Who TF is meadowhip?

We had a chat with Cara Walkam about her unique story and her exciting emerging solo project meadowhip

Australian singer-songwriter Cara Walkam is someone who established themselves as one half of the indie pop duo Territories, an outfit who were sporadically releasing tracks and growing in acclaim until the lauded singer, songwriter and poet unfortunately suffered a major hemorrhagic stroke in 2019.

2021 thankfully saw the artist reemerge with a solo project, entitled meadowhip, showcasing a more pop-oriented sound for the artist and giving her a chance to write in a more personable and raw way. With her vulnerabilities laid bare, the artist has crafted a small handful of thoughtful and moving tracks that possess both an intrinsically personal feel, and a rousing sense of cutting edge, modern pop accessibility. As you already know, we loved the artist’s emotionally charged latest single ‘Iconic’, and had a chat with the artist to find out a bit more about it, about the journey that she has been on to get to where she is now, and what the future has in store for both of her projects.

Who TF is meadowhip?

meadowhip is my solo music project! I’m Cara Walkam, and I’m a singer, songwriter, poet (and drama queen) from the east coast of Australia.  I’m one half of indie-pop duo Territories, and meadowhip is a project that developed while I was recovering from a major hemorrhagic stroke in 2019.

How long have you been making music?

I’ve been making music for as long as I can remember.  I was put in formal music education as a preschooler, and was immediately besotted with bashing around on all of the instruments to try them out.  Singing was always my favourite, though, and it didn’t take long for me to start writing my own songs.  I actually recently found the lyrics to some of the songs I wrote as a child, and they’re a major trip. (And I’ve taken steps to make sure that no one else ever lays on them.) 

Why do you make music?

I’ve tried to answer this question a few times, and I’d love to say something poetic like – “I write music to make sense of the world”. And maybe I need to examine this a little more, but honestly, I just think I make music out of pure compulsion.

What are your biggest influences?

My eternal, all time influences are Mariah Carey, Blondie and Erykah Badu, and I think that comes through in my songwriting a lot.  In terms of the meadowhip sound, I’d say I’ve been influenced by Tame Impala, Steve Lacy and Solange.

What would you say has been your best moment so far?

Every new thing that I do with meadowhip feels like a really solid achievement, because this is the first time that I’m doing everything on my own.  In the bands I’m in, it’s a team effort and there’s always someone else there to pick up the slack and keep the momentum.  But I think the best moment was performing my songs on stage for the first time.  The first meadowhip live set was super stripped back, with just one of my friends playing acoustic guitar for me.  Sharing my songs like that was so nerve-racking, but it was wonderfully intimate and I was so touched by the reaction the audience had.  I’ll always aim for that reaction, I think! 

How would you describe your sound to somebody unfamiliar with it?

meadowhip is all about introspective and irreverent lyrics on pop melodies, floating on a blend of woozy alt-R&B, soul and jazz.

What’s your dream “I’ve made it” moment?

Oooh gosh, that’s a doozy.  I don’t think I let myself think about this sort of stuff very much.  I would have to say my dream “I’ve made it” moment would be to feel more excitement than anxiety about an upcoming release!

We love your latest single ‘Iconic’, what more can you tell us about it?

Thank you!! I wrote Iconic when I was in a deep *deep* depression over the Christmas holidays in 2021.  I was so horribly miserable, but my partner was his same sweet, strange, whimsical self – both doing what he could to raise my spirits, but also just being patient and supportive and comforting.  And I’m not quite sure how, but I managed to feel so grateful for him and our relationship, and this song kind of came out of it.  Iconic is basically a celebration of a couple who manage to keep it tight despite being entirely unhinged and defective. 

What else do you have planned for the near future?

So much!  I have another single on the way shortly, and my EP ‘Ruckus’ is to be released later this year.  Plus, I’m working on an EP with my band Territories that I’m hoping will be released later this year too.  I also have a handful of collaborations in the pipeline! 

And finally, who is your biggest fan right now?

The official answer is usually my mum.  But since he’s had a love song written about him, my partner is now giving her a run for her money.