BECAUSE we are inching closer to Christmas...
it is a good time to speak with Chloe Foy about her cover of In the Bleak Midwinter. I was eager to know why she chose that song to cover and whether she is influenced by carols; which artists and albums are important to her and whether there are some great rising artists to look out for.
Foy tells me what gigs are coming up and whether she has a favourite musical memory; if she gets time to chill away from music and what plans are in place for 2019 – Foy picks a great song to end things with.
Hi, Chloe. How are you? How has your week been?
Hi! I’m okay, thank you. My week has been good - I’m trying to fight the desire to hibernate as it gets darker and damper in Manchester.
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourself, please?
I’m Chloe Foy; a singer-songwriter from Gloucestershire, based in Manchester. I write songs with my guitar and have a weakness for strings and lots of beautiful vocal harmonies.
You have released a cover of In the Bleak Midwinter. Was there a reason behind covering that song?
It’s one of my favourite Christmas songs. I’m not religious but there’s a certain nostalgia that comes with Christmas carols and some of them carry beautiful tunes. It’s a setting of a Christina Rossetti poem - and some of the imagery used is very beautiful.
I am surprised more artists are not inspired by Christmas carols when writing their music – in terms of tone and sound. Do you find songs like that inspire you?
Yes. I have a classical background and often sang in choirs as a kid and I think I can’t help but be influenced in my writing by the melodic and harmonic inflections contained within choral music. I think it’s probably why I’m such a sucker for vocal harmonies.
Might we see material next year? What are you working on?
I’m currently working on lots of new material to be released next year and I’m excited to get in the studio and record it. Watch this space…
Can you give me an idea of the artists, older and new, who inspire you and compel your own sound?
This has been said a lot but I love both Laura Marling and Sharon Van Etten and think my sound lies somewhere between the two. I’m constantly inspired by female artists who are out there writing beautiful music and making a living from it, for example Jesca Hoop; Maggie Rogers, This Is the Kit. I grew up listening to The Beatles, Dylan and Neil Young so there’s definitely some influence there too. Mainly I just listen out for a good melody.
Do you already have plans for 2019?
Yep. The aforementioned release of new music, plus touring the U.K. and hopefully some gigs further afield.
Have you got a favourite memory from your time in music so far – the one that sticks in the mind?
I’ve had a great year this year what with going to SXSW and supporting Jesca Hoop, so it’s hard to pick. But, recently, on a little tour of the U.K., I took a full band to London to play Paper Dress Vintage in Hackney and I think it’s one of the best shows I’ve ever played. Everything just came together and the crowd had a really good vibe too. There was something quite magical about it.
Which three albums mean the most to you would you say (and why)?
Revolver by The Beatles. Because it was played so much when I was small. It evokes a lot of happy memories.
Laura Marling’s Once I Was an Eagle. Because it taught me what an album could really be.
Fleetwood Mac - Rumours…just because.
As Christmas is coming up; if you had to ask for one present what would it be?
No Brexit please.
If you could support any musician alive today, and choose your own rider, what would that entail?
I’d support Paul McCartney…because how else am I going to meet him? And being used to a few beers on a rider, it’s hard to imagine what I could ask for…three-course meal? Champagne? Guitar tech? Full orchestra? That’s a good start.
Do you have tour dates coming up? Where can we catch you play?
I have a show in Manchester on 9th December at the Kings Arms in Salford and another in Sheffield on 21st December. They’re my last for the year but I’ll be back on the road in the spring.
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
The usual. Don’t give up, don’t forget what’s at the heart of what you’re doing and don’t compare yourself to others.
IN THIS PHOTO: Caoilfhionn Rose
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
Usually, I unwind by playing guitar and writing a song - it is my therapy. But, I also like a bit of yoga now and again and long walks. And, to contrast with this wholesome picture, I also enjoy terrible T.V. - like, really terrible.
Finally, and for being a good sport; you can choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
Raven’s Song by Aaron Embry
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