Self-confessed dork with a keyboard, Helen Perris, combines the influences of her regional AM radio and musical theatre upbringing with more contemporary sounds. Imagine if Kate Bush and Sia had a musical love child via a Megan Washington surrogate, and you'd have a fairly good idea of her aesthetic.
Helen Perris is proud to forge her own path in the independent music scene in Sydney. Eschewing the major-label model, she has successfully crowd-funded her two EPs and launched her own subscription community (similar to Patreon) to work on her music directly with her fanbase. She has been shortlisted for the 2016 Australian Songwriters Association Contest in two categories, was a finalist in two categories in the 2016 Australian Independent Music Awards, and was named in the National Top 20 (and Top 10 for NSW/NT/QLD/WA) Songwriters for the inaugural Listen Up Australia competition in 2016.
Since launching her solo career in 2011, Helen Perris has shared a stage with Amanda Palmer, Kate Miller-Heidke, Brendan Maclean, Kim Boekbinder and others, and her unique and honest suite of songs have been heard in iconic venues such as The Butterfly Club (Melbourne), The Newsagency (Sydney) and El Rocco's (Sydney), and performed at Peats Ridge Festival, TEDx Canberra and in the world's smallest music venue, Folk in a Box at Sydney Festival.
Perris is currently working on an album with Josh Schuberth of Endomusia Productions, and has released the first two singles, “Mirrors & Windows” and “Be There”.
Helen Perris explores grief and mental illness with new single ‘Be There’
Australian songwriter unveils uplifting piano-driven pop ballad
Available now via a global digital release, ‘Be There’ is the emotive new single from multi-instrumentalist songwriter Helen Perris. Often compared to legendary songwriters Kate Bush, Tori Amos and Ben Folds, her music utilises the powerful female vocals of Amos, the offbeat sensibility of Bush, and the piano driven melodies of Folds to create something uniquely captivating.
The new single comes from a distinctly personal place, written while she was suffering from post-natal depression. It’s simultaneously about finding inner strength and reaching out to those who need support in times of grief and emotional struggle. With a moving film clip produced by One Dream Media, ‘Be There’ is out now and can be heard below:
Prior to its release, the single was named in the National Top 20 in the Listen Up Australia songwriting competition, and is taken from an upcoming album produced by Josh Schuberth of Endomusia Productions. The album’s tracks were written in the wake of Helen’s grandmother's death, while struggling with a bout of post-natal depression as well as anxiety, and throughout her recovery. In spite of these dark influences, her lyrics regularly find hope and joy in life’s small pleasures, and playfully explore the imperfections that make us human.
Music is clearly a lifelong passion for Helen. Since taking to the piano at three years of age, she has taken it upon herself to expand her repertoire to a whole list of instruments including violin, viola, oboe, ukulele, euphonium, guitar, bass guitar and percussion.
Helen uses these talents to craft her music, often bravely putting herself into the lyrics in a strikingly candid fashion. But then, we shouldn’t be surprised – when she was 7 months pregnant, Helen was brave enough to play for a sold out crowd of hundreds plus innumerable people streaming online at TEDx Canberra.
That takes courage, as does laying your soul bare in your lyrics. Thankfully, Helen Perris is willing to do that to create her music.