Sascha Osborn Interview

Interviews, Uncategorized

Sascha Osborn Interview (3)

We sat down with singer-songwriter Sascha Osborn, discussing everything from living life’s mystery, thriving on people and their stories to her hopes in making everyones eyes shiny with her music!

Overthinking comes naturally to many of us. But allowing ourselves to be vulnerable and wear our emotions, might not come as easy. And I suppose in that, you’re the fortunate ones if you don’t, since you prevent your emotions from taking control before your head can rationalise your actions.

We all have different ways of articulating inner expression and singer-songwriter Sascha Osborn hit home with her song: When Love Finds You. 

“…Sometimes it’s hard to say how you really feel; scared in case you get it wrong; you’ve got let fear go; who said you’ve got a choice, because it don’t work that way; love is gonna find you and turn your frown upside down.”

Sascha writes tender, reflective songs that dance between jazz and folk, and it wasn’t long since discovering her timeless music that we found ourselves sharing conversation, over chamomile tea at the homely hub – The Poetry Cafe.

“Sometimes I feel something but don’t know the reasons for the emotion and writing songs can help me articulate and express what I feel, what I want to say narratively and harmonically.  From the splurges, those that resonate strongly, I will then follow the idea, develop it and all being well create a soundscape to describe it. 

When I hear some music, I am so moved that giddy excitement fills my belly, or I will start to well up. I love the emotions music evokes, it can simply be a heartfelt performance, a beautiful tone, a melody, rich chords, syncopated rhythms or the beauty of words, so many things that resonate. I love doodling and creating, it is soothing, energising and fulfilling. I find it magical every time when something is created from nothing.”

In-between conversation and sipping tea, the man sharing our table gets up, before saying a heartfelt goodbye to Sascha, scribbling away in a book, I later learn, is an open poetry book. Just in that moment, I notice how easy it is for Sascha to leave an impression on the people around her.

“Being mindful and present with my thoughts, feelings, observing, drawing on all my senses is important to me, it fuels my creativity and engages me with my surroundings. Living life’s mystery, I like to connect and share in our human commonality and embrace the world around me.”

Sascha Osborn Interview (2)

While it’s innately human to drift into our own worlds, loose ourselves to our imagination, narrate and tell stories through any shape or form, our electronic devices are something entirely estranged that we have become so accustomed to, and adapted to similarly loose ourselves to.

“Mobile devices are hugely informative and have many benefits, they also offer a deluge of distractions. It can be so easy to get lost in the virtual world and lose connection with the physical world, people around you, and in turn, the art of conversation can diminish.

I saw a series of photographs created by an American photographer Eric Pickersgill, called ‘Removed’ where he had photoshopped out the devices which I found really poignant. His portrayal really illustrated our addiction to modern technology, online connectivity, social media etc and isolation from our surroundings.”

Sometimes it’s a struggle to articulate, and still we don’t realise what we otherwise take for granted, until it’s completely inaccessible. I learn that for Sascha it was through loosing her voice when a cyst developed on one of her vocal folds in 2012, that she was forced into a six-month lapse from singing. During this time she found her ‘inner voice’.  

“It was a challenging time and I became a bit of a hermit, but I listened to mountains of music and started focusing on writing songs on the guitar, singing the melodies in my head. Having something taken away from me, made me realise how important it was to me to musically communicate, find and express my voice. 

Sascha Osborn Interview (1)

3 months of speech therapy didn’t resolve the issue and so I had surgery in January 2013 and after one week of complete voice rest, I started gradually speaking again 5 minutes every hour to start. Then after further speech therapy I was referred to a fantastic vocal coach, who I still see, and by Easter I was singing again. 

During this time, I had also started studying jazz harmony and engaged further in songwriting which helped build my confidence and enabled me to connect my love of jazz harmony, soulful melody and descriptive lyric to create my voice.”

There’s plenty of musicians who’s hometown hasn’t always been London and finding their own feet and keeping their idiosyncrasy, is what intrigues and inspires me the most. Creating music that is true to themselves and not written to fit a particular scene/trend for the sake of art. 

Moving from Leicester to Sheffield in Sascha’s early twenties was where she experienced people “playing folk music together typically in a pub where there was no divide between the musicians and the audience. Everyone sat together informally often with a pint or two, sang along as they wished, and enjoyed simple good music.”

London has been Sascha’s home for the past 10 years and it’s her solid friendships that have made her experience as a musician an enduring one. It’s clear just how much Sascha thrives on people. When she arrived in the city, knowing no one, it was her local contemporary choir that enabled her to make friends and fuel her musical career.

“It is quite magical singing in harmony with others and with the resonance it is quite physical. The same director also set up a small gospel choir which I really enjoyed, lovely way to discover more music. It was one of the women in the contemporary choir who said ‘you like jazz’ who told me about a jazz summer school in France, she didn’t go in the end but I did. It was a brilliant intensive week of music, and I returned for a number of years, and from both these worlds, I have created many musical connections.”

Speaking to Sascha is like listening to her music; it’s warm and soothing, and feels like being hugged. There is so much life and energy as we begin to touch upon performance, and her favourite gig to date. Her album launch last year at St Pancras Old Church tops them all, even days afterwards there were ‘did that really just happen?!’ moments.

