Music

Austel – Interview

Tuesday 17th April 2018

Having spent the majority of her time dedicating herself to music, Annie Rew Shaw learnt to play piano from the age of 5 and is also classically trained.  She was part of a jazz band at school and also spent time as part of a musical theatre group. Instead of going to University, Annie decided to move to London to continue to pursue her musical career further.  She has since gone on to perform at Glastonbury Festival and support artists such as Fleet Foxes and Rumour Cubes, to name a few. Now, working under her alias as Austel, sees Annie release her debut single “Crows”, a beautiful expressive track, which relates to the anxiety felt within the unknown.

Could you tell me a little bit about yourself? How did you become a singer/songwriter, and what made you decided to make a career out of music?

I started learning the piano when I was five and was classically trained in both piano and singing. Music has always been a huge part of my life – my parents are both musicians and it was a huge part of my childhood. I was in my school jazz band and went to a musical theatre group for years, so grew up on quite a healthy mix of genres. I always wrote little songs and poems growing up, but started thinking about them more seriously when I was around 12. I had quite a tough time at school and songwriting was a real release – a way to gather my thoughts and find my own way. I loved acting and writing at school, but music always had that extra pull for me. It’s always felt like a very natural part of who I am, and in that way I guess it was an inevitable path. Instead of going to university, I decided to move to London and make a go of it, and I’ve been here ever since! It’s not always easy finding the balance between making music and making rent, but I can’t imagine doing anything else.

How would you describe your music, and where do you take your inspiration from when writing your songs?

For most of my life, I’ve written songs on the piano or guitar, so they’ve often had that singer-songwriter, folky feel. However, in more recent years I’ve started to experiment with more electronic soundscapes and writing from bass lines and beats. So I think Austel is a real mixture of that – classic songwriting with dark, electro-pop vibes. I take a lot of inspiration from human emotion and relationships – not just those with people, but with ourselves and the world. I’ve always been quite a sensitive, empathetic person; I soak up a lot of what goes on around me. I also get really inspired by books, TV shows, art – anything that evokes a story or strong sense of relatability.

You released your single “Crows” a couple of weeks ago. How are you finding the response to your music so far?

It’s been amazing to release my own music after years of working on the sound and trying to find the right home for my songs. There’s been a great response to the single so far – some really lovely reviews in the press, which is nice to see. It feels great to get the ball rolling.

What’s the story behind the song?

I wrote ‘Crows’ with Adam Stark (my producer and bandmate) at the end of 2016, which was a year where I’d had to make some big personal decisions and change a lot of things in my life. The song felt like a new beginning; not for the project but also a mindset – that I could let go of the things that were holding me back.

There are only 5 lines to the song, which are repeated throughout. Was that intentional?

It’s designed to be a kind of mantra; ‘I don’t have to go where you go / I don’t have to speak when you don’t’ was a reminder to myself to seek inner strength and follow my own gut, rather than constantly seeking the validation of others.

The accompanying video is simple and effective, and works really well with the song. Who did you work with to create the video, and how did it feel seeing it finished?

Thank you! It was directed by my friend Dominique Croshaw, who’s a brilliant visual artist in her own right. We made it together in Kingston last year and it felt great to release it alongside the single. The video’s designed to represent the notion that sometimes you have to fall apart to put yourself back together again in the right way. It’s a continuous journey and about finding peace with the different parts of yourself.

Are you looking to release an EP or album in the near future?

Yep, there’s an EP on the way this summer! It’s called Unfold – I can’t wait to share it with you.

You have quite a background supporting other artists. Could you tell me more about your experiences and who you’ve enjoyed working with?

I moved to London a few days after my 19th birthday, only knowing two people in the city. That year, I played Glastonbury Festival as part of a project formed by Sam Duckworth (Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly), and it was through that that I met an amazing group of musicians (including Adam and Terry who both perform in Austel) and my other collaborations have all stemmed from there. I’ve had some amazing experiences – supporting Fleet Foxes last year with Lyla Foy, touring the UK with Rumour Cubes and Munro Fox, performing gigs of all shapes and sizes across the city. I love all of the projects I’ve been part of. They’ve helped me grow so much as a musician and a human being, and introduced me to some of my best friends.

