SPOTLIGHT ON ‚HANDSOME‘
Unafraid of unapologetic vulnerability, HANDSOME boldly owns her queer and musical identity, and in 10 years she might just soundtrack a ballet.

Photography BERT SPANGEMACHER
Text MADELEINE ARCHER

Sydney artist Caitlin McGregor is no stranger to Australia’s independent music scene. Previously recording under the moniker Caitlin Park, HANDSOME has featured on Sydney songwriter/wrapper Urthboy’s 2016 album (The Past Beats Inside Me Like A Second Heartbeat) and collaborated with BANFF to produce the honest, brooding, and unapologetically groovy single ‘My Love My Lover’. With more experimental, melancholy-folk influences on early work, HANDSOME is a reclamation of direction and identity, both personal and creative. HANDSOME is straightforward, pop-influenced ‘tomboy pop’ with an electronica flavour; casual yet crafted, catchy hooks with lyrics that speak of relationships and regrets but also for seeing and accepting things for what they are.

4SEE caught up with HANDSOME to talk about her forthcoming EP (SOPHOMORE, 2020), her musical influences, and future ambitions.

HANDSOME, Sydney artist Caitlin McGregor, Photography by Bert Spangemacher
HANDSOME by Bert Spangemacher

Band / Artist Name  HANDSOME
Genre(s) Tomboy Pop
Member(s) and Instrument(s) HANDSOME (writing / producer)
Based in  Sydney, Australia
Playing together since 2 years
First album released I dropped my debut EP last year (2018).
Freshest album Sophomore EP is coming next year (2020)
Listen to us on Spotify/Apple Music/SoundCloud

Describe your band / music / style in three words.
Powerful, Meaningful, Fun.

What did you listen to when growing up?
I listened to heaps of music growing up; I walked around my parents house and sung to Lauryn Hill, I learnt to be gritty from the Eels, I loved Ella Fitzgerald’s ‚Miss Otis Regrets‘, my heart broke when I heard my first Cat Power song, and I feel buzzy every time Patti Smith’s ‚Free Money‘ chimes in. My body turned on when I heard Robyn at a gay party in Sydney. The Books and Joni Mitchell have always been my biggest inspirations, but there are many.

Music icon(s) and the reason why.
Cat Power – she is vulnerable and honest. Robyn – she is anthemic, she writes sad bangers like no other. Christine and the Queens, she is truly herself, being herself is her gift and that is power.

HANDSOME, Sydney artist Caitlin McGregor, Photography by Bert Spangemacher
HANDSOME by Bert Spangemacher
Eyewear by Grey Ant

Who are you listening to right now?
June Jones, Arlo Parks, Sui Zhen, Wafia, Kid Heron, Dominic Fike.

What is the craziest / funniest thing that’s happened on tour?
Touring is made up of weird and intimate moments when you’re off stage. I remember touring in Brisbane (north-east coast of Australia) with my bandmate Shan, and we got caught in a food fight at the local Charlie’s (late night cake shop), icing in all the right places…

Favorite performance venues or music festivals? And why?
The Red Rattler in Sydney, because it feels like home.

HANDSOME, Sydney artist Caitlin McGregor, Photography by Bert Spangemacher
HANDSOME by Bert Spangemacher
HANDSOME, Sydney artist Caitlin McGregor, Photography by Bert Spangemacher
HANDSOME by Bert Spangemacher
Eyewear by Grey Ant

Three words to describe your fans.
Resilient, Graceful, Fierce.

Favorite eyewear brand?
Right now, I wear a Jon Lee pair – but I like to switch it up.

What is next for you, an immediately upcoming tour or EP/Album?
A new EP next year! And hopefully more touring overseas next year also.

Where do you see yourself in ten years‘ time, where would you like to see your band / music and at what scale?
Albums under the belt, touring the world, soundtracking contemporary ballet, writing film scores and composing for theatre. I basically want to be Jamie xx.