Sticks & Stones Shitty Interview No.128
Grace Mulholland grew up between New York, L.A, London and Australia before her family settled in Bali. Living in Bali, the family continually had musicians coming and staying in the house. Those visitors included Natalia Imbruglia, Bono and more but it was Divinyl’s frontwoman Chrissy Amphlett, who made a huge impact on Grace and taught her to sing ‘I Touch Myself’ at age five.
Grace first began writing songs and singing at age 11. However, prior to this, she was completely tone deaf! She decided that singing and songwriting were something she needed to do in order to say all the things she needed to say; her emotional outlet. Taking matters into her own hands, Grace would google “how to construct a song” and would practise and practice – and with the help of her teachers at her Steiner School, Grace finally started becoming an artist. She even taught herself how to play keys and ukulele.
Soon, acting would pique her interest and she’d immerse herself in characters before realising that fitting someone else’s idea wasn’t as fun as taking control of her own narrative and moulding it into new shapes. Though, songwriting is Mvlholland’s main form of expression. Her songs are quite often taken from her diary entries – producing raw and honest lyrics that draw you into her world and provide a few minutes of escapism.
You can hear this at the very beginning of Mvlholland’s first track of 2022 – ‘Foreign Obstacles’ where she tells frequent collaborator Lachlan Bostock (Mansionair) “I’ll just sing a bunch of different things I have written”.
Grace says: “I wrote ‘Foreign Obstacles’ as I was falling in love. It was right in the gut-wrenching point, where it’s both terrifying and exhilarating all at once. I kind of knew if what I had kept on moving that I was done for. All I thought about were the things we shared, the moments that didn’t feel important but led us to exactly where we were. I honestly couldn’t tell if I hated or admired being in love because it was the most vulnerable I had ever felt.
I think that when you’re building a relationship with someone you tend to look past the little things. The moments of silence, the quiet conversations that you have at three in the morning, the comfort you share just sitting next to each other but being in your own world. To me this song is exactly what falling in love was, especially at the point in my life I was at.”
Mvlholland is the master of her songs. Starting each studio session by setting out a clear goal to achieve and carefully crafts each element of the track from start to finish. That couldn’t be truer of ‘Foreign Obstacles’ – where each layered sound you hear on the track is Grace’s voice. The vocal samples were manipulated and skewed to create each layered sound that runs through the song. Lach Bostock’s brain made the song what it is.
‘Foreign Obstacles’ is all about the little moments in a relationship that don’t mean anything at the moment, but on reflection are the most important and memorable parts of the relationship. The song is accompanied by a stunning music video, which was filmed in Grace’s hometown in Byron/Northern Rivers.
Sticks & Stones: I will never ever…
Mvlholland: Skydive I have vertigo.
Sticks & Stones: What’s the best thing that’s happened today?
Mvlholland: I drove through the city & didn’t crash!
Sticks & Stones: Long beach walk or bed & food?
Mvlholland: See Illustration.
Sticks & Stones: can you walk on your hands?
Sticks & Stones: Give us some shitty advice
Mvlholland: A tequila shot a day keeps the doctor away
Sticks & Stones: What’s the most notable celebrity sex tape?
Mvlholland: Kim Kardashian 100 fucking percent.
Sticks & Stones: What animal do you want as a pet?
Mvlholland: A fish.
Sticks & Stones: If you met a clone of yourself do you think you’d get along?
Mvlholland: I can barely tolerate myself 95% of the time so I’m guessing not.
Sticks & Stones: How many hearts did you break in high school?
Mvlholland: NONE (mine was broken once).