“It was very exciting to play such a legendary intimate venue and hear my songs resonate inside the church walls, as thousands have before and thousands more will. The audience was a beautiful crowd of around 70 people, friends, family and more, sat snug in rows on the dark wooden church chairs either side of the aisle, I could definitely feel the love. 

A good friend of mine Michael Russoff opened the evening sharing his stunning songs on piano. I had Andy Hamill on double/electric bass and harmonica, Justin Woodward on drums, percussion and vibes and Patrick Wood who produced the album on Wurlitzer and electric guitar. It was fabulous to play with such amazing musicians and people and create new live arrangements of the songs; we started with an extended version of ‘Looking Out And After’ and thereafter it was like a slow-motion dream.”

It seems fitting to tend on a note of poetic inspiration, and how the imagination can run free with “different combinations of words to create such evocative beautiful language.”

Agreeably there really is nothing like the physical book; it’s the complete experience  from the touch, to the smell of the pages. And yes, bookshops are seductive, Sascha rocks forward: “Bookshops can seduce me to explore and purchase, whether it’s Oxfam or Foyles, I just need to try not to have too many on the ‘to read’ pile rather than ‘have read!’

“When I was younger, I enjoyed discovering Keats and Rossetti and in recent times I have enjoyed Rupi Kaur’s poetry. My song ‘Could It Be You’ was in fact inspired by Frank O’Hara’s book: ’Lunch Poems’ a pocket-sized book of poems which I understand he wrote in his lunch hour. The lyrics to my song were written sat on a park bench one lunch time, overlooking the River Thames.

At the moment I feel a little like a painter with an endless supply of beautiful colours to paint with! I am taking the original guitar-based songs and calling them ‘experiments’ as I find that frees the song from anything, and simply let it follow the idea, naturally. As everything ought be. Without overthought…”

Follow Sascha Osborn on: Facebook // Twitter // Instagram

Words: Rachael Crabtree (@eccentric_eejit)

Jeremy Tuplin Interview

Interviews, Uncategorized
70989750_1281793328668266_624580878693040128_n

Jeremy Tuplin’s headline show at St Pancras Old Church 19/09/19 – Photography: Mathew Fleming

Worldwide action to protect our planet, our home, has never been so momentous. No doubt sparked by the broadcaster, conservationist and vice-president at Fauna & Flora International, Sir David Attenborough and the environmentalist activist, Greta Thunberg, and giving voice to this responsibility has never been easier, nor more powerful, you only have to follow the daily development of the worldwide Extinction Rebellion campaign.

Our planet is our concern, our responsibility and musicians have always been at the forefront, voicing passionate opinions and shaping our thinking about our human responsibilities. And singer-songwriter, Jeremy Tuplin is no exception to the rule.

Off the beaten track down the Hackney high street, in an eccentric tearoom, Palm Vaults, hanging baskets loom above our heads. Sitting in this perfect patch of pinkness, from pink velvet sofas, tables with vases of pink roses and pink satin curtains decorating the walls, I sit with Pink Mirror album creator, Mr Jeremy Tuplin, talking topical; everything from his passion for Earth to his concern for elusive human connection.

Just as we begin to talk about how it has become commonplace to share our lives through the phone, and therefore a privilege to spend time in company, holding an ‘actual conversation’, sitting beside us are two friends, who are ironically bereft of words for one another, and are instead posing for selfies.

For some of us though, thankfully, it’s far easier to loose yourself to the world around you, and I could see how I was, on the odd occasion, loosing Tuplin, to people watching. The cafe was beginning to swell with so many stories. And I realised that I was watching an inspired singer-songwriter, a natural observer of people, with a keen eye and ear to create and tell stories.

Curiosity leads us to explore and come to new understandings and findings. It can also have a shadow side, as with most things, and can lead us to dark dangerous places, like Pandora’s Box. Which is the title one of Tuplin’s favourite songs off his latest album, he shares with me. As we contemplate whether curiosity is a blessing or curse, the deeper psyche is awakened.

“It’s a blessing and a curse I suppose. Part of the beauty of life and consciousness is its desire to continually explore and learn. And I guess that’s never-ending, or would there theoretically be a point where we reach the end of all learning, and everything would be known, and what then? What would omniscience entail? Godliness? It’s impossible to say what the percentage of overall knowledge we’ve come to at this point, but I imagine it’s incredibly small.  But sure, not all discoveries are going to be positive – like Dark Energy driving the space between solar systems and galaxies apart at an ever increasing rate, or, you know, aliens – that could go one way or the other, if they exist, (they do).”

When we return to Earth, we reach burning issues close to his heart. On his latest album: Pink Mirror, as if addressing the Earth herself, Tuplin personifies mother nature on track: ‘Gaia’ giving a shared conversation between Earth and humanity that conveys how temperate Earth is to our abuse: “Oh I am a goddess and you are a fool, dare to mistreat me mere mortal, you do not know what you do…you act like you own me but I’ll still be here long after time’s through with you.”

It seems only natural to give something back to mother nature, after all she has done so much for us, and testament to his devotion to Earth, Tuplin partnered with two environmental charities for his recent singles: Friends of The Earth for ‘Long Hot Summer’ and One Tree Planted for ‘Gaia’.

“Yeah, I mean, the abject failure of my campaign to get people to contribute to One Tree Planted, and thus plant a tree as a free aspect of downloading my latest single Gaia, has burnt my fingers a little bit. I don’t know if it says something about how people feel about my music or about how people feel about planting trees.”