What do you get up to when you’re not writing or performing, are there any particular hobbies that you enjoy?

I love writing and drawing – they’re both also pretty important creative outlets for me. Long walks listening to records. Reading. Art exhibitions, museums, gigs, theatre shows. Brunch. Can brunch be a hobby?

What’s your ultimate aim and where do you hope your music will take you?

I think my ultimate aim is to create music that makes people feel less alone. To create some sort of relatability – a connection. That’s what I personally love about it; how songs can lift you up out of the darkest places, wrap themselves around you or help you tap into feelings you can’t make sense of. In terms of where I hope music will take me, I would love to be able to travel and see more of the world. Meet more people, create amazing memories. Making music with people I love is the best thing for me and I’m very grateful to be able to do so.

Connect with Austel via her Website, Facebook and Twitter.

Edenthorn – Interview

Monday 16th April 2018

Hailing from Durham, alternative rock quartet, Edenthorn are due to release their second album on Friday 20th April, and following on from the huge response they’ve had to the singles they’ve already put out, all the signs are pointing in the right direction for this to be another storming release. “Exist” displays the bands ability to write and produce incredible music with a solid rhythm and tight harmonies. “Our main aim is to make sure that our listeners never get bored.” States Edenthorn bassist and backing vocalist Faiba Gardner. “There is nothing worse than listening to an album where every single song sounds like the song before. We don’t like to stick to musical trends, we just like to write good honest music from the heart. We strive to keep the listener entertained, and to take them on a journey with us through our music.”

Could you tell me about your latest single “Mind Like A Minefield” and the meaning behind it?

This is influenced by the experiences that we’ve all had with anxiety and panic attacks and generally stressing and overthinking things. The idea of battling with yourself and your mind, a war within yourself/your mind. But the positive message is ‘I will defeat it, I can beat it, In the end I will win’ the war within.

Who did you work with for the accompanying music video, and how did it feel seeing it complete?

We worked with Ross Hannon of Aytball Film for “Mind Like A Minefield” and our previous release; “Heart’s Still Beating” as well as our forthcoming single “The Unknown”. It is always an interesting and enjoyable experience working with Ross. He is very artistic and creative in terms of putting visuals together, so when we’re actually on set you always get the feeling that the end result will be impressive.

You’ll be releasing your album “Exist” on the 20th April.  How are you feeling about getting new music out there, and are there any tracks in particular that you’re excited about being heard?

Judging by the reaction to the first two singles we have released, which have both been extremely well received, we can’t wait to see what reaction we get from the rest of the album. We all have our own favorites, so that is a difficult question but we’re looking forward to our next single release “The Unknown.”

How easy was it to pick the final 11 tracks, and were there any that didn’t make the cut?

There were 14 tracks in total, so 3 didn’t make the final cut. That’s not to say they were weaker tracks, we just felt they stood strong enough on their own either to release later as stand-alone singles or material for the next album.

Could you give me an insight in to the album, and whether there is a theme or a story behind the final tracks?

We never really discussed a theme or story for the album but without us knowing its seemed to have developed into a story of existence, hence the title “EXIST.” Tracks 9,10 and 11 were deliberately placed together as a trio as they are all based on the different stages of loss and grief. As a whole a lot of the songs are based on self awareness, life and existence!

What was the decision behind self-releasing the album, and do you feel this has given you more freedom?

Up to now we’ve enjoyed the freedom of writing, recording and releasing music in our own way and in our own time, it wasn’t really a decision, we just aren’t currently in contract with anyone so it’s by choice as much as it is by that fact. That’s not to say we’re against releasing music under a label in the future, should there be a suitable offer that we feel will benefit us. These days however, a lot can be achieved on your own, so at the moment we’re utilising and exploring all of the avenues in which we can do that to the best of our own abilities.

How would you say this compares to your previous material, and how do you feel you’ve developed as a band over the years?

We would say it fits well nicely with our previous album. This is now our second full length release, both albums have been 11 tracks long. We played a launch show in celebration of the upcoming release and we played 6 tracks from debut album ‘The Maze’ and 6 from the new album ‘Exist’. So that kind of shows we still believe in our previous material as much as the new songs. We have progressed in terms of sound and production for sure. Each time we record we have new skills and knowledge learnt from the last time. We self-produce as well as self-release, Dylan (Lead Guitarist) records, mixes and masters all of our work. He is continuously improving and developing his own skills as a producer and we are all blown away by the result on this new album. We’re all excited and eager to get back in the studio already!!

