Just in time for Mother’s Day, the glorious new single Mother from Melbourne singer-songwriter Shelley Segal simultaneously tugs at the heartstrings and awes with warmth. A stirring ode to Shelley’s own mother, Mother is also accompanied today by a sentimental music video featuring footage of Shelley with her mum that perfectly complements the raw and beguiling new track.
Showcasing Shelley’s lead guitar finger-picking and haunting vocals alongside a captivating mix of strings, lead violin, trumpets and electric drums, Mother is a powerful and honest outing that also affirms Shelley’s own eclectic musical influences, ranging from Ani DiFranco to Ben Harper, as well as more recent inspiration from Phoebe Bridgers and Tiny Ruins. And while Shelley’s enchanting sonic stylings permeate every corner of her latest single, it’s also her genuine reflection of her relationship with her own mother and herself that beats at the sublime heart of Mother, as Shelley elaborates, “The start of the song came to me when I walked past my bedroom mirror. I caught my reflection in the corner of my eye and my first thought for a split second was that it was my mum. I’m not sure what it’s like for everybody else, but for me – some days I see myself and my body and I feel great, other days I may have negative thoughts or focus on things that I don’t like rather than see the whole image. When I thought for a microsecond that it was my mum who I was seeing, I realised how differently I viewed the image and how external some of those negative thoughts must be because when the same image is projected in my mind as her, I saw and experienced something completely different.
“Now in my mid-30s I’m finally starting to see and appreciate the ways in which I am truly like my mother,” Shelley continues. “In character, in my looks and my body, in the way I laugh, my personality. All these qualities I am now able to appreciate in myself through this new lens because I appreciate them in her. I would never accept those hateful messages if they were directed at her. So, I have reached a point in life where I am immune to these harmful ideas. I will no longer accept, absorb, or give power to these messages when directed at myself since I now see her in me. Her beauty is undeniable, and carrying her beauty myself, means that my beauty is undeniable as well.”
A family affair both in the studio and on camera, Shelley co-produced Mother with her husband Rob J Robertson (Humans As Animals), with many of her nearest and dearest also co-producing, and her father Danny Segal appearing on violin and friend Kelly O’Donohue (Vance Joy) on trumpet. And creating the accompanying music video for Mother with creative powerhouse Lex Giana, the end result of the heart-warming clip will hit you right in the feels with actual footage of Shelley and her mother also featured throughout the video. “The goal of the music video is to express the journey to unbreakable self-love, through the love that I have for my mother, from insecurity, self-doubt and self-criticism to freedom and joy,” shares Shelley of the brand new Mother music video. “Throughout the video clip there is old footage of my mother and me from when I was a child. It was very special to be able to include these precious moments with my mother, I feel very grateful for the unconditional love I have experienced.”
Starting her musical journey at an early age, performing in her father Danny’s wedding band as a pre-teen and writing original material before releasing her first self-titled EP in 2009, Shelley has spent 10+ years on the US touring circuit, and the last seven of those years based in Los Angeles firmly spreading and galvanizing her creative wings. Establishing a strong foundation working across a broad range of styles since day one, Shelley has gone on to work with a dazzling array of artists over the years while also racking up millions of streams worldwide, including creating music for documentary Transmission Love, working as a publisher for Prince Chapelle on his Billboard #1 charting song with NCT 127, working and touring with Vanessa Amorosi at her independent label Scream Louder Records, and landing sync deals with major networks, including HBO MAX, Peacock, Riot Games, NFL and more. Shelley’s diverse yet powerful skillset has also seen her appear in Germany in 2022 to perform her new work Murtadd at the Celebrating Dissent Festival, alongside work on German artist Betül’s Eurovision contending song and creating an English version and video for Shervin Hajipour’s Grammy Award-winning protest song Baraye, supporting the Mahsa Amini protest in Iran.
Pivoting during the pandemic to opening her own studio and production house Secret Sauce with good friend and collaborator Prince Chapelle, Shelley is set to return to Australia this September for some special performances, while also working with Music To Life to develop her conservation-themed program The Watershed; a multi-disciplinary project geared at inspiring environmental activism. As one of 10 selected in a national cohort of music-changemakers with the American non-profit, Shelley’s 2023 dance card continues to burgeon; but it’s her latest single Mother that ultimately offers fans a chance to intimately step into Shelley’s sensational world; and it’s a moment equally special for Shelley, as she concludes, “This song has been a long time in the making. Being a tribute to my mother and her incredible beauty (inside and out!) is very meaningful for both of us and it’s so special to be able to release the song for Mother’s Day.”
Mother is out today, Friday May 12.