Having seen Jeremy Tuplin and his band (Ultimate Power Assembly) live on several occasions now, most recently at the exquisite St Pancras Old Church, Tuplin and his sardonic wit never fails to touch his audience. There’s also a calm and considered warmth between band members which transmits onto us – which Tuplin adds might be down his band “exceeding any normal levels of relaxation applicable to any given situation.”

Pink Mirror’s ironic social commentary encourages you to reflect, and agree that we are indeed living in a strange, often disconnected age, which is becoming less human, thanks to our devices. Encouragingly though, a growing number of us are feeling the need to appreciate and connect more with our fellow human beings, and our beautiful Earth…the times, they are a changin’.

Pink Mirror in out now via Trapped Animal Records

Jeremy Tuplin: Website // Twitter // Facebook // Spotify

WORDS: RACHAEL CRABTREE (@ECCENTRIC_EEJIT)

Flyte White Roses EP Review

Single, EP and Album Reviews, Uncategorized

Poetry is seeing the beauty in everything, no matter how painful; when we seek poetry in the everyday we not only learn so much about the world and ourselves but reach inner peace.

The best type of writing is considered, honest and from the heart. Faithful to these values is the London-based band Flyte, who’s music touched our hearts a few years ago. Whilst they tap into the timeless 60s singer-songwriter era they have an unmistakable signature sound with renowned harmonies.

FLYTE_CAL_002

Will Taylor

Since the release of their critically acclaimed debut album: The Loved Ones, Flyte have been back in the studio with long term collaborator Burke Reid (Courtney Barnett, Julia Jacklin) and Craig Silvey (Arcade Fire, The National) on mixing duties. Releasing ‘White Roses’ featuring The Staves last month, the band have been on the road playing a handful of festivals including British Summer Time, Larmer Tree and Deershed Festival. The band welcomed Jess Stavely Taylor of The Staves to play with them live this summer, marking an exciting new era for Flyte.

FLYTE_CAL_004

Jon Supran

For many, emotions are more often than not repressed, and an unshared experience, that it’s only through ink to paper our cathartic reward is attained.

In fact, the best of writing; music, scripts, poetry and novels comes from a place of pathos, and Flyte, just like Hemingway and Waits, achieve an incredible weight of emotion from impeccable economy of words and imagery.

FLYTE_CAL_003

Nick Hill

The melancholic theme on their ‘White Roses’ EP is tangible and serves as a tantalising preview of what we can expect from Flyte’s second album; a no doubt more confessional, evocative work of art.

‘White Roses’ is out now – released via Island Records (20/09/19)

Follow Flyte on:  Spotify // Twitter // Facebook // Instagram

Words: Rachael Crabtree (@eccentric_eejit)

Carmody: ‘Catching Blue’ EP Preview

Single, EP and Album Reviews, Uncategorized

Carmody Blue1.jpg

We have been following Carmody for a little while now and ran a really engaging feature with her recently. We talked everything topical, from mental health, feminism, full-circling back to songwriting and poetry and confession that (like myself) she too is a word fiend! 🙂

Carmody’s songs are motivated by connections and relationships – they nearly always stem from personal experience, and I was personally taken in, not least her stunning vocals, and 70s dreamy folk quality, but the way Carmody writes about love – akin to Kate Bush; love is narrated through a woman’s eye’s, her songwriting is sensual, distinctly unafraid and empowering. And you cannot help but be motivated by the mantra she writes by; a Nayyirah Waheed quote: “the thing you are most afraid to write, write that.”

When writing this new material, she learnt one of the most important things about herself. “I could write about more than love, although I realise these last two singles are about love, I’ve covered a lot of new ground, subjects that I never imagined I would be singing about. Such as dementia, depression and the way we struggle to talk to each other about death. It’s actually pretty dark, but was a very therapeutic lyrical challenge.”

The first new single: ‘Dreamweaver’ is, in Carmody’s words, about the life of a  songwriter. “Spending countless hours weaving stories from a multitude of sources and putting every piece of feeling we can into them in the hope they might bloom. When we send songs out into the world, it sometimes hard to know where they came from, I think some writers believe they’re channelling deities, others (like myself) can only really write about things they’ve personally experienced. But I guess there’s always a hope that they will resonate in someway, but you never really know what journey or life the song will take after it’s been written.

When I went to Nashville last year I met so many songwriters all with their own stories, creating out of conversations, making art from their days and listening very intently to each other in the hope of finding their next song. It was an interesting place to write in and when I met Kevin Dailey (who I wrote the track with) ‘Dreamweaver’ felt like a song that had always been swimming around in my lungs, but for years I hadn’t known how to let it out. I remember after I wrote it I text my friend in London and said ‘this feels like the song I’ve been thinking about and trying to write my whole songwriting life’. And that is the wonderful sorcery of songs, you never quite know when they’re going to appear.”

The second and latest single, ‘Being Without You’ that will also be on the much anticipated EP: Catching Blue, marks a new musical territory for Carmody.

“I read that grief is what love becomes when someone dies,” says Carmody. “It really got me thinking about death — how words feel completely inadequate when you try to comfort someone and how after a while, there is an idea that you should move on. In my music people are often saying to me to write something happier; and although I have done, I’m just more comfortable writing in my ‘blue’ territory. This song is kind of my resistance.”

Catching Blue’ is released early September!

