Love Lana Del Rey and Marina and The Diamonds? Get ready to meet your new favourite singer.
If Lana Del Rey and Marina had a love child, singer-songwriter Mabes would be the end result. Showcasing her slick new single “Sugarush” today, the vibrant Essex-hailed singer combines both her obsession with authentic Nashville music with contemporary pop to create a rush of nostalgia that has us reminiscing on old-school Americana. Capturing our attention with an ear-ringing whistle, the singer intertwines her sugary sweet vocals with twangy guitar rhythms, creating a psychedelic and almost trippy vibe. Accompanying the single with a Kate Bellm-directed video, the singer takes herself to the Insta-worthy countryside, with cowboy-ready boots and heart-shaped sunglasses at the ready.
“The baseline came to me first, then the whistle,” Mabes says assertively. “In the studio, a groovy 70s psychedelic vibe was made and my lyrics sat on top like sprinkles on a cake – and ‘Sugarush’ was born! I wanted to capture the sunny hypnotic psych mood in the video and make it dreamy.”
Already making a name for herself around her hometown of Billericay, playing local venues and events, the star had been steadily building up her sound, until she released her fearless debut album Wait & See. Racking up over 35 million streams in its first year, the singer packed up and left her 9 to 5 after the release, ready to take her sound to new heights. Bursting with excitement on what the next chapter brings, we caught up with Mabes talking all things country and touring.
Check out the single below…
Hey Mabes! Where almost halfway through 2021, how has this past year been for you?
It’s been testing, I’ve had a lot of idle time which isn’t always great for a deep thinker like me. As Willie Nelson famously said, I can’t wait to get on the road again!
You’re from Billericay, how did growing up here impact your sound?
I don’t think it had any impact, I’m a country and indie music lover – would have been this way if I was born in Stockport or Aberdeen.
You first picked up a guitar at 15, what was the first song you wrote?
Highly inspired by Laura Marling in my teenage years, mixed with feeling like I didn’t belong… queue Little Love.
You were still working a 9-5 while your album raked in millions of streams, what was this like and when did you decide that you wanted to do music full time?
It was bloody scary but at the same time exhilarating to quit the office. Entering into the unknown at taking a leap of faith always is. But triumph doesn’t come without risk, so here I am on my journey.
Congratulations on your new single “Sugarush”, talk us through the creation and production process?
Thanks, it’s a proud moment for me to embark on this next chapter of my writing. So I had this sassy bluesy song I’d been singing in my room for a couple weeks, and I decided to save it for a studio session I had with the fantastic Quarry, and I was right to do so as he brought my idea its soul – he got the vibe instantly, and after just two days at the studio with him “Sugarush” was born.
It has a Nashville pop sound to it, what made you tap into this genre?
I’ve always had country in my heart, and I’m a sucker for a pop hook… so I guess I’m subconsciously influenced.
This single sees a change from your last project, what inspired this?
Growing. And growing up. It’s time for me to break out the shackles of my once ‘nice girl’ country era and head into my next phase of womanhood, embracing myself and finally owning some self-confidence. It’s been a long road, but I hope I can influence other young women to say ‘fuck what they think’ and just do what the hell they want because it feels good. Time to live a little!
The accompanying video is super cool as well, what was it like filming?
Well, this was hands down one of the best days of my life. Working with creative muse and director Kate Bellm was a dream come true, she killed it. She just nailed my vibe. It was a 24hr day trip to Deia, hectic but bloody awesome. I think you can tell in the video how fucking fabulous I was feeling.
Who would you cite as your inspirations?
Debbie Harry, Stevie Nicks, Grace Potter, Chrissie Hynde