Following a feverish run of singles and the release of her EP ‘Cry’ in 2020, San Mei has dived headfirst into 2021 with the release of the first single of her latest body of work – ‘In The Machine’.
‘In The Machine’, produced by San Mei (Emily Hamilton) and long-time studio drummer and collaborator Michael McCartney, is like a lost track from the Batman Forever soundtrack. Gnarly guitars, gritty synth and industrial drum programming pulse away in clever contrast to San Mei’s ethereal vocals.
Hamilton explains, “I took a bit of a different sonic approach with this song and I thought that using some industrial sounds and having a bit of a mechanical feel would really suit it, which I think we achieved with a lot of the drum patterns and sounds.
“I still wanted to make sure it felt a bit surreal and dreamy at the same time, so the verb’ed-out vocals and wash of synths were important to include in the track”.
The production is an outstanding representation of Hamilton’s focus and inspiration in 2021, building on her skills as a talented musician, writer, performer and now, producer.
For Hamilton, the song’s lyrics are a reminder not to get stuck in the motions of everyday life and be operating on auto pilot, but to keep striving and be who you want to be.
She says, “Once I stepped back, I realised I wasn’t happy with the person I was becoming and that I needed to remember who I was and the goals I had for myself.
“Growth is really important to me, and sometimes life can wear us down until we’re just operating on autopilot, so this song is me telling myself to wake up and get moving”.
With COVID becoming an everyday disruptor, San Mei has adapted and overcome a number of hurdles that have come with the pandemic. Shifting her attention to an increased social media presence, the Gold Coast artist has been able to connect with a growing online audience in the US – replacing her intentions to tour there in 2020 (including six booked-then-cancelled shows at SXSW).
The result of her 2020 hunker down has been more airplay, more international fans, and more songwriting.
“Last year was kooky, but it gave me the chance to get lost down some rabbit holes and find some fresh inspo,” Emily says.
‘In The Machine’ is available to stream and download via all the usual channels. Check out the vid below: