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Hayley Mary shares her top songs for soundtracking a long drive

Before she heads to Melbourne's Palais Theatre for Together Again, we sat down with singer-songwriter Hayley Mary, to share her favourite songs for soundtracking a long drive

Live events are returning to Melbourne stages, and thanks to Together Again at the Palais Theatre you’ve got a stack of great choices coming your way in January. Playing two shows in the special series – that sees you sitting onstage with some of your favourite artists while they perform – is powerhouse singer-songwriter Hayley Mary.

Rising to international attention fronting Sydney indie-rock band The Jezabels, Hayley Mary is no stranger to the live stage. But it is here, through her solo music, that she continues to shine.

Where The Jezabels’ catalogue is filled with lush, alternative rock, Mary has opted for something grittier – crafting her own take on the classic Australiana rock sound of the ’80s embedded with bright pop hooks.

Her solo effort culminated first on her debut EP The Piss, The Perfume, released last January, and then in its follow up single ‘The Chain’ – which she wrote the night she found out her EP tour had been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The night I wrote ‘The Chain’ the pandemic was erupting around us all. Venues were closing and I received the news that my flights and headline shows were cancelled. I sat in my apartment in Melbourne staring at my suitcase. Not quite ready to start unpacking and let go of the momentum of my little rock n roll dream, I picked up the guitar and wrote what felt like, at the time, the saddest song I’d ever written. Sonically and melodically, however, it’s one of my most up-lifting.”

Hayley Mary – on her single ‘The Chain’

With the New Year arrives a new chance for Mary to take her music out on the road. Now, Melbourne fans finally get the chance to hear the EP live – this time in a stripped back, intimate environment. The perfect place for Mary’s exquisite vocals to shine.

Before she takes to the stage, we got Hayley Mary to take us through her favourite songs for soundtracking a long drive.

The Killers – My Own Soul’s Warning

Love the new Killers, love the old Killers. Love the Killers. Love the War on Drugs influence on this song. Heartland rock has got to be the best genre for long drives. Oh the backbeats!

Concrete Blonde – Joey

This is the first song I remember hearing on a road trip and it is almost single handedly responsible for me becoming a songwriter. SOOO MUCH EMOTION. Especially good for the heartbroken runaways driving away with a tear in their eye. 

Michael KiwanukaCold Little Heart

 I’d love to say I didn’t discover ‘Cold Little Heart’ by Michael Kiwanuka through a TV series, but I did. This is one of the most beautiful songs I’ve heard in a long time. 

Cyndi LauperWhen You Were Mine

When I was 17, I fell in love with a naughty boy and we ran away for Sydney from Byron in my shitty gold ’80s Nissan Pulsar. I had nine hours to educate him about the all the many wonderful things Cyndi Lauper had done that weren’t ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun’. I didn’t stop until he was converted. 

Dire StraitsSo Far Away From Me

The riff in ‘So Far Away From Me’ by Dire Straits is ridiculously simple and ridiculously effective. I’ve been in a few long distance relationships so this one resonated on long car trips many a twilight hour.

Cocteau TwinsCherry Coloured Funk

 I first heard ‘Cherry-Coloured Funk’ on a road trip across the US and it will forever bring out the sublime in any never-ending highway for me. 

Donna SummerHot Stuff

I usually play tearjerkers on long road trips as I find them a beautiful time to process heartbreak, to grieve and reflect, while simultaneously feeling like you’re moving on. So at the end, you need at least one upbeat banger and mine is ‘Hot Stuff’ by Donna Summer.

Hayley Mary will perform as part of the Together Again concert series at Melbourne’s Palais Theatre, with two shows on Thursday 21 January. Tickets are on sale now via Ticketmaster.com.au.