Since he played to a packed house at the Harvest Bar last year, Milton-bred Hein Cooper has had some pretty amazing achievements, including two singles on Triple J, spins on the BBC and record deals across three continents.
He has performed at the Falls Festival as well as music festivals from the UK and Europe to Canada and just wound up an Australian tour with James Bay.
Hein will return to Milton on March 23 for the launch of his debut album The Art of Escape at the Milton Theatre ahead of shows in Sydney and Melbourne.
The album was recorded in Montreal and Hein says the title reflects the inspiration behind his songs.
“It’s a pretty honest album,” he said.
“Most of the songs revolve around running away from what is affecting you deeply in an effort to find your perfect place.”
Not afraid to mesh acoustic with electronic and equally proficient in both lush and stripped back moments, the album is an accomplished start for the young artist who embraces light and shade in equal measure.
“I often struggle with the state of the world and how society functions in such a cold and divided way,” he said.
“But what hurts me most is the way so many people seem to bury these feelings and glue a false sense of happiness to themselves rather than confront the way they actually feel.
“I'd rather be authentic in my sadness than false in my happiness.”
“I found that creating a positive happy sound underneath melancholic lyrics captured this feeling because it represented the fight between me and the world’s obsession to be happy all the time.
“Kind of like the opposite of Coldplay's technique in 'Parachutes' of writing positive lyrics with a melancholy sound.”
After completing HSC at the Shoalhaven Anglican School Hein started studying at the Australian Institute of Music, but lasted only one semester before he meet a man who was making money playing covers in bars at night.
Hein convinced the man to let him play one of the three sets each night, and soon quit his studies because “I was learning more playing in front of people in the corners of bars”.
While he established a good following and a reasonable living players other people’s songs, everything changed when Hein started writing and playing his own music.
Hein has put together a full band for the Milton Theatre launch and will collaborate with artist Emily Reid who is creating artwork for the stage and will film the show.
Following the success of his last home town gig, he hopes people will support the launch and hear his new sounds.
Tickets are $29 and available from https://thelittleboxoffice.com/miltontheatre/event/view/39387
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