Feature: Hayley Mary – One Last Drag

One Last Drag, reveals itself as a gritty pop song that explores the glorification of vices with a keen self-awareness from artist Hayley Mary

What was created is a dark post-punk, dance-pop banger that somewhat controversially explores the topic of cigarettes and addiction.

The cigarette Hayley sings of can be a metaphor for any form of addiction, such as alcohol, drugs, food, Tik-Tok, likes or life itself.

For Hayley,the cigarette in that song just symbolises any number of things we do that feel or look good in the moment, but ultimately suck your life away”.

One Last Drag was co-written and co-produced with Hayley’s husband and DMA’s guitarist Johnny Took in a hotel room, and later co-produced by The Jezabels producer Lachlan Mitchell.

Hayley explains, “I was sitting on the balcony with a wine, borderline chain-smoking, knowing that I would be regretting the cigarettes in the morning but unable to stop. He started looping a guitar intro that he was working on for Gwen Stefani and I just started writing a poem to it in my head. I asked him if I could record it so I wouldn’t forget it, and those draft vocals ended up being the final vocals you hear in the verses.”

The irony of One Last Drag is that this relatable self-reflection is set against a backdrop of other-worldly, gritty, euphoric dance and the kind of rock ‘n’ roll imagery that draws so many into its vices in the first place. When moving to Sydney for the first time, Hayley found herself immersed in the indie rock scene. She says, “I fell for the excitement, the promise of relief, of sexy malaise when real life was too high definition. In recent years, however, I’ve become aware of the potential emptiness of that promise as well.

By combining euphoric dance with provocative lyrics, One Last Drag soars with a coolness that demonstrates the true potential of Hayley Mary’s solo endeavours.

Hayley Mary’s latest track One Last Drag is available to stream now.

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