Happy’s Sam Bowmer caught up with UK artist Pip Millett ahead of her headlining Sydney show to chat about her debut album and Australian tour.
I first meet Pip Millett in the dimly lit entrance room to Sydney’s Metro theatre. In a few hours, the room will be filled with an eclectic mix of fans eagerly waiting to see her perform live; for now, though, our only company is the humming of nearby bar fridges and the crashing of drums from soundcheck next door.
You wouldn’t be able to tell given Millett’s cheerful demeanour, but tonight will be her third show in a row, in her third city in a row, in a completely different timezone to her home city of Manchester.
“I don’t know who planned that… I’m gonna hunt them down and have some words!” she jokes.
It’s a whirlwind Australian tour to cap off a whirlwind few months for the artist, who released her debut album When Everything Is Better, I’ll Let You Know in October of last year.
“I found it really nerve-racking. I felt like there’s more pressure around an album,” says Millett.
Now that her debut album is out, however, Millett feels nothing but excitement and relief, and deservedly so. When Everything Is Better, I’ll Let You Know is a phenomenal record; pairing the UK artist’s trademark clever lyricism and incredible voice with slick production that manages to consistently excite and surprise over the course of the album’s seventeen tracks.
The record’s production dips into new electronic territories for Millett, drawing from a range of genres too numerous to list.
“I didn’t go into it thinking ‘oh yeah I’m gonna change the direction of the sound’,” Millett explains, “but what I did know is that I wanted a whole collection of sounds across the album, and I feel like each song sounds quite different”
When Everything Is Better, I’ll Let You Know’s greatest triumph, however, is how it manages to explore so many sonic territories whilst still maintaining a cohesive identity as distinctively Pip Millett; with the artist’s unique brand of genre-bending UK neo-soul and candid, oftentimes heartwrenching lyricism shining through just as brightly on the LP as on her previous EPs.
“It’s scary being that vulnerable, it does take courage,” Millett says of sharing her darkest moments through song “but I feel lucky that I get to do that, and it does feel liberating.”
“It’s so lovely to see people moving along with it and feeling it, y’know?”
Pip Millet’s live show is equally as enthralling as her recorded works, with the artist’s voice just as powerful and flawless on stage as it is in the studio, backed by a talented live band that doesn’t miss a beat.
It’s an experience that’s both joyous and moving. On stage, Millett is brimming with confidence and untouchability, yet can still form deeply human connections with her audience.
It’s this deft balancing of seeming contradictions that I believe best describes Pip Millett as an artist and performer: she’s an artist that’s confident yet humble, untouchable yet personable, and surprising yet familiar.
Pip Millett’s debut album When Everything Is Better, I’ll Let You Know is out now.