to you have for any young artists who want to start releasing their own music?
My advice would be document as many lyrical or instrumental ideas as you can – they usually come in handy in the future, use reference tracks to communicate how you envision your music to sound, collaborate with people who understand you and your creative visions and be open to feedback – growth will only create stronger outcomes.
And finally, what can we expect next from Mimi Bailey?
Lyrical writing and storytelling will always be my number one passion and priority. I will also definitely continue to switch between pop, country, singer-singer and folk genres.
Crossroads is available now on all platforms.
Follow MIMI BAILEY