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Taking a brief hiatus from painting elongated, ethereal soundscapes, a wild Strawberry Guy appears from the flora for a Long Player Short Interview ahead of debut album, Sun Outside My Window.
You’ve recently released Sun Outside My Window, the first single from the album of the same name which dropped 16th October. What were your initial ideas going into this track?
Well, one day I was feeling pretty low, and sat down at my keyboard and started playing the chords to the song (which I had had for a while but hadn’t written anything to them), and I remember the sun coming out and beaming outside my window. It really lifted my mood! So the song is about that moment really and how mother nature can really change our mood and lift us up when we need it sometimes. It’s simple, but was a very memorable moment for me, one that inspired the general vibe of the album.
Could you tell us more about the beautiful impressionist artwork for the single, and how this style feeds into your output?
My Mum really enjoyed Monet and I remember seeing Monet prints and impressionist prints around the house growing up, so I was naturally drawn to this style of art growing up really. I’m also really inspired by 1800’s romantic period composers like Debussy and Ravel, which around the same time impressionist art was beginning. So I feel that my music ties in very naturally with this style of artwork. With Monet being one of my favourite impressionist painters, we decided to see if I could actually have his work for the artwork. A lot of his paintings definitely reinforced the idea of ‘sun outside my window’ with his paintings of sunny gardens and fields. Everything just came together so naturally really.
You headed to sunny Wales for the music video – what is it about the natural landscape that lends itself to new ideas that you otherwise might not find in suburbia?
This was very near to where my parents live and places I used to visit when I was a child. I think the direction my music is going in with this new album is to have more ‘natural’ sounds, moving away from synths. There’s a lot more orchestral instruments and I think this new style is very fitting with more natural landscapes. The city isn’t quite calm enough to tie in to my music I feel. I’ve never particularly been directly inspired by the city.
Conceptually, how does this album differ from your previous releases?
It sounds more mature than others, really. I feel like I matured and learned a lot about myself from writing this album. So the album addresses some of those things. I feel like through writing it I grew a lot. Sonically, I feel like it’s dryer and more raw than my earlier work. Especially in the last track on the album A White Lie. I did the vocals and piano all in one take at about 2 am. Something I’ve never done before! I really wanted it to sound more raw.
We couldn’t help but tap our feet to the Latin percussion on Sun Outside My Window – is marrying your style with other genres something we can expect more of?
Haha, I’m glad you like it! Hmm, maybe not so much? Funny story though. That sound isn’t a wood block but actually a sound I make with my mouth. It’s like a tongue pop I can do, I can get it quite loud at times! I added it because it needed something a little extra I felt and I’d not experimented with percussive sounds so much. With the faster pace of the track, I felt it was a good fit!
It’s no secret that your fans love creating their own music videos using your work – do you have any stand-out favourites, and why?
Hmmm, good question! I saw one that had F Song tied to movie clips of Atonement on Instagram once. Atonement is one of my favourite books, so it was really wonderful to see clips of the film accompanied by my music! They worked quite well together. Maybe one day I’ll have one of my songs in an actual film, or compose for one even, that would be a dream. I feel like my music incorporates a lot of emotion that can work well with painting a picture or telling a story for films, which I guess is why fans have put these videos together. It’s fantastic.
Sun Outside My Window is available 29th October via Melodic.