Electric guitar riffs meld with Hazel’s silky smooth vocals to grant listeners an intimate look into her mind. The mellow indie-pop beat adds a sense of calmness that reminds listeners everything is fine and time will keep moving.
“The past year of lockdown has been a time of self-reflection and discovery for a lot of us,” Hazel says. “This can be both a beautiful and painful thing. For me, it was definitely both. I was forced to sit with all of these unresolved traumas, internalized societal pressures, self-identity, along with so many other things that I’d put off confronting for years. Along with personal matters, there were also so many things going on in the world and country. I’m a very empathetic person, so I really took in that energy and that pain and it was hard to get past it.”
A Chicago native, Hazel moved across the country to Los Angeles right around the time the pandemic began. Living in a new city during a lockdown can lead to a flurry of mixed emotions, but she found a way to cope in music.
“I started out the pandemic completely alone in a city that I had only lived in for 6 months at the time and some days were really difficult,” she says. “One of the things that really got me through those times was the song ‘It’s All Right’ by Sam Cooke. I listened to it almost every night and had a glass of wine and cooked myself dinner and it really felt like everything would be okay (it was, and it will be). I wanted to make a song that would make people feel the way that song made me feel, so I made ‘It’s All Right.’”
The song will appear on Hazel’s upcoming EP And The World Will Turn, out July 15. A product of quarantine, the album was almost completely handcrafted by her alone. The song “Work Hard” was a digital collaboration between her and a friend. However, everything else was written, produced, recorded, mixed and mastered by Hazel herself.
This complete control over her work wasn’t something Hazel initially sought out. Instead, after working with various producers, she decided that no one would ever understand her vision as well as she does.
Soon after, she realized that the songs she self-produced were the ones doing the best on streaming platforms. Energized by this discovery, she started learning everything she could about producing. And The World Will Turn continues to showcase her development in every aspect of the creative and technical processes.
You can listen to “It’s All Right” below as well as exclusively hear from Hazel about the track.
What was the creative process like making “It’s All Right?”
I originally wrote the lyrics to a completely different beat I made just as a freestyle kind of thing. I saved the song, but I didn’t think I would ever do anything with it. A couple of months later I was writing the guitar part for “It’s All Right” and I started singing that old idea over it and it just fit so well. I just finished writing the rest of the song and making the beat pretty much in one night
What do you hope listeners take away from the song? What do you want it to say about the importance of mental health and wellness?
For people who also struggle with mental health, I want the message to be that overwhelmingly negative feelings will always pass, life will go on, and not to worry so much. That’s the message that I personally took away while I was writing the song, so I hope that people can heal in some way from listening to it as much as I did while writing it. Mental health is extremely important, I think the most important thing is acknowledging our feelings, allowing ourselves to feel them, and then figuring out how to overcome the “lows”, which is completely different for everyone. The title being spelled “all right” instead of “alright” means that everything that is meant for you will come to you regardless of the choices you make, so it’s “all right,” which often eases my anxiety.
How does this track fit alongside the other songs on ‘And The World Will Turn’?
The theme of the EP for me is simply that life will go on. We are coming out of a global pandemic, which a year ago seemed like there would be no end to, and we have all gone through so much collectively and individually. While every song on this project is very personal, I hope that people will connect with the songs in their own way.
And The World Will Turn tracklist
1. “Work Hard”
2. “It’s All Right”
3. “Tired of Being Myself”
4. “I DONT GIVE A FUCK!”