Over the past two years, Vera Blue– real name Celia Pavey – has made a name for herself crafting intricate, elegant electronic pop with an emotive core. Her new single “All The Pretty Girls”, is a stunning change of pace, taking her deft lyricism and vocal prowess to a bold, new direction. While her stunning, acclaimed debut album Perennial wascharacterised by heartbreak, “All The Pretty Girls” is a summer jam defined by self-possession and empowerment.
“All The Pretty Girls” is built around a live band sound that recalls Fleetwood Mac, and places Celia’s powerful, otherworldly voice front and centre. The song, she says, is about “that feeling when you see someone walking down the street and you think to yourself, ‘Oh my god, that person is a heartbreaker’, so you’re kind of like, ‘I’m not gonna say hi to that person’”. The song came out of one of many studio sessions in LA with Chelsea Lena and Steve Solomon earlier this year.
“It’s basically just a little playful song that is also empowering. I feel really excited about it and I just can’t wait to play it live” she says. “I feel like a lot of people can probably connect to it because it’s kind of a self-protection song.”
While Celia’s rise has been meteoric, it’s not surprising. She grew up in a tight-knit, musical family in the small-town of Forbes, NSW. Her mother plays the organ at church and her eldest sister is also a singer. Celia herself grew up learning the violin.
In high school, Celia was teaching herself acoustic guitar after becoming obsessed with Joni Mitchell. It was during this period that she learnt her passion for folk music and songwriting. In 2016, she released promising EP Fingertips,and then last year she dropped her debut album
Perennial which combined her folk roots with electronic music, resulting in an album full of heart-wrenching pop. The album garnered nearly 100 million streams online, and two of her songs – “Regular Touch” and “Mended” – made the Triple J’s Hottest 100. Perennialalso received a triple j Album of the Year nomination, was voted as a Top 10 triple j Listeners Album of 2017 and nominated for an ARIA Award for Best Pop Release. Celia herself was also nominated for APRA’s 2018 Breakthrough Songwriter of the Year award. The past two years, Celia says, have been “crazy”.
But she’s been most thankful that her debut album – made in the midst of heartbreak – has left a mark on its listeners. “It’s been really nice to be able to create a body of work that captures something that I’ve been through, and that I know other people, either have been through, or they’re going through. It’s been really nice to connect with some people in the audience, who after shows have told me their stories, and said that my music has helped them” she says. “It has reminded me of why I make music”.
Vera Blue has proven herself to be an exciting, formidable live act, which has garnered her acclaim across the globe. Her Lady Powers headline tour saw Vera performing to fans across Australia, North America and Europe/UK, on the back of her Lady Powers I Power Ladies Remix EP release, which saw her collaborate with rising Atlantia hip-hop star Kodie Shane, TOKiMONSTA and Alice Ivy.
“All The Pretty Girls”is an an exciting taste of what’s to come from one of Australia’s most exciting pop acts, who in the midst of writing and recording new music across LA and Sydney is working alongside frequent collaborators Andy and Thom Mak. In the studio, Celia has been trying to push her music to the next level, experimenting with new sounds and different styles of music. “That’s the beauty of working in electronic music, you’re not boxed in to one particular sound. It’s so much fun” she says.
“At the moment I’m just writing and putting out what I love” says Celia. “I feel like I’m on to something good”.*