ALTHOUGH he is battling through a cold right now…
K Anderson was keen to talk to me about his latest single, Cluttered. He discusses the complexities of love and why casual ‘dating’ is something he is not on-board with. I ask the Australian-raised, London-based songwriter about his plans for future music; which albums/artists have made the biggest impression on his heart – if there is a new artist we should all go looking for.
Anderson reveals why Cluttered departs, in terms of sound, from Bitter Wind and 14 Year Old Me; how the end of this year will be spent; what advice he would give to new songwriters – and why Cluttered was quite tough to pull together.
Hi, K. How are you? How has your week been?
I’ve come down with the same cold the rest of London seems to be afflicted with!
For those new to your work; can you introduce yourself, please?
Sure. Although, bear with me, as I’m notoriously bad at this kind of thing! I am a Scotland-born, Australia-raised; London-based, singer-songwriter - and I lean on the side of oversharing and melodrama…
What can you tell us about the new single, Cluttered? What is the story behind it?
I’m never very good at casual dating…
I don’t understand how people can be fuc*-buddies and not develop complicated and weird feelings for each other. Cluttered is a song about this: about being certain that you don’t want to be with someone at the same time as obsessively checking their Instagram feed - and wondering how your two surnames would sound together if you decided to go double-barrelled (not that I’ve ever done that, obviously).
You have described the song as falling between Michael Stipe and Toni Basil. That sounds like quite a brew! How did you arrive at the song’s sound and dynamic?
This one took a while to come together and there are actually a few different versions I tried before starting on this path. I knew that I wanted it to be brash and a little frantic and, for me, the bass is so important in this song. Getting that sound right really helped it come together.
The song looks at messy relationships and a brief fling turning into something more substantial. How much of the song’s core stems from your own experiences of love?
I used to fall into relationships all the time. I mean, not all the time, but I was always so shocked if someone fancied me that I didn’t want to risk losing my chance! I think, as the years have gone on, I’ve made a concerted effort to cultivate this cynical old-man vibe - which makes me far warier (and also means fewer songs about the first stages of lust!).
Cluttered is a departure from Bitter Wind and 14 Year Old Me. Was that a conscious decision – tackling new ground?
No. It never is…
I don’t want to sound cliché, but I love so many different types of music - and don’t like to limit myself to how I think other people think I should sound. For me, it’s most important to serve the song and this is the sound that Cluttered wanted to take - so, I just followed it along that path.
Can we expect any new material in 2018?
In a word: yes.
I’m working on something at the moment that I think is very exciting - but I want to keep it a secret a little bit longer, so…you’ll have to make do with a simple ‘yes’ for now.
Which artists did you grow up listening? What kind of sounds were you experiencing when young?
My family aren’t musical, so I mostly listened to whatever was on the radio growing up (which was a lot of Easy Listening!).
When I started to listen to music ‘seriously’ (I kind of hate this term, because I always took music seriously - even when it was supposedly throw-away Pop), I was really taken by strong female singer-songwriters (and it’s only been, very recently, that I’ve enjoyed listening to men) - think Ani DiFranco, Jill Sobule and Joni Mitchell.
I am interesting finding out how songs come to you. Do you have an idea of a track or do they arrive in a flash? How long would a track lie Cluttered take to get right and fully-formed?
There’s no one way…
Sometimes, a song is very quick to form and other times…not so much…
The general thing tends to be lots of re-writing; lots of time away to view it with fresh eyes - and additions of bridges and pre-choruses six-months after I thought the thing was finished!
You have had a busy career already and must be thinking ahead. Do you have any dreams/ambitions you hope to fulfil in 2018?
You’re trying to get this secret out of me, aren’t you?
IN THIS PHOTO: Hanne Hukkelberg
Which new artists do you recommend we check out?
Not a new artist - but I’m really enjoying the new Hanne Hukkelberg album at the moment.
Are there any tour dates coming up? Where can we see you play?
Yes! I’m doing a short acoustic set at The Reverse’s single-launch party on 25 November in London town.
If you had to select the three albums that mean the most to you; which would they be and why?
Oh, hell! That’s a tough one and depends entirely on the day you ask me….how about:
Living in Clip - Ani DiFranco
People told me about how amazing Ani was for ages - but I could never properly get into her music. Then I heard this record, which is a live album, and it all suddenly made sense. Her ease and charm come through on this record so clearly.
Blue - Joni Mitchell
I know that people criticise this one as being too Pop and straightforward, but I don’t care. Give me this every day!
Spice – The Spice Girls
So many memories and weird feelings wrapped up in this one!
What advice would you give to artists coming through right now?
Hustle. Create and share often.
Christmas is not too far away. Do you have plans already - or will you be busy working?
No plans yet. I tend to ignore Christmas until I have no other choice – so, I figure I’ve still got a good month before I need to panic!
Finally, and for being a good sport; you can name a song and I’ll play it here (not one of yours as I’ll do that).
Since I’ve already mentioned her:
Hanne Hukkelberg (ft. Emilie Nicolas) - Embroidery
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