Underrated Artist: Hazel English

Image Credit: Paul Hudson

If you're looking to expand your music taste and flex on your friends by saying, “Oh you’ve probably never heard of them before” – allow me to introduce you to Hazel English.

The Australian-American indie-pop singer has been on the scene for quite  some time, with her first singles released in 2015. Despite this, now is the perfect time to become someone who can say: I listened to her before she got big. Her latest release, a version of The Goo Goo Dolls’ ‘Slide,’ is your gateway drug into listening to her discography.

Her most recent EP came out last June, titled Summer Nights, which she has described as “...a series of interlinking narratives that make up one bigger story.” English has a distinct sound to her music with storytelling abilities, similar to Taylor Swift’s style. Her unique vocals lift her from the usual crowd and are something that draws me back every time she releases something new. Being someone who found her through YouTube in 2016, it is clear to see how she has grown into herself; developing a clear style of her own while also always being able to add something new and special with each song. 

English is based in Oakland, California, but was originally born in Sydney, Australia in November 1990. Since emerging into the music world in 2015, she has been proficient in playing the guitar and bass and is most well-known for her singing and songwriting. Recognising Hazel English for her lyrics alone would not be uncommon, as she focused a great deal on writing from a young age. Having only 500k listeners on Spotify and almost 20k followers on Instagram, by today's standards and the ever-expanding nature of social media, she would still be considered somewhat ‘underground.’ For anyone who does listen to her, you would agree that her music is vastly underappreciated and recognised by the wider media, and highly deserves more praise and adoration – especially for her more recent singles. 

This sound is often compared to dream pop, indie pop, shoegaze, and alternative/indie. Hazel English’s debut album Wake Up! is an excellent example of this. This debut focuses on a brutal honesty draped with a melodic veil. Slightly distorted guitar riffs and poetic lyrics are typical of Hazel English’s sound. Amongst fans, this is arguably her best album, as it encapsulates her image and sound perfectly. It’s a great example to show to new listeners when trying to generate more excitement for the singer.

In my opinion, Hazel English remains mostly hidden due to her being content with her current status. Being quite down to earth and appreciative of her fanbase, it is clear to see she does not pander to anyone else's idea of her. She is honest in her sound and image and does not make outrageous attempts to fit in with anyone else’s model for who she needs to be. Be sure to check her out if you’re looking for a new soundtrack for this summer.