Follow Carmody on Spotify // Twitter // Facebook // Instagram

Words: Rachael Crabtree (@eccentric_eejit)

Jeremy Tuplin // The Slaughtered Lamb // Live Review

Live Reviews, Uncategorized

Jeremy Tuplin and his band (The Ultimate Power Assembly) took to the stage in what was an overcrowded and intimate affair in the candle-lit basement of the iconic folk circuit venue, The Slaughtered Lamb.

Opening with the more autobiographical ‘Can We Be Strangers’, the set-list continued with all the songs from his latest album, Pink Mirror, alongside older classics such as ‘O Youth’ and ‘Albert Einstein Song’.

Significantly, the placement of the opening, middle and closing tracks were punctuated by the social commentary on the modern world from new tracks such as ‘Love’s Penitentiary’ and ‘Pandora’s Box’, with ‘The Machine’ placed somewhere in the middle, before closing the night with one of my favourites: ’The Beast’ allowing Jeremy’s own vulnerabilities as a writer to come through structurally in balance to exposing human natures dark sides.

Tuplin’s crowd interactions were nothing short of sharp commentary in-between songs, framing his understated and dry humoured character, levelling that of his singer-songwriter personality. Sharply astute to the trajectory of his laconic lines upon his listeners; we followed his poignancy with equal measures of laughter, often double taking what we heard, re-considering our interpretations before digesting hidden irony.

We fed off his idiosyncrasies and were all here tonight in what Jeremy described to us as an “album awareness concert” for his second album: ‘Pink Mirror’ (officially released: 5 April). We watched on as band and solo performances were separated by the non-performing members covering themselves with white sheets, like little ghouls upon stools. Tuplin even donned a pair of rose-tinted shades for ‘Pink Mirror’, “these are meant to be pink, but you can’t really see that. Well worth 15 quid” he jested.

As the evening developed it was really intriguing how Jeremy engaged with his audience – it was not only the familiar warmth, “It’s great to see so many of you, loads of music people, my friends and family, and strangers too, soon to be friends, I hope” but that role he takes as a performer and writer. His deadpan baritone delivery and half rhyming poetry navigated its way to our hearts. Essentially identifying that we are all flawed human beings, and making light both lyrically and through stage props, offering his performance as a both a piece of art – a gift conjured from dreams – and a sharp depiction of reality.

It is songs like ‘Bad Lover’ where art imitates life; lyrics hint towards his role as a songwriter: “Here we go again yet another account. Whatever’s inside me I’m gonna twist around and spit it out.” Whether that be “..astronaut dreams intended for your escape..or detail all the pieces of my poor broken heart” Jeremy writes to address various issues, either escapist dreamlike stories or personal accounts of heartbreak, for our benefit, and agreeably “altering minds one lyric at a time.”

In reverse, life imitates art with the song: ‘The Machine’; in his day-to-day life as a writer something begs him to question and reflect upon his life and profession: “Then I think of everything I do, think feel or see, it barely contributes to the economy” and yet we do also “suffer these same internal dialogues”.

Whether life imitates art or his art imitates life itself, Jeremy, however consciously, has developed a voice of his own and narrates the chaos of life and the intimacy of desire, vanity and representations of love in a way that is both pensive and witty. He is without doubt one of the most subversive songwriters and performers of our generation.

Pink Mirror is out on 5 April 2019 via Trapped Animal Records & Cargo Records

Follow Jeremy Tuplin on: Facebook // Twitter // Instagram

Words: Rachael Crabtree (@eccentric_eejit)

Ten Fé Interview

Interviews, Uncategorized
ten fé 2018_credit abi raymaker-23

Ten Fé; Photo Credit; Abi Raymaker

Leo Duncan, who shares lead singer-songwriter duties with Ben Moorhouse of Ten Fé, spoke to us about the recording of their second album, the evolution of their sound, and positivity in the face of increasingly declining physical record sales.

It’s obvious when you speak to a musician that music goes beyond their occupation, or satisfying self indulgence of project ‘cool’. As Keith Richards once said: “Music is a language that doesn’t speak in particular words. It speaks in emotions, and if it’s in the bones, it’s in the bones.” Discussing the bands origins almost feels an insult in the face of Ten Fé, who clearly have music in their “bones”.

The band wear hearts, not pride, on their sleeves. The follow up to their ‘Hit The Light’ debut, ‘Future Perfect, Present Tense’, that coincides it’s release (March 8 via Some Kinda Love) with a second American tour, certainly cements how they have really come into their own both personally, and musically.

Originally starting out as a busking duo, Duncan and Moorhouse naturally gravitated towards a five-piece to include childhood mates from Birmingham. And it’s on this second record that you will notice how they have really honed into their sound, doing away with the electronics stylistically, and recording the album mostly live as a five-piece band. Subsequently, the material is more raw and honest and was a reaction to the reception when touring their debut album. “Being honest as performers and the more we’ve cut down on, the backing track, the PA, the electronics, I feel the easier it’s got. And on this album, everyone is playing their instruments, we’ve harnessed raw energy – there’s a real magic passing from one another.”

The first album was not only recorded as a duo, with both Duncan and Moorhouse alternating instruments in the Berlin studio with Ewan Pearson (The Rapture, M83, Jagwar Ma) but had electronic leanings and 90s influence (Primal Scream, Happy Mondays). ‘Future Perfect, Present Tense’ ramps up the Americana elements coming through on the last record; Bruce Springsteen, Fleetwood Mac and The War On Drugs. “Our listening became more concentrated and particularly The War on Drugs – but also Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Rumours’, R.E.M’s ‘Automatic For The People’ – we kept it pretty tight, it wasn’t a conscious thing, it’s just what we were listening to at the time. Obviously our beloved Stones and Beatles too and a touch of The Lighting Seeds at the end.”

