THE superb Malory has been talking with me...
about her new album, Cornucopia, and whether there are a lot of personal stories defining the music; if she has a personal favourite from the record and whether there might be some tour dates coming later in the year.
Malory reveals a few rising artists to watch; what sort of music she grew up around and how important London is as a city regarding inspiration and drive – she picks a pretty good song to end the interview with.
Hi, Malory. How are you? How has your week been?
Great, actually! The album launch was a massive success and I’ve been so excited to hear all the positive response to the record. I’m actually visiting Australia for a bit right now…
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourself, please?
My style is a combo of classic songwriting with alternative, quirky production. I love to create music with tons of vocal layering and strange percussion but, at the core, I hope to write a good song that stands the test of time.
Cornucopia is your new album. What was your reaction when hearing it back for the first time?
A lot of times, when you’re working on a special batch of songs, it’s easy to get lost in the minutia of each track. It’s tricky to hear the thing as a whole and it wasn’t until very close to release that I was really able to take a step back and hear it as one cohesive idea. And, when I did, a lot of little insecurities I had about small details faded away and I just felt very proud of what we accomplished.
Are there personal experiences and particular moments that inspire the songs?
All sorts. A lot is taken from personal relationships; most of the album was inspired by my long-distance relationship with my boyfriend. Also, travelling: I love going to new places and trying to immerse myself in culture as much as possible (I called it my inspiration sponge-time) and then, often, I’ll get back and write quite a few songs in succession.
Do you have a favourite cut from the record that means the most?
As an artist, you always want to believe all of your songs mean as much as another - but then you get on stage to perform and sometimes one just blindsides you with emotion as it comes out. I’d say the album closer, Cornucopia, has always managed to swell up a whole range of feelings when I sing it out loud.
How do you think your new music differs from your earliest work in terms of scope and ambition?
I’d say the scope and ambition has remained the same - they’re just becoming more effectively realised! I was lucky enough to work with Nick Kingsley and Danny George on Cornucopia and we all really clicked in terms of what kind of sonic vision we had for the tracks.
What sort of music did you grow up around as a child?
A lot of Dylan; a lot of Folk music in general. Growing up, I loved Regina Spektor, Fiona Apple - all the greats!
Do you have a standout memory from your time in music so far?
You go through a lot of musically-transformative experiences as you develop as an artist, so it’s hard to say! A couple highlights would be supporting George Ezra - a very cool experience - and also recently getting onto Spotify New Music Friday. I, admittedly, shed a little tear of joy!
You are based in London. How important is the city regarding your music and inspiration?
It’s definitely an amazing city to have grown up in. The amount of venues and cool people to work with is insane. But, it’s also a fast-paced place to be so I think it’s probably helped most with giving me a good work ethic and acknowledging within myself that you can make a career out of music.
Which three albums mean the most to you would you say (and why)?
I’ve always been a sacrilegiously-bad album listener; I’ve definitely gotten better but I hardly listened to albums just mostly singles! However, some of my faves:
Regina Spektor - Begin to Hope
She’s always been a huge inspiration for me and I totally fell in love with this album when I heard it. Definitely had it on-repeat one too many times…
Josie Field - Mercury
My cousin Josie’s first album was incredibly influential for me. She’s an incredible South African songwriter/artist and this album blew my mind as a twelve-year-old girl. Her writing and vocal strength always motivated me to be better.
Ry Cooder - Into the Purple Valley
He’s just the absolute coolest guy. Such an accomplished musician and experimentalist. I’m a sucker for Country, Blues and Americana stuff and this album just makes me really happy, it’s weird and groovy.
If you could support any musician alive today, and choose your own rider, what would that entail?
Oooo, this would be cool…
Probably Rostam. He’s my current biggest inspiration. My rider would honestly not entail that much. Booze/food for my wonderful band and just an unlimited supply of hot water with honey for me. Haha…
Might we see you on tour in 2019?
I’m definitely going to be gigging with prospects of some cool opportunities across the pond - so definitely stay tuned world!
How important is performing? Do you prefer it to life in the studio?
I guess, neither! I prefer the initial writing process to both of those. I definitely love them all but the winner is just the pure transcendent moment of giving birth to a new song.
IN THIS PHOTO: Feng Suave
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
I love illustration so I do that in my spare time (you can find me on Instagram as @lickablesquid). Also, just hanging out with my wonderful group of friends and occasionally playing tennis when I can. Also movies...lots and lots of movies.
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).
shy kids - I Was in New York