We pick the hottest new acts so you can tell your friends you heard them first. Meet Adelaide pop-punk singer-songwriter Haliday on his nostalgia-filled EP ‘Honeyglow’
Brimming with nostalgic pop-punk influences and packing a huge emotional punch, Honeyglow, the debut EP from Adelaide’s Haliday, is here to deliver a much-needed dose of huge angst-filled hooks at a breakneck pace.
If you too spent your high school years listening to bands like blink-182, The Story So Far, Balance And Composure, and Basement, then you’re going to want to get to know Haliday.
The solo project of Adelaide musician Sebastian James (formerly of indie pop outfit Pinkish Blu) arrived last August with debut single ‘Phase Me’, earning a First Play on triple j’s Home & Hosed, followed by spins on Short.Fast.Loud and Weekend Lunch, as well as scoring community radio support across 4ZZZ, SYN, and Radio Adelaide.
Formed in 2020, during lockdown and gig cancellations, it was the isolation and free time created by the pandemic that inspired James to dig back through his record collection and revisit the artists that he found comfort in throughout his teenage years.
From there, in a nostalgia-fuelled haze, James began writing – and what was meant to be a standalone single soon grew into an EP’s worth of songs. And soon Haliday, and Honeyglow, were born.
While the EP’s six tracks could fit comfortably into any punk rock fans teenage listening catalogue, it is Haliday’s poignant lyrical storytelling right across Honeyglow that ensures the record connects with a set of very modern, 20-something anxieties and experiences.
As well as including Haliday’s debut single ‘Phase Me’, the EP also features his huge team up with Teenage Joans’ Tahlia Borgon ‘Head Rest’ – which you can read more about here.’
On the live front Haliday and his band – which features TOWNS’ Aston Valladares on guitar, Don’t Bring Stacey’s Kyle Sambell on drums, and artist manager Rachie Whitford on bass – have been building an enviable resume of appearances, including Brisbane’s Scorched Fest and Mountain Goat Valley Crawl, and support slots with Yours Truly, Teenage Joans, and Mum Friends.
This EP, back to front, is me reminiscing on my favourite bands like blink-182, Balance and Composure, The Story So Far & Angels and Airwaves – everything I listened to in my teens. I sat down to itch the scratch of writing like I would when I was 16, and I loved how easy it was for me to write. I didn’t have to force anything and it all came so naturally so I ended up with an EP worth of songs.HALIDAY ON HIS DEBUT EP ‘HONEYGLOW’
To celebrate the release of his debut EP Honeyglow, we sat down with Seb James of Haliday, to get to know him better.
Check out Honeyglow by Haliday:
The Haliday Story
From the beginning
Seb James, Haliday: “I started making music back in 2008 with my high school band, none of us had really played music before so we learned how to play our instruments by making up very crappy songs together.”
What you’ll hear
“I think the easiest way to describe it as late 90’s early 2000’s inspired punk rock/emo.”
Influences & inspirations
“Anything Tom DeLonge does inspires me, obviously all his music projects but also his attitude towards music, particularly punk music. The mindset to just make whatever music feels genuine to yourself, and enjoy it with the people around you. But I’m constantly inspired by other things like skate culture, sci-fi, and anime that I really try to blend into this project, definitely wearing all my influences on my sleeves with Haliday.”
Inside the Honeyglow creative process
“It sort of happened by accident. When the covid restrictions came in strong I lost my job and had all my tours canceled for other projects. So, I really had time to scratch the itch of writing punk rock again and it just fell out of me. After showing my friends they convinced me to release it all and create Haliday. At first it was going to be a single and see how it goes, but I couldn’t decide on just one song to release, so I bit the bullet and recorded the whole EP in one go instead.
“Honestly just getting to write music I love with my best friend Aston has been the best part. I think it really reawakened my love for creating music again.”
Tell us the story
“I think because I was in lockdown when I started, there was not much going on in my life so I was being very nostalgic with my music and really reflecting on the past. Most of the music is based on my past experiences from when I was much younger, so it still holds all that angst I used to have. While also being tied together with all the musical punk rock/ emo influences I listened to in high school. To me it feels like a screenshot of my past self, and the music I wanted to make when I was 16.”
“If there’s one main promise with the songs on Honeyglow, it’s that they are honest, there’s no facade or fake imagery, it’s music from my head and nothing more nothing less”
Say it in a sentence
Honeyglow is: “American Pie but sad.”
For the love of music
“To me, making music is a celebration of everything you love and then getting your friends together to play it. It’s such a wholesome feeling.”
“Getting to share the stage with some of my all-time favourite bands like Dear Seattle and Columbus [has been a career highlight for me]. They were such influences when I was forming my first “real” bands back in 2015–17, so to now be able to play with them has been unreal.”
Overcoming struggle town
“I think the only really challenge was more of an adjustment from being in a band with three other guys (Pinkish Blu) to then going at it alone. I didn’t realise how much scarier it is to put something out by yourself, the criticism feels more directed at you personally! But, like I’ve said, having friends around me keeps me feeling good about it all.”
The year ahead
“I think to get out to the rest of the country for shows, and also getting back into the studio to get cracking on the next songs.”
Haliday – Raincoat
“The core parts of this song I wrote over ten years ago, I’ve just been holding onto it for so long waiting to do it justice. So I’m real glad it’s finally out in the world.”
Haliday – Player Two
“I wrote that song while watching Pokémon on TV one morning. It came together so quickly, I think after four hours I had the song fully done and it honestly hasn’t changed much since then.”
Haliday – Pushover
“This was the song that when I finished it I really understood what Haliday was going to be, and that I definitely wanted to do it.”
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