Lyrically speaking, poetry retains a large component and privilege as the listener, almost as though the material wasn’t meant for prying ears. “In terms of this album, the lyrics are deeper, there’s less word play and wit in the lyric. It’s more concentrated on being honest – on speaking and not wanting to shout, there’s a softness to the lyrics.”

People may be keen to associate them with their hard grafting roots; London buskers on the District Line at 5:30pm, but it’s coming through that is more significant. Music is expression, an art that Duncan says they are fortunate to have avoided the down trodden routes for, and having been a musician over in Dublin, Ireland for a year in his early twenties this was where he learnt how to hold an audience.

When Duncan shares with me his stories of working over in Dublin, there’s an underling and unflinching self confidence to his worth as a performer that I cannot help but admire. “I would play lots of pretty tough pubs along East Wall and on the Northside, where I lived saying, ‘Listen do you mind if I play for you tonight, I’ll play for free, if you give me drinks all evening?’ ‘Right, well, we’ll put you in front of the TV and the football is on at the moment, but if you can distract the people from the football then we’ll let you have the gig.” And I loved that, because you know, if you can make people turn their attention from the football onto you, then you know you are onto something.”

It wasn’t just learning how to hold an audience, but the Irish culture and attitude towards music in turn, took a hold on Duncan: “There’s a very interesting attitude to music in Ireland, you know, there’s a very inclusive attitude to performance – if someone has a guitar, they’re expected to play, and that’s just the given.”

Ireland’s very different, inclusive attitude towards music is the mentality that continues to drive the band forward and is taking them places. Inclusivity is pivotal to their music. “In London the attitude is a stark contrast – if you have a guitar then you have to perform – it’s not an intimate or inclusive thing, because there’s so many people striving to do the same thing, it’s a lot harder. I’ve always connected more to the Irish ways. It happens in Birmingham too – it’s not about networking or showing off, everyone can enjoy these songs, that’s my mission. It’s got very clear roots for me with Birmingham and Dublin.”

While their attitude towards music is rooted in Ireland, they have a greater kinship with American music stylistically. “America is such an important place for us musically. Kurt Vile, War on Drugs, Mac De Marco, Twin Peaks, Whitney is the music that inspires us – when we get up in the mornings, that’s what we put on. Not British bands, apart from Idles and solo acts – I’m excited by Westerman and King Krule, but in terms of bands, America is where it’s at right now”.

When questioning his thoughts on the British music industry, Duncan is positively optimistic about the future of not only the industry itself, but the band’s ambition to sustain a positive headspace. “Yeah, I’m not gonna lie, it’s a struggle sometimes – but if you surround yourself with good people, its always positive. Not just between us as a band, but our management and label are our best mates and they’re always there to support us.”

“You really have to go for it as it’s so competitive right now, but at the same time, the quality of music isn’t dampening, people are making just as good of music as ever, and the people listening aren’t going deaf, shows are being attended and playing shows are as good as it’s ever been.”

Over the phone this afternoon, it seems only topical to bring into conversation todays closure of HMV. I question insofar how Spotify is helping bands, which Duncan enlightens me, helped fund Ten Fé’s last tour of America.  “Things are changing, yes, HMV shut down but when was the last time you bought something in there? (Very true). Lets work out the next way to ingest music – people don’t pay for music now, that’s just the reality – that’s had an enormous impact thing on music – the way to get around it is not to think about it too much. Make sure you’re singing songs you believe in and work with a team you believe and trust.”

There is no room to feel precious on the District Line, you have to hold your own, on a stage of your own making, there’s no gap between the audience and artist. So when it comes to their shows, that are growing in size, the last was in support of Adam Ant at Camden’s Roundhouse, it’s rewarding to see how deep their music is connecting with people.

Keen to learn of Ten Fe’s proudest moment to date, Duncan modestly responds. “I always try and avoid feeling proud, maybe its the Irish in me, but I’m always really happy when we finish a recording – finishing this album was the best feeling, it wasn’t easy to make either. When you play in a band, this might sound cheesy, I don’t care if it does – but if you have a connection when you’re playing with someone overtime you play, and we do, it feels wicked. There’s also a point where it feels amazing. We’ve all known each other for over 10 years and have a deep connection with one another so yeah it’s like being in a pub with your best mates and you’re drinking and you have this moment when you think “ahhh this is f***ing wicked” it only last five seconds when you’re in a pub at Christmas – or you’re at a gig and there’s a point where you just feel it. That’s why I know we’re on the right track – that’s all the Beatles had and that’s what the War On Drugs have, a chemistry on record.”

Chemistry is something you cannot forge, and just like music, you either have it “in the bones” or you don’t, and as more people are noticing, Ten Fé are gifted with both.