What’s your writing process as a band, and how do you all come together to create the final track?

It all starts with Dylan mainly. He may have a riff or a few sections, sometimes he comes with fully written pieces of music demos and we then jam that out in a rehearsal room and Kyle then adds melodies and vocals. We all have input in the overall creativity of the songs, both in the studio and rehearsal room.

Do you remember the first gig you ever performed live, and how do you feel you live shows have evolved since then?

Our first gig as Edenthorn was back in 2013, and it was an acoustic showcase gig. We had to come up with stripped back/MTV Unplugged type set list, which was fun! Our live shows have definitely evolved from when we started which all comes down to experience. We never used to think that much about playing live, we just used to play songs… now though, we’re a lot more experienced on how to put a show together to ensure that everybody is having a good time from start to finish!

Where have been your favourite venues to perform?

Trillians in Newcastle is an awesome rock venue that we will continue to go back too! Most recently The Cluny 2 – where we played our album launch party – really surprised us and has been our favourite so far. It has a cool underground vibe to it and has awesome staff, gear and a great sound technician.

Connect with Edenthorn via their Website, Facebook and Twitter.

The Firelight Opera set to release new single “Communication Breakdown” on 13th April

Thursday 12th April 2018

Chatting to The Firelight Opera last year about their upcoming album and what we could expect from the release, they explained, We’re really excited for people to hear it! It’s got a bit of everything on it from huge rock anthems to stripped back acoustic tracks. All of the tracks have infectious melodies and catchy guitar riffs and there are plenty of vocal harmonies on there!”

When I first listened to their single “Alive” I was taken straight in by these guys, because it can be easy to listen to music and like it, but the strength of this track, along with the production value of the video for the single made it stand out even further.  What also initially piqued my interest was that the band contains not one, but four vocalists.  If you’re expecting some barbershop quartet though you need to stand down, because what you’re actually getting here is some serious talent and a ton of riffs and melodies packed right on in there.

Fast-forward almost a year later and The Firelight Opera are set to release their next single “Communication Breakdown” on Friday 13th April.  Getting an advanced preview of the track has allowed me to confirm that if you haven’t given these guys a listen yet, then they have certainly achieved the variety they set out to provide, whilst maintaining their rock anthem status. From the rock and roll intro, to the plucky verses leading us in to the chorus stating that “this is communication breakdown, I know ignorance is bliss but I can do without this”, continuing right on through to hooks that would reel-in any unsuspecting listener.

Connect with The Firelight Opera via their Website, Twitter and Facebook.

Second Hand Poet – Interview

Wednesday 28th March 2018

Opening up an email late one evening, and listening to the Second Hand Poet came at the perfect time, as I found myself trying to wind down, but wanting to give my emails that one last check. Listening to the mellow and soothing sounds, I found myself instantly unwinding, yet captivated by what I was hearing. The new mini album “Songs For The Pyre” is a collection of songs that have featured on various long vanished demo EP’s, its the mark of Jamie at his most unguarded and brutally honest. On an album which pulls in two directions, from the classical violin and string clad intro and interlude, to the more traditional acoustic guitar-led balladeering. Produced by Franc Cinelli and recorded in London over a two week period, “Songs For The Pyre” uses Jamie’s DIY ethic as a point of departure, adventurously expanding the sonic palette while retaining every bit of its heart and soul.

Hello! Please could you tell me about yourself, how is all started and at what point you decided to make a career out of music?

Hi! I’m Jamie I play folk music under the moniker Second Hand Poet, I began playing music around six years ago and initially formed a band which didn’t work out, when I say didn’t work out we fizzled out before our first booked show! I then went on to play the show by myself, that show scared me into playing alone I think!

Your debut album “Songs For The Pyre” has just been released. How are you finding the response to your music so far?

The response has been very positive! Which is always nice, the record is still in the early stages of promotion so I’m hoping the response stays the same!

How did you find the process of putting the album together, and did you face any hurdles that you had to overcome?

