October 29th, 2016 @ The Back Room @ Colectivo Coffee
-Give us a brief description of your music and style:
I don't know, hopefully true? That's the main thing for me, that it's articulate. Listening to the songs and seeing what they need and trying to articulate that as clearly as possible. I've never been one for trying to make it sound one thing or the other. I think it's better to go in with a blank canvas and see what happens, go with whatever feels good.
The thing that intrigues me about music is that there's always this transcendental element far beyond its component parts. If you get the rhythm, melody, chords and lyrics right, they start working together in a way that's beyond anyone's ability to articulate.
-You've done some collaborating with Ed Sheeran. How has he influenced your music?
Ed has been a blessing, because he didn't want me to feel any pressure. He wanted me to go and make whatever record I felt I wanted to make, and he would deal with the outcome. He's been involved since the beginning, listening. I'm sending stuff to him all the time. He's a very informative guy, quite analytical about it. He knows music inside and out.
-Who are some of your primary musical influences?
Sex Pistols, Michael Jackson, Prince, Bob Dylan. Music in general. As long a as it's good and has a sense of truth about it. Even beyond that though, it's probably more my dad, he was a singer and I learned a lot from him.
-Out of all the song from your latest album "The Wild Swan," which is your favorite song?
Probably 'Noam Chomsky Is A Soft Revolution', it was one of the surprise ones. We were recording 'Upbeat Feelgood' and did it three times in a row but it still wasn't right. As a bit of mind break we took a detour and began working on a song that wasn't even on the list of songs to do. That song was called Casanova and as soon as that was on the record, I felt like I wanted something else that was in that type of world. I had the first verse of Noam Chomsky for a while, so I wrote another two verses for it, and we rattled it out that night. I suppose that one's got a sense of urgency and excitement for me and I like that.
-How is "The Wild Swan" different than your previous records from your perspective?
There's a lot more about love, and new love, and rediscovering love on this record than there was on the last. The last one was more about the death of it. I just wanted to pick songs that felt good enough and felt like they belonged together somehow. There are certain songs on the record that are in the same vein as each other and there's other ones that stick out like a sore thumb, but I like the idea of a little collection of vignettes, and to approach each song as it's own entity. The Joy Of Nothing, sonically speaking, sort of tied in all together from top to bottom, and this record is a bit more of considered tangents.