‘Future Perfect, Present Tense’ is released March 8 via Some Kinda Love Records

Follow Ten Fé on: Spotify // Twitter // Instagram // Facebook

Words: Rachael Crabtree (@eccentric_eejit)

 

Feng Suave // Sebright Arms // Live Review

Live Reviews, Uncategorized
Feng Suave; Spiral Magazine

Amsterdam-based psych-soul band ‘Feng Suave’ at The Sebright Arms (05/12/18)

When you see a band mid-week amidst the hustle and they not only unhinge you from your daily life, but in their wake, completely re-adjust your focus, that’s something beyond the control of the many. Feng Suave’s lo-fi psychedelia blends silky bass and reverb’d guitar wrapped around soulful vocals. And when paired with their sensitive lyrics, you cannot help but be encouraged to reconsider what we otherwise take for granted; the stars above our heads and the earth at our feet is all we need. Keeping grounded and in touch with the harmony to be had with natural world is the result of Feng Suave induced daydreaming.

Tonight (5th Dec), was the third night of their first tour, the final UK date and, as one half of Feng Suave, Daniel De Jong, told me after the show, was without doubt the “highlight of the tour so far”. Being their first tour, De Jong wasn’t too sure his vocals would last the duration, a question that had never entered my mind, especially given tonight’s established performance. His lead singer duties required his every vocal range and tone, even the soft croon and hushed notes were used to their full capacity – and you had to hand it to him, his pitch-shifting vocals were mesmerising. As an outfit, the keyboardist, drummer and guitar trio were cool and collected. They gifted us with their grace and warmth.

The evening may have been just as intimate as De Jong went onto compare with the Servants Jazz Quarters (their last London show) but there was definitely something magical about tonight. The interaction from their sold out crowd in response to their every track must have felt pretty rewarding, with the greatest audience chorus arriving with ‘Sink Into The Floor’. Their latest single: Venus Flytrap (an instant hit with BBC 6 Music) and the encore: Notre Ochre were personal highlights.

On the back of a successful year, amassing millions of streams for their eponymously titled debut EP, this tour for the Dutch duo (and touring ensemble) certainly cemented them as ones to watch here in the UK. There’s also a pretty good chance everyone went out into the night floaty, finding “…solace in just noticing the stars above..” It might be momentary but it’s all that we need, truly.

Follow Feng Suave on: Spotify // Twitter // Instagram // Facebook

WORDS: RACHAEL CRABTREE (@ECCENTRIC_EEJIT)

 

Exhauster Interview

Interviews, Uncategorized
Stay Out_Cover_Low

Emerging South London-based Artist, Exhauster

We can’t keep it to ourselves when we discover artists we love, and this week we’re delighted to share with you an emerging artist, Exhauster. We caught up with the mastermind behind the project, Elliot, to discuss his latest single: ‘Stay Out’, a glimpse into his musical background and his attraction to the disparate elements of music.

Having been involved in many previous projects, the South London-based artist (via the US and Yorkshire) now finds himself in his first foray into singing and arranging his own songs. “I have been in bands as a drummer and general tradesman for ages but I started writing material for myself over the last couple of years which got some nice reactions from friends, so decided to keep going with it. My initial plan was to surround myself with sublime voices to paper over any cracks and we just kept papering on sounds until it became Exhauster.”

Speaking of his latest single, he reveals how it changed direction entirely, organically, for the better. “It was originally supposed to be a pretty relaxed, motorik little ditty, but somewhere down the line it started to get really frenetic and I’m still not 100% sure how the ending happened. We were originally only going to use some subtle drum machines, but I played around with the track in the studio when we were recording something else and accidentally recorded the drum parts”. Elliot goes on to jest: “I like assembling music in a kinda patchwork way. Actually I can only assemble music in a patchwork way.”

Just as we begin to speak of influences it becomes apparent that the style of his musical legends match that of where he wants to be with Exhauster. The ways boundaries of electronic and organic elements are pushed together in “really beautiful ways. I also love music that is obviously tooled to make disparate elements fit. You’re going to get a lot of that with Exhauster. We’re ultimately trying for something ecstatic, even if it’s a little sad.”

When tasked with the question of influences, Elliot intelligently lists many obscure almost esoteric bands, so niche, we love it! “Recently I have had the latest Serengeti album on repeat, which was produced by Andrew Broder from Fog, who are one of my favourite bands. The Daniel Brandt album “Eternal Something” that was released last month is also amazing. I’ve been really enjoying the latest album from the Declining Winter too.”

Keen to know when we might expect an EP to drop, satisfyingly it’s all recorded and he will be sharing things regularly every few weeks over the coming months, plus live dates are coming soon. “We have the personnel and I’m remembering how to play drums and guitar in front of people again. I’m really looking forward to that.”

The EP was produced by the multi-talented Nick Trepka (Emmy The Great) who, as he beams has “known and loved since we were very young lads. He brings much needed musicianship and discipline to the process. He is also useful in that he knows when I’m being objectionably out of tune. We have a lot of fun”. Nick, also plays guitars, bass and keys and sings backing vocals alongside, he adds, “another producer and musician of note, Grace Banks, who everyone should check out.”

As we begin to wrap things up, Elliot speaks fondly of his current home town, South London, and it’s local music scene. “But I’m a bit of a hermit working on my own thing at the moment and I don’t really know what is happening around me. The Windmill is the local place where you are likely to see interesting music though. Listen to OD Davey, I think he’s somewhere around here and he’s great.”