The album has been a very long journey, especially from when the songs were initially written. The first version of ‘Songs For The Pyre’  was actually called ‘Into The Wild’, and was all recorded by myself! I put way too much time into the record and I decided to step back and let it breathe a little bit, which ended up me deciding to re-record the whole thing with a producer in charge rather than myself! Also, a few of the tracks were previously on another EP, which was put out a few years ago on a label, I had to buy back the rights myself to be able to include them on the album, that was definitely a hurdle!

What about the final track listing, were there any tracks that didn’t make the cut?

Definitely yes, I think its a positive and healthy decision being able to ditch something you’re not quite feeling creative wise. A lot of people including myself hang on to works even if they deep down know they probably should have been put to bed a fair while back! Like I said above, the album previously was something very different and the songs I scrapped just didn’t fit as well on the new sound of ‘Songs For The Pyre’.

How do you feel you have developed as an artists since your previous release, and why is now the right time to release your album?

I feel I’ve developed a huge amount from when I first started this, you definitely need to learn from mistakes to get something your proud of in this musical world, for sure. Unless you have someone that’s already gone through it all who happens to be guiding you! I think I was easily entertained with releasing demos and deciding they were good enough for a few years, I wanted to show a bit of love to the songs that appeared on various past demo ep’s by aligning them on a record! The next album will be more thought out… he says.

Who are your biggest influences and how do you draw upon your inspirations when writing and performing?

I’d say the biggest influence was going to live shows at a young age, it’s really easy to get drawn in to the musical world, but really hard to actually be in it. Obviously what I’m listening to during the writing stages sometimes strays in here and there. I’m a huge fan of Elliott Smith and sometimes when I’m winding down from a writing session he’s usually able to make me pick up the guitar again.

Being in the early stages of your music career how are you finding the process, and what was the decision behind wanting self-promote your new album?

The process is hard, there’s so many musicians and so so many platforms readily available. If anything it’s too much. If you don’t have a label to work with, you then have to use the same routine but by yourself, do you hire in a PR company, and if you do hire a PR company do you then use a tour booking agency? I’m a bit tired of seeing other artists use these companies, it just sugar coats your music and presence when in reality the moment they stop getting paid, the campaign for your record does too. I’m trying a more natural approach to promotion at the moment by not only contacting lovely people like yourselves, but also individually the people who actually follow and like my music!

You’ve picked up quite a lot of momentum from the start and performed at quite a few festivals too. What’s been your best live performance to date, and have there been any memorable moments?

Thanks! It’s always nice to play festivals and have promoters who you can call on although sometimes I find festivals a bit detached from the crowd. It’s usually day time with not much atmosphere! For the more sombre music that is… My favorite shows are the ones that are dead quiet! When it’s just you playing your songs to an audience that are completely immersed in those thirty or so minutes.

What are your plans for the year ahead, and what live dates do you currently have lined up?

I’ll be trying to get the album out to as many people as possible still, and also booking in a few live sessions, maybe a single release also! I tend to shy away from playing live as much as I used to, it started to feel like bit of a chore! It’s lovely getting a reaction from people don’t get me wrong, but more times than not if you play too much the excitement tends to disappear. And its lonely playing on your own! There probably will be a few shows this year, and when they do you’ll know I’ve thought long and hard about playing them or not!

Finally, if you were given the opportunity to perform in the BBC Live Lounge, which song would you cover and why?

I think I’d choose a classic, maybe Roy Orbison’s ‘You Got It’ or Slade’s ‘Everyday’, I’m yet to hear them covered in the Live Lounge, but they should be for sure! BBC give me a call?

Connect with Second Hand Poet via his Website, Facebook and Twitter.

TrueHeights – Interview

Wednesday 21st March 2018

Acclaimed young alt-rockers TrueHeights are back with a bang, announcing their new EP “Days We Found”, and their signing to We Are Triumphant. Hailing from the Midlands, the band have quickly picked up a huge amount of momentum from their debut EP “TH15”, and secured themselves a well-established fan base from their time on the road, supporting the likes of Freeze The AtlanticDEAD!Lonely The Brave, and Fatherson. Armed with the addition of guitarist Alex, and a brand new EP which is due for release on the 6th April, TrueHeights are hoping to put some serious heart and meaning back in to the UK’s rock scene.  I catch a moment with lead vocalist Zakk Poland ahead of the release to find out what we can expect from their new material.

