Pop

Sally Caitlin – Interview

Tuesday 19th September 2017

Rising electronic pop star Sally Caitlin hails from Manchester and has just released her single “Déjà Vu” from her second EP “Experiments.” The EP was written through personal experiences of a relationship breakdown; something which comes natural to many songwriters and is easily relatable to their listeners.  Sally has been writing music since she was 15 years old and knew following her graduation that she wanted to pursue music as a career.  She already has her first self-produced track lined up for 2018, as well as her next album release in the pipe line. “Experiments” is available now so I catch up with Sally to hear about the reactions so far.

For those who are just discovering you please could you tell me a bit more about yourself, where it all started, and what made you decide to pursue music as a career?

I’m a singer-songwriter from Manchester who makes electronic pop music with a bit of an edge. I’ve been writing songs since I was about 15 years old and recording for about four years now. I released my first single, Stuck In Limbo, in 2012 and have recently released my second EP, Experiments. I’ve always loved singing and song-writing but it wasn’t until my graduation from university that I knew I wanted to pursue it as a career, as I couldn’t picture myself doing anything else!

How are you finding the response to your music so far?

So far the response to my music has been great in general! I’ve been supported by a lot of blogs and local radio stations and I get many lovely comments on social media when I share material online. I love speaking to fans after my gigs too! I’m still learning and finding myself as a musician, so even the negative comments can be really useful from a constructive point of view. I’m lucky that most of the time I hear from people who love my music though!

You mentioned that your single “Déjà Vu” was born out of frustrations of being naïve and being played for a fool.  How does it feel listening back knowing the song represents a certain period in your life?

It’s quite a satisfying feeling to listen to a song and know that you used your pain to create something positive. For me, listening to my tracks reminds me of where I was in the past, so there is a nostalgia there, but also of how much I’ve grown. There is no better feeling than listening to a song about someone breaking your heart and knowing that you don’t care anymore!

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

I worked with an amazing production company in Manchester, called Cosmic Joke. They were so fun to work with and had tonnes of really playful and creative ideas, so the whole process was a ball. Seeing the finished video for me is always nerve-wracking as I’m not a natural on camera, but I’m very happy with the final result.

Are you able to tell me more about your EP “Experiments?” What inspirations have you drawn upon, and how have they encouraged you?

With Experiments, I used people and experiences from my own life to influence my writing. I wanted to tell a story through the EP about a character meeting someone, getting into a relationship and then that relationship breaking down due to it being toxic from the start. Each song draws from situations I have found myself in, but not all from one relationship. It’s almost like a collage of my mistakes! In terms of production, I wanted to make a pop EP that had touches of other genres in it and a good amount of variation. In particular, I was influenced by commercial drum ‘n’ bass, tropical house and electronic artists like Chainsmokers and Cheat Codes.

How easy was it to select the final tracks for your EP, and were there any tracks that didn’t make the cut?

It was actually pretty easy to select the tracks as I knew how I wanted to tell a story. I wrote Take It All and You Are My Weakness first and then worked backwards through the narrative. There was only a couple of songs I wrote in that period that I decided wouldn’t fit on the EP, just as they didn’t have the right lyrical content.

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

I tend to come up with song ideas at really random times, so I record a quick idea on my phone and then work it out fully at the piano later. After that I look at a few reference tracks for production style and start putting down ideas on my iPad. At the moment I work with ‘The Producers’ in Mansfield to finish my tracks but I’m currently studying production, so in the future I would like to do it all myself. As I have been writing for a long time now, I tend to know when a song is ready. My confidence in song-writing has grown enough over the years that I trust my own vision and judgement.

Being in the early stages of your music career, how are you finding the whole process, and have you been given any lasting advice?

It’s definitely not an easy industry to be in as everyone ‘makes it’ in different ways and there is no clear path to follow. The best advice I have been given is not to race ahead and try and do everything at once. I’m trying to pace myself these days and not put too much pressure on myself, as I do burn the candle at both ends sometimes. The key for me is staying organised and knowing what your immediate goals are, and ignoring the big picture most of the time.

What have you got planned next, and where do you hope your music will take you?

