Porcupine EP is out today
Jessie Atkinson
14:55 21st October 2020

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Nineteen year-old Molly Payton lives on Hampstead Heath with her mother. She was only 16 when she moved over to London from Auckland: to her, as it has to many, the capital seemed like a “Mecca. The place from the movies.” Porcupine, her new EP out today, is a six-track follow-up to April's Mess and a big step up for a fledgling star making the most out of her new surroundings. 

Kicking off with the tongue-in-cheek slacker anthem ’Warm Body’, Porcupine moves through the diss track and “ode to self-destruction” ‘How To have Fun’ before exploring unreleased territory.

‘I’m Too Smart’ is about how hard it is to “open up to someone when you’ve been hurt”, Molly explains. ‘Going Heavy’ and ‘Planet Holiday’ cover the two sides of the first summer after high school - the thrilling and the melancholy - while ‘Rodeo’ rounds things out with some old-fashioned fragility. “We recorded it live in the studio, with the light off,” she reveals.

And with that, you have Porcupine, an EP that takes a fast-developing musician to the next level. Heavier, slacker sounds abound, but some good old singer-songwriter moments show another side of an artist too. It’s a strong early statement with a lot going for it: an honest palette of being young and in London. 

Porcupine incidentally, was chosen as a name both for the reflex defensiveness of the animal and for the bad hair day Molly suffered when she box-dyed her bleached hair jet black. "It all broke off and I had spikes around the top of my head," she recalls, "'Porcupine' felt like it made sense."

With the exception of 'Rodeo' this is an emotional EP: "most of my lyrics are sarcastic or angry" she notes, likely because of the subjects to her songs: "the reason why I write is usually because I don't know how to say something," she explains over the phone ahead of her socially-distanced shoot on the Heath. 

She’ll be moving back to NZ for a minute this winter (or summer, depending on which side of the world you’re on) so she can benefit from the exemplary politics of Jacinda Ahern: Molly can play real-life, proper, non-socially distanced gigs this coming February.

For the rest of us - particularly those of us in the UK and USA - we’ll be waiting a lot longer to see Porcupine on the stage. For now, enjoy the six-track EP - and these photographs taken by Phoebe Fox on Hampstead Heath:

Porcupine EP is out now. 

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Photo: Phoebe Fox