Follow Exhauster on: Spotify // Twitter // Facebook // Instagram 

WORDS: RACHAEL CRABTREE (@ECCENTRIC_EEJIT)

 

 

Carmody Interview

Interviews, Uncategorized
Carmody FB Profile; Create Often (copyright)

Carmody (photo credit: Create Often)

When we’re in conversation with musicians, instead of chasing that ‘behind the scenes’ glimpse, we go ‘beyond the surface’ allowing you and us, as readers, writers, fans and musicians alike, achieve a familiarity and reassurance that we’re all in this together! 

Sharing and opening up more will continue to create a more accepting world, and within the music industry particularly, progression in this direction hasn’t been more imminent. Getting to the root of everything universal, London-based singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Carmody, discusses matters of mental health, feminism and the language of the heart.

Rachael: I think it’s really important, particularly as of late, where growing concerns of treatment within the music industry have been brought under spotlight – what are your thoughts on the support available to musicians? If you don’t mind sharing – what support, maybe a network or community initiative helps you creatively and socially. And financially, are there any trusts or bursaries that are worth knowing about for any musicians reading? 

Carmody: I think mental health awareness, particularly in the music industry, is really improving, Help Musicians UK have recently set up a 24/7 helpline just for artists. Personally, I find that when I speak to other artists in sessions about how I’ve been feeling, they are usually having similar experiences and it’s nice to speak openly about it. I also find that the women involved in the ‘Time of the Month’ Podcast are like a lifeline to me and, when we do manage to organise a meet up, it feels very therapeutic. 

Financially I’ve had funding support from The Arts Council when I supported Tom Misch on tour in 2016, PRS also have some incredible funding options available. Digital distributors, like AWAL and Believe Digital, will also support some record projects, so it’s worth contacting them too. 

How do you keep that momentum going during dark days, maybe you’re under pressure writing, recording even booking shows? We all experience moments of self-doubt – what gives you the fuel to bypass it all?

I don’t think I ever manage to bypass those feelings. The music industry is a really tough place and I sometimes question why I put myself through it, as it takes a type of strength I don’t always feel that I have. But, when I am feeling low, I often reach out to others, or do something else creative, my friend recently bought me a ‘vagina colouring book’ and I’m finding that really entertaining and calming at the moment. Failing all these, there is always Pinot. 

Do you find your style of delivery, because of it’s very raw, heart-on-the-sleeve material, that it connects and unites people? In particular, has any connection provided you the motivation to write a song?

I think all my songs are motivated by connections and relationships. They nearly always stems from something I’ve experienced. Songs are like diaries to songwriters, they catalogue our lives, I’m always motivated by what I’m currently living through. 

At the moment I’m in a place where I’m writing about my family a lot, but previously it’s been mainly about past lovers, in an attempt to get over them. 

Funnily enough, a few people have messaged me saying that they got married to ‘Skin’ or ‘The Ways of Your Love’, neither of these are love songs in my eyes, but I think it’s beautiful that they have found new meaning with others.

What drew me personally to your music, was not only your vocal talents, but the way you write about love – like Kate Bush and love experienced through a woman’s eyes – you touch on unrequited, lost and never quite made it love. You have a very intimate songwriting style – how do you judge what to release to the public? Are there any moments of vulnerability in the face of an audience and how best do you conquer these?

Thank you, that’s really nice of you to say, and it’s much appreciated. I’ve generally always been an open person and I think this comes across in my lyrics. I don’t think I’ve ever kept anything back, there’s a great Nayyirah Waheed quote, ‘the thing you are most afraid to write, write that’, I try to keep that as my mantra. 

When I’m performing my technique is to expose myself even more, telling anecdotes about each song, which I guess makes me more vulnerable, but it feels like it helps in a way.

Women’s perspective in music is really important to express, especially when the industry is so male dominated. It’s also unique to look to the male as a muse and objectify men for a change, tell us more…

Are we talking ‘Singing Your Love’ here? Ha! I guess that song came from a conversation I had with the ‘Are We Live’ guys in their podcast. I was speaking to Barney about how men are never objectified in songs and they’re never (to my knowledge) washing cars in videos. So I wanted to appreciate the male form, because some men are beautiful and they’re just not mused-over enough, but also flip things around and objectify them for a change. It was a fun exercise, one that I don’t think I managed for the whole song, but I’m proud of the first line.

Which female musicians do you admire, maybe ones you’re been lucky enough to collaborate with? And who would you like to work with in the future?

Laura Misch and Marie Dahlstrom have both been big inspirations to me, their dedication to their craft is incredible, they release beautiful music and we all support each other along the way, it feels like a good team. A dream collaboration would be with someone like Grimes, or possibly M.I.A, after seeing her incredible documentary.

What music are you currently listening to and who should we go check out?

Yes! I’m really loving Hayley Heynderickx, she has an incredible called ‘I Need to Start a Garden’. Also really into Big Thief’s record ‘Capacity’. I’ve also always been a big fan of Charlotte Day Wilson and a band called IDER. I’ve got a playlist of songs I love on my Spotify profile called ‘Carmody Loves’ (cheeky plug) if you do feel like checking anything else out, I’m proud of that playlist.

You often put pages of poetry up on your Instagram stories – what particular writers have inspired and encouraged you to take a leaf out of their book?

My three favourites are – Kim Addonizio, Mary Oliver and Leonard Cohen. They’ve inspired my work so much and constantly encourage me to push myself to the edges of my lyrical abilities. 

Have you considered publishing a book of poems one day – do you have any sideline projects we can look forward to?

