The Naked Eye
I have enjoyed speaking with The Naked Eye...
about her new E.P., Love’s Grave, and its themes. I ask whether the songwriter has a choice selection from the E.P. and how the music differs from her work with the band, Her Songs – The Naked Eye selects albums important to her.
I ask whether the songwriter gets time to relax away from music and which artists she’d support on the road if she could; if she has a standout memory from her career so far and what it was like working with a range of different artists on her new E.P. – she selects some great tracks to end the interview with.
Hi, The Naked Eye. How are you? How has your week been?
I’m good, thank you! My week has been busy and fabulous.
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourself, please?
I’m a half-French, half-English, singer/songwriter based in London. I’m one-fifth of a female artistic collective called Her Songs. I’ve just released my second solo E.P., Love’s Grave.
Love’s Grave is your E.P. What kind of themes and inspirations were in mind before you started work?
Themes of a break up and heartbreak. Musically, I was inspired by a mixture of music/artists I was listening to: Puma Blue, Bruno Major; D’Angelo, Lianne La Havas, Emily King; Tom Misch, my friends from the Her Songs collective and Sipprell’s E.P. I also have been learning the guitar for two-and-a-half years; all the songs are written on guitar and the E.P. is very guitar-heavy.
Is there a track that stands out for you?
That’s a hard question…
Hmm…depends on my mood. When I’m pissed off, definitely See You Later. When I’m nostalgic, Tell Me. When I’m sad, Drifting Away - and Love’s Grave for the groove!
I understand you worked with different artists and personnel on the E.P. How important were their contributions in terms of giving the music a different angle/new light?
Conor Albert produced the first four tracks on the E.P. And Marie Dahlstrøm produced See You Later. Their contribution was a big part of the project; they are both so talented and individual in their musicality and it gave the songs a new personality. I worked with Marie on a track from her beautiful E.P., Nine, called Before Then. And then we worked together in L.A. for the Her Songs project.
We are very close friends and we have a very special musical connection. I really wanted her to be a part of the E.P. and to continue our story through the song, See You Later. I first met and worked with Conor Albert last year and it was such a magical moment from the beginning. I knew it was the sound for the E.P. and I couldn’t wait to finish the songs with him.
Tell me how you got started in music. Was it something you were always drawn to?
I was drawn to music at a very young age. My first musical memory was sitting in front of my family record player and listening obsessively to my dad’s and sister’s records. I started singing at the age of four and my mum put me in this Saturday performing school that I loved. I was always performing in school plays and concerts. I started songwriting as a teenager but didn’t really start taking it seriously until I went to Arts Ed and then to music college.
You are part of the band, Her Songs. How important is that experience regarding your own music and are there big differences in terms of songwriting and sound?
The beauty of the Her Songs project is that it’s a collaboration of all our artistry and influences. We are all artists who are making music outside of the project. I think you can hear a mix of all our songwriting and styles in the E.P., Los Angeles. If you listen to each artist individually you can hear their personality from the project, which I love! And I think that’s why it’s such a genuine project. I learnt a lot during the experience of creating the E.P. that week. Writing and producing a song a day was incredibly exciting and creatively demanding.
I have always been quite a perfectionist in my work and hadn’t released any new music of my own due to it. The importance of the experience of Her Songs taught me to be more present and embrace the imperfections as you are catching a feeling in the moment.
Do you have a standout memory from your time in music so far?
Her Songs was definitely the highlight of last year. This year so far, it’s probably when I got the masters back of the Love’s Grave E.P. and heard the whole E.P. in its entirety. Felt very proud.
Which three albums mean the most to you would you say (and why)?
That’s a very difficult question as there’s so many.
Lauryn Hill - The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill
I listened to that album on-repeat throughout my childhood and, every time I listen again, I find gems.
Joni Mitchell – Blue
I discovered this album at music college and it genuinely changed the way I write and craft melodies and lyrics. So masterful and colourful. Genius.
D’Angelo – Voodoo
Everything about this album.
If you could support any musician alive today, and choose your own rider, what would that entail?
Hmm…there’s so many again! Nai Palm, Emily King