Please could you tell me a bit more about yourselves? Have you been in bands previously, and what has driven you to form TrueHeights?


We are a 6 piece rock band from the Midlands. We have all come from very different backgrounds which I think makes our song-writing process very interesting. Myself and my brother Luke have come from a post-hardcore/punk background then we have the Maugham brothers and Kris who have come from a dance/electronic metal background and then Alex who has been a solo singer songwriter for many years – so our ideas are very diverse in the rehearsal studio to say the least! We formed TH because we wanted to unify a few of our favourite things from the genres we all love and create a sound that was accessible to more than the very niche sub-genre’s we were all a part of before.

Your debut mini album release “TH15” received quite a lot of momentum. How have you found the response to your music so far?

Thank you! “TH15” was received better than we could have ever imagined. Its mesmerising being able to travel the country and have crowds singing your songs back to you – it’s very moving.

You’ll be releasing your new EP “Days We Found” on the 6th April. How are you feeling about getting new music out there, and are there any tracks in particular that you’re excited about being heard?

We are SO excited to release “Days We Found”. Some of these songs have been sat behind the curtains for nearly 2 years and now we can finally unveil them to you guys! The response to the singles so far have been mind-blowing and we are so lucky to have such a loyal fanbase that are happy to stick with us for 3 years without releasing any music. We are so excited for the two songs which aren’t due to be released as singles, because the first time anyone will hear them is when they buy the full record. Keep your ears open for “No Tomorrow” and “Maybe”.

How would you say this compares to your previous material, and how do you feel you’ve developed as a band over the past 3 years?

It pushes the boundaries a lot more than “TH15”, in the way that we have collectively tried to diversify our writing style – making 5 very different sounding songs, with the idea that different people will have different favourites. As a band we have played a hell of a lot of shows over the last 3 years and learned a hell of a lot about each other and about our writing style and what works best for us – especially with the addition of Alex. We have become more of a team and everyone brings their own ideas and interpretations on each others work – I feel the sound has matured a great deal.

What’s your writing process and how do you work together to create the final track? Being a 6-piece band, how do you make sure you all have a creative input?

So, normally one of us will bring an idea to the studio and then we will all build on it. Depending on which instrumental idea is presented as a melody core, that is USUALLY what defines the overall sound and feel of the track, i.e “Stay” was written around a synth hook, giving it a more dancy feel. Whereas “Exit Route” was written around a riff idea I had written in my bedroom on an acoustic guitar! When I write on an acoustic guitar I always imagine I’m playing to a huge festival crowd with a huge wall of amplifiers behind me… 9 times out of 10 I’m sat in my room and I can hear my mum hoovering the stairs…SO rock and roll. We usually write a song in a few phases to make sure everyone is 100% happy with their parts, before our producer rips them to shit and makes us re-write them anyway!

Who did you work with for the video to your latest single “Still Moving Colour”, and how does it feel when you get to see the finished videos for your singles?


We worked with a good friend of ours Jay Hillyer (Cabin Boy Jump Ship). His work is awesome! He’s pretty much done most of our videos. He lets us have a lot of creative input on them which is great. We write and direct all of our videos ourselves.

You released an acoustic version of “City Lies” to raise money for Bedfordshire & Northamptonshire Multiple Sclerosis Therapy Centre. Could you tell me why this charity is so close to your hearts, and how the donations helped the centre?

This charity is especially close to our drummer Kris, who’s uncle is an MS sufferer. The whole charity release was conducted by Kris himself. It was such an honour to have such amazing, iconic people on board with us such as Connor Ball (The Vamps), Nothing But Theives, Madina Lake, BBC Introducing etc.

You’re on the last few dates of your current tour, but thinking about all the live dates you’ve ever played, which has been the most memorable and why?

We always tell the story of how I broke Ash’s leg on stage, but that was honestly one of the best moments of my life. I think on a serious note, one of the most memorable ones was MOM Fest in Eindhoven, ND. We got to play our first show overseas to thousands of people and it was mind-blowing. Not only that, but that was Alex’s first ever TH show.

How do you find the music scene in the Midlands? Being a music blogger/gig-goer from the area too I’m interested to hear your thoughts on the local scene and venues.