Funnily enough I am working with my friend Alicia Mitchell, who was responsible for a great deal of the artwork on my previous records, to create a book of poems and songs for my next project, I think I’m going to call it ‘Flotsam’.

Currently enjoying your latest single: ‘Summer Rain’, which looks to the first stages of falling in love coinciding with a love of rain – which I discovered the other day is a pluviophile! 🙂 (love words, haha) – all I can picture right now is that Breakfast At Tiffany’s end scene… 

Thank you! LOVE that word. I am a word fiend too, I think we should be friends ha!

There’s a very sensual, distinctly unafraid and empowering quality to your music. What did you learn about yourself when writing this upcoming EP?

I guess the most important thing I learnt about myself was that I could write about more than love, although I realise these last two singles are about love, I’ve covered a lot of new ground, subjects that I never imagined I would be singing about. Such as dementia, depression and the way we struggle to talk to each other about death. It’s actually pretty dark, but was a very therapeutic lyrical challenge. 

Outside of music what hobbies help you to unwind? You’ve been part of a monthly podcast series (up on Soundcloud) – Time Of The Month, which I’ve been enjoying a lot recently – for those who don’t know, could you go into a little detail about the project? 

I enjoy writing poetry and go to a poetry course in London. I’ve also just started getting into photography, and I’m on the lookout for a dance class, after trying out some moves in my video for ‘Summer Rain’.  

The Time of the Month podcast is one of my favourite things I’ve been involved in to date. It started because we wanted to create a counter group to the ‘Are We Live?’ guys. Everytime we manage to record a podcast I leave feeling cleansed, but everyone is so busy at the moment it’s been tricky to find the time, but we’ll get there soon. 

Before you go, what gigs can we look forward to from you in the near future and when can we expect your EP?

I’m still hoping that the EP will emerge before the end of this year, it’s very nearly there. I have a gig on the 21st October at the Sebright Arms alongside some other very talented, female performers and it’s free, so come down if you fancy!

Follow Carmody on: Spotify // Twitter // Facebook // Instagram

WORDS: RACHAEL CRABTREE (@ECCENTRIC_EEJIT)

Jeremy Tuplin Interview

Interviews, Single, EP and Album Reviews, Uncategorized

Jeremy Tuplin Profle ShotThere’s a lot to be said for good humour – and Somerset born singer-songwriter Jeremy Tuplin certainly hits the spot with a balance of poignant delivery on his latest single: ‘Long Hot Summer’.

Perhaps it’s the upbeat melody supporting his dark lyrics, but parallels can definitely be drawn with the legends, Belle and Sebastian.

Intrigued to learn more about the great initiative of partnering and sharing all proceeds of his latest single with the environmental charity; Friends of the Earth, we caught up with Jeremy to discover more.

Your new single hits on global warming, an issue that universally affects us, but in all reality, not enough of us are actively resolving – do you think many convince themselves almost into believing our damage to the planet is unrepairable and don’t consider beyond their lifetime? — What are your thoughts on the issue? 

I don’t see the downside in taking measures to be kind to the planet. No matter what school of thought you adopt on the issue – why take the risk in not being environmentally considerate? It doesn’t impinge on your freedoms as it’s a choice, but it will make you feel more connected to nature and therefore better about yourself. Seems ok to me. Plus Earth is by far the best planet out of all the planets we’ve come across. The idea of living on Mars might sound cool but the reality would be s**t. Kepler 452b could be ok, but that’s quite far away.

The charity you’re collaborating with: Friends of the Earth is a great initiative – how did this come about? — Do you work/volunteer with them or an Environmental charity? 

I think it’s a good thing to be a friend of Earth, and because the song touches on that in its own way I thought it would make me feel good about myself to donate some of the proceeds to that cause. All purchases of the track on Bandcamp will go to that.

Having a good sense of humour sure is an asset to life – your style of delivery, particularly on this track, has poignant humour — what books, films, plays or comedies do you enjoy? 

I like a lot of different stuff… a lot of absurdist humour of late, Toast Of London recently for example. Most things seem fairly absurd and ridiculous to me so I tend to be drawn to art that emphasises that. I’m reading The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath at the moment and I like her style.

Would it be fair to say that space and science fuel your musical inspiration – so you watched a lot of space documentaries during the production of your debut album: ‘I Dreamt I Was An Astronaut’ — tell us more…

It’s fair to say that I went through a space phase when writing and recording that album. I guess with the new stuff I’m going through more of an Earth phase. I will definitely return to space at some point though, creatively speaking.

How has country and city life compared as a musician – do you ever find London is so saturated with music that it’s maybe difficult to gain enough support – how is the music scene back home in Somerset?

I’ve been living in London for coming up to 9 years I think, so my only experience of the music scene in Somerset was when I was just starting out at open mic nights and small folk clubs. Haven’t really played there since but I would like to – if any Somerset promoters want to book me then please get in touch. I play a lot of gigs in London though, there are loads of good venues and gig nights. Possibly true that people are more receptive and up for buying merch in other towns and on the continent, but London is still pretty great.

Jeremy Tuplin’s latest single, Long Hot Summer is out now and available on all platforms.

Join us at their next full band gig on 20th September at The Victoria, Dalston – a double headliner with Jemma Freeman & The Cosmic Something, full details here!

Jeremy TuplinWebsite // Twitter // Facebook // Spotify

WORDS: RACHAEL CRABTREE (@ECCENTRIC_EEJIT)