Imogen Clark is fed up and wants the world to know it.
Misogynists in the music industry. Lovers who have ghosted her. Sexism. These themes, and more, inspired her new EP Bastards which was released this week.
"I think it's important to have that fire in the belly song," she says.
"It doesn't matter what industry you're in or what age you are, every female I have spoken to has experienced this very yucky misogyny that has spread its way through everything. It really can be poisonous if you let it get to you.
"Someone said to me the other day 'You're really agreeable as a person and friendly but you have this rage that you very rarely let out, except for on these songs'.
"That's exactly what I wanted, to get that rage out there, because it's really empowering to stand up and sing about the stuff you're shitty about [laughs]."
She cites as an example Taylor Swift, whose love life has typically dominated conversation rather than her obvious talent.
"If she was a man there wouldn't be questions about how many people she has dated. It's just so dumb. People wouldn't be questioning her phenomenal success."
Clark says she is finding strength in telling some home truths on the Bastards EP.
"It's definitely a point of difference with this body of work," she says.
"There is even a lyric in the song Bastards which talks about running circles around people while they are busy underestimating you; blindsiding them.
"The EP is about changing the narrative from being sad about being underestimated to using it to empower yourself; about taking the power back from misogyny and taking a stand in life in general; knowing what you believe in and being willing to fight for it."
As a teen Clark cut her teeth performing at pubs in and around the Hawkesbury where she grew up and still lives today.
She has two studio albums and two EPs to her name, and has worked with the likes of Diesel, Kasey Chambers, Jim Lauderdale, Benmont Tench (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers) and Pete Thomas (Elvis Costello and the Attractions).
Her sound ranges from indie rock to alt-country and pop, so don't waste your time trying to pigeonhole her.
"My audience know me. My brand is who I am as a person," Clark says.
"When your brand is not you, authentically, you're trying to live up to a theme that isn't you, and you're trying to put on a face that isn't you.
"I've always tried to be as real as possible on stage and on my albums, regardless of what genre my music sounds like, and to be real to who I am as a person outside of music as well."
Clark worked with Colin Hay on the third single from Bastards called First Class Man. The song is a softer touch on the EP and was written as an emotive tribute to Clark's musical collaborator and mentor, the late Glen Hannah.
The pair met when she was 14 and "just getting started as a musician".
"Glen became an instant mentor to me and was a key part of some of the biggest, most important musical milestones of my life, including the first time I played with a band and the first big crowd I ever played in front of," Clark says.
"Glen came on the road with me a lot towards the end of his life and used to musically direct my band; he was a constant presence on the other end of a phone call when I needed advice from someone with experience and wisdom who I knew only had my best interests at heart.
"When I sat down in LA earlier this year to write with one of my songwriting heroes, Colin Hay, I knew he would be able to help me get these feelings out into a song which was proving too hard to write on my own.
"The whole process of writing that song was bittersweet because it was so incredibly close to my heart and so emotional.
"There were a few moments in the studio when I had to ask for the mics to be turned off so I could have a cry."
Clark is also looking forward to 50 Years Blue, her tribute to music legend Joni Mitchell at Mary's Underground in Sydney on June 26.
"Joni is such an inspiration. Her music is such an important part of my life and I can't wait to share it with other people," she says.
"This is my interpretation of her work, through my eyes as an artist. It's definitely not me putting on a blonde wig and pretending to be Joni.
"I can't wait to lose myself in her songs."
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