Yeah we love our local scene. I’m in the firm belief that we wouldn’t be anywhere right now had it not been for that. There’s not an AWFUL lot in the Midlands but that’s what makes events so special. We have so much love for Zephyr Lounge (Leamington), The Phoenix (Coventry), The Kasbah, and pretty much all of the venues in Birmingham. It’s a close-knit scene and we love it!

What are your plans for 2018, and what do you hope to have achieved by the end of the year?

We would love to have another big tour in place and hopefully some more new music! Keep your eyes peeled…

Connect with TrueHeights via their Website, Facebook and Twitter.

The Anchor – Interview

Saturday 3rd March 2018

Formed in the Spring of 2014, Denver quintet The Anchor have earned their reputation with a series of explosive releases. The band stakes their reputation with an emotive, impactful and ambitious sound, balancing thunderous breakdowns with majestic melodies and a heartfelt delivery riveting metalcore sound and high-octane live shows.  In addition to the band’s debut LP, “The World Ahead” debuting at #7 on the iTunes Metal Chart, the female-fronted outfit have also made a name for themselves since the viral explosion of their YouTube series, Metal Kitchen, which sees Linzey Rae cook with some of the genre’s leading names.  This week has seen the release of their current EP “Make It Last” so I caught up with the band to discover how they formed, what they hope from their latest release, and what we can expect next.

Hello! Please could you tell me some more about the history of the band; where and how did you meet, have you been in bands previously, and what made you decide to form The Anchor?

We all met in an old band, called Of Ashes. Cory and Ryan started the band playing in Ryan’s apartment back in 2012 and I joined them on bass in early 2013. We played a few shows but it sort of tapered off. After really thinking about what we wanted out of music and a band, we started over and formed The Anchor. Later down the road we found Keenan and met Adam, who was a studio drummer at the time. We’re basically the oddest pack of weirdos out there and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Your new EP “Make It Last” is due for release on the 23rd February.  How are you feeling about getting new music out there?

We’re honestly really excited to hear about what people’s new favorite songs are. On our last album, fans would tell us about their favorite songs and why it was their favorite. They would share with us these amazing stories and we were able to connect with them on a very personal level. We can’t wait to hear new stories and connect with old and new fans alike!

Your previous release debuted at #7 on the iTunes Metal Chart, but how does your latest material compare, and are you hoping for bigger things?

An album is like a snapshot about how we felt at that point in time and trying to compare it to what we wrote a year ago is kind of irrelevant and unimportant. Of course we hope this upcoming album will do great, but whether or not it sells better or worse than the last album doesn’t matter. We are proud of what we created together and we love preforming it. That’s all that matters.

What can we expect from “Make It Last”, and how did you find the process of putting it together?

The upcoming EP, Make It Last, is a tribute to all the amazing people we have met throughout our lives and through our musical endeavor. Each song is a testament to how relationships, for better or for worse, play a role shaping who we are. Every relationship and story we have heard has had a huge impact on us and continue to inspire us to be the greatest versions of ourselves possible. We really tried to not allow ourselves to be restricted by norms of our genre. We wanted to try to write something that was out of our comfort zones and push ourselves as musicians.

Can you tell me about your writing process, how you work together to create the final track, and how you know when a song is ready?

Cory generally writes the basic structure of the song and then brings it to the band. From there, we all collaborate together and get the songs about 90% done. The major leg work usually happens in the studio. Our producer, Taylor Hahn, plays a huge part in taking our songs to the next level. I think what has made the writing process so successful is that everyone plays a specific roll. We all have common vision for the band and have a deep understanding of “The Anchor” sound if you will.

Who are your musical influences, and are there any bands in particular that you model yourselves on?

Gin Blossoms, U2, Prince, and most importantly Steely Dan… ;)

Which tracks from your new EP are you looking forward to performing live?

AVOW!!! That song is super high energy and gets a crowd moving. Every time we have played it, things always end up getting a little rowdy.

How are you finding the music scene in Denver, and are there any venues in particular that you enjoy performing at?  I recently interview another band from the area that said there’s a lot of supportive venues and promoters.

We have been so fortunate to be a part of the Denver scene. We have received endless support and love from everyone in it. There is a promoter in particular, Zack Beecroft (Swinging Noose Productions), who genuinely cares about the scene and the bands in it. He always sees to it that bands are paid and well taken care of. The scene here is amazing!

I’m sorry but I have to ask; does “The Ghost Inside Makes Shepherds Pie” ever get performed live?

We learned it a long time ago when the video first came out. We regularly practiced it just in case someone requested, but it turns out that the people who come to our shows really aren’t that interested in hearing it. So we all have kind of forgot how to play it. However, bribe us with enough girl scout cookies and we’ll play just about anything.

What’s the ultimate aim for the band and where do you hope your music will take you?

There isn’t really an end goal. We plan to keep on working hard, writing music and touring. We all have such a passion for what we do and we can’t wait to see where it takes us.

Connect with The Anchor via their Website, Facebook and Twitter.

Elesa Marmo – Interview

Sunday 25th February 2018

Elesa Marmo is a singer/songwriter from Long Island, New York.  She’s been writing music since she could remember. After many years of wanting to pursue music, as well as releasing music as part of the indie duo The Wilts, Elesa most recently released her debut EP, titled “Clear Blue,” which has been produced by Greg Almeida (of alt rock band VISTA). Growing up listening to a large variety of mainstream pop artists, her original music is heavily influenced with electronic sounds and soft acoustic feels and blends those sounds perfectly.  I catch a moment with Elesa to find out how it’s all going since the release of her first solo EP.

Hello! Please could you tell me about yourself, how it all started and at what point you decided to make a career out of music?

Hello! I’m Elesa. I’m a singer/songwriter from Long Island. I’m 23 years old. I’ve always wanted to be a musician, I remember watching all my favorite pop stars when I was little perform and all I wanted was to be on stage just like them. Once I taught myself guitar and could put music to my lyrics is when it really set in that this is what I want to do. 

You have recently been part of the successful indie duo The Wilts. What was the decision behind moving away from this and pursuing a solo career?

I think we both just really wanted to make our own stuff. We made one EP together but unfortunately didn’t get to play live shows together. He’s great though, he’s got music out as his solo project called Lated and he’s in a band called Shorebreak as well and he’s so talented so definitely check him out! We will I’m sure do some shows eventually but we just wanted to kind of explore our own styles and find ourselves musically.

Your first EP “Clear Blue” was released in January. How are you finding the response to your music so far?

Everything I’ve seen has been so lovely. The responses have been so positive so far so I’m over the moon!

How did you find the process of putting your EP together, and did you face any hurdles that you had to overcome?

Everything was just so exciting and new to me having full creative control and just really finding my sound. I don’t think there were really any hurdles, I guess maybe some writers block at some points but it really just all flowed out.

What about the final track listing, were there tracks any that didn’t make the cut?

I always knew I wanted a four track EP so I really focused on making four really solid songs, I was proud of but of course as a writer I have my book of songs from when I was a kid to now of lyrics.

How did the opportunity come about to work with Greg Almeida, and how was the experience for you?

We went to college together and he did The Wilts EP and we always said during that process that we wanted to work together. The experience working with him was incredible he really knows so much about the production side and he would help me so much with writing as well and just made the songs sound exactly how I wanted and would hear things I didn’t even think of to add to them.

Could you tell me about your writing process, and how you know when a song is ready? Being a solo artist do you have anyone to bounce ideas from?

It’s different every single time. Usually it’s lyrics first for me but it can be music first. Greg really was the person I went to with lyrics and ideas and we would take it from there.

Who are your biggest musical influences, and how have they encouraged and helped you to develop your sound?

Stevie Nicks has always been an idol of mine. I love Lorde as well and her style and Carly Rae Jepsen, me and Greg listened to her while making this and we love her so much. I love Miley Cyrus too I’ve always been a big fan of hers.

What’s the music scene like in Long Island, and are there any venues in particular that you enjoy performing at?

It’s small but it’s nice. I think being near such a big city it’s great too. I haven’t performed live yet since it’s the first EP but there’s some venues of course I wanna try out!

What are your plans for the year ahead, and what live dates do you currently have lined up?

I’m currently working on getting the production ready for some live shows so that’s my focus right now. I’ll hopefully make some new music and just see where this takes me!

Connect with Elisa Marmo via her Website, Facebook and Twitter.