“Hello old friend, it’s been a while” is the opening of Hattie Whitehead’s new EP Old Soul. The “old friend” she refers to in her song “Ups and Downs” is her guitar, but it could just as much be an opening statement to her fans. It’s been three years since the Richmond-born singer songwriter released her debut EP Home, which led to radio play on the BBC and Amazing Radio, and a sell-out gig at St Pancras Old Church in London. Since, she has performed at a raft of festivals such as Latitude, Secret Garden Party, Wilderness, Field Day and Cambridge Folk Festival, supported the likes of Beth Rowley, and won the third prize in Glastonbury's Emerging Talent Competition. Hattie’s new EP of glorious heartfelt folk-pop is worth the wait, brimming with lilting melodies that are always enthralling and never predictable, and vocals that are distinguished by their combination of soulfulness and crystal clear purity. Tackling themes of grief, friendship, relationships, and the processing of difficult emotions, the music of Old Soul sees her matured since the release of Home. It’s summed up by the title of the EP itself. “I guess I have done quite a lot of growing up over the last three years, so I’ve become a little bit older in my soul,” she says.
One reason for growing up so much during this period being the loss of her mother in 2016. “It’s been a difficult time for my friends and my family. We said goodbye to someone too soon,” she sings in “Ups and Downs”, which tenderly and honestly explains why Hattie’s not played the guitar in a while. For Hattie, writing music and performing is the most powerful - and easiest - way of expressing feelings and thoughts. “Music gives me a platform where I can freely share the deepest thoughts and feelings that I would often struggle to express outside of music. Writing this EP has enabled me to reflect on and share my own grief, deep sadness, loneliness, anger, yearning and finally the surprising emergence of hope and positivity in an intensely sad time.”