I have a collaboration that should be out before the end of this year, which is very exciting, along with my first self-produced track in early 2018. After that I will be promoting my album, Chemistry, which follows on from the Experiments EP. I have gigs booked in Manchester and London in the coming months, so I’m looking forward to performing live as much as possible. I’m hoping music will take me all around the world and that I can share my stories with as many people as possible. I can’t think of anything better than a crowd of people singing my lyrics back to me!

Finally, what do you get up to outside of music, are there any particular hobbies that you enjoy?

I’ve always loved sport, so I try and keep active as much as possible. Mostly I play tennis and golf, which I know is a little unusual! I also love to read when I get time, as I find it helps me wind down!

Connect with Sally Caitlin via her Website, Facebook and Twitter.

Rosedale – Again

Thursday 14th September 2017

Track Listing:

1. What We Started
2. Snapped In Two
3. This Dissonance
4. Space Mountain
5. Do It All Again

Rosedale started out back in 2004, when Mike Liorti was determined to chase his dream of being in a band; so he convinced his friends to get instruments so they could play together.  The name of the band was born from Rosedale Avenue, the street the band would walk down to the music store to practice the songs they had written on equipment they couldn’t quite afford.  Over the years, Rosedale went through 7 line-up changes, with band members deciding to move on; but Mike Liorti has continued the project as a solo career.  Mike is quite simply a self-confessed workaholic, but an extremely admirable one who continues to chase his dream, because it’s something he still believes in so strongly.

As a band they released 2 EPs together, with Mike continuing to release Rosedale’s debut album in 2012 by himself.  He then set out on a huge tour, starting with the aspirational Vans Warped Tour, before carrying on playing many states across the US and Canada.  Music and travelling are what Mike enjoys most, with him providing the ultimate DIY message “Commit, sacrifice, create, and above all… sustain. You really can do anything if you truly love it and nobody can represent you better than yourself. That really speaks to me.”

So you might be wondering how one person can now do the work of a full pop-rock band.  Well, Mike explains in the promotional video below how he performs whilst playing guitar and keys at the same time, but projects a video of him recording himself playing all the other instruments.  If that wasn’t intricate enough, he also programmes all the lights to be in sync with the show.  If you’re already sold on seeing Rosedale live before I’ve even got in to the review, then check out the promo video below which also talks about Mike’s upcoming North American tour.  I do enjoy writing about artists from the other side of the pond, there really are some great finds out there, but it’s even harder when you can’t get to a show!

Having drive and ambition is a good start to a successful career, but how does the music compare?  Well,  listening to “Again” and being instantly reminded of the likes of New Found GloryJimmy Eat World, and Angels & Airwaves, this release already sits nicely within my collection.  There’s certainly a gap in the market for a new act to push through, especially since the likes of pop-rock veterans New Found Glory are heading out on their 20th anniversary tour, and also Yellowcard recently decided to call it a day.

“What We Started” is a passionate opening track and I can’t help thinking that it plays homage to the band, since Mike explained in the video that the title of the EP comes from needing to continue to do things in life to succeed, and repetition is key to sustain.  That’s exactly what Mike is doing here, carrying on with the vision he had all those years ago.  “Snapped In Two” has a vigorous opening and is a melodic track, which provides heavier hooks and relatable lyrics.  The production of the EP as a whole is great, but this tracks stands out even more; with an intro that pounces straight in with beating drums that continue throughout, and the progressiveness of the guitar leading us along.  “This Dissonance” is the closest you’ll get to a slowed down pop-punk ballad, and provides Mike the opportunity to showcase his vocal talents.  In fact, the start of this track reminds me of Owl City as it has a beautiful violin to start followed by a light touch of the guitar, reminiscent of the soft sounds heard in “Fireflies.”

Carrying on, I’m not entirely sure whether the next track “Space Mountain” has anything to do with the rollercoaster, but it has taken me a few listens to get my head around it.  It’s a whirlwind of a song and I found it hard to keep up with the complicated lyrics working alongside the hectic track.  However, finishing off the EP is the very enjoyable “Do It All Again” which is an acoustic track thats starts off and continues with just Mike and his ukulele.  A very pleasing way to finish off an EP which continues to showcase Rosedale and what one man and his vision can accomplish.

Connect with Rosedale via Website, Facebook and Twitter.