Listen to Hazel Mei’s sweet yet sarcastic new single ‘Don’t Trust Them’

Anchored by vocals somehow gentle and commanding in equal measure, Hazel Mei’s Don’t Trust Them is a mesmeric soft-pop gem.  

Hazel Mei has shared her new single, a sweetly sarcastic soft-pop gem titled Don’t Trust Them. Anchored by an old-timey feel — as if blasted through the speakers of a dimly-lit speakeasy — the song opens with acoustic guitar strums and the subtle muffle of background treble. Don’t Trust Them finds its major drawcard in Mei’s incomparably rich vocals, which somehow remain both gentle and commanding in equal measure.

This dichotomy is also reflected in Mei’s lyricism, as the Brisbane singer-songwriter oscillates between charm and sarcasm to explore heady themes of the duality of power. “Only cash is gonna win,” Mei croons in velvety tones, “Don’t you trust them or your light will dim.” Whatever humour Mei gleans in the early parts of the song is later transformed into something more hard-hitting, as the singer is accompanied by grittier guitars. 

Hazel Mei 'Don't Trust Them' single
Credit: Hannan Paul

Here, Mei sings alongside tinkling glockenspiel keys, rattling tambourines and ghostly backing choirs, as ambient synths create a sense of spaciousness. Through it all, Mei’s vocal performance becomes the track’s main attraction, reminiscent of Lily Allen in its playful and lullaby-like delivery. The sing-along quality returns on Don’t Trust Them’s outro, where Mei opts for doo-woop melodies and fading vocals to bookend her exploration of power. 

“Sometimes when you’re chatting to your friends about current issues, it’s easy to deflect from your frustration with humour,” Mei said of Don’t Trust Them in a press statement. “I wanted to showcase this commonly used reaction in the song, while still bringing attention to the very often abuse of power we see every day.” 


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A post shared by Hazel Mei (@hazelmeimusic)

To squeeze introspective themes into an otherwise airy ditty is no small feat, but it speaks to Mei’s versatility in combining thoughtful penmanship with catchy and digestible earworms. Casting a sonic spell, Mei pairs buttery vocals with a unique kind of pop-leaning production, with the result proving altogether magical. Don’t Trust Them marks Mei’s first single of 2023, and follows on from the release of Rocket Shoes last year. 

Elsewhere, the singer has shared standout 2020 single Fool, and spent the latter months of last year travelling and co-writing across North America. Mei’s 2021 track Golden Chains was also selected as a finalist for this year’s Environmental Music Prize, shortlisted alongside the likes of Flume, Tash Sultana and King Stingray


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A post shared by Hazel Mei (@hazelmeimusic)

Listen Hazel Mei’s new single Don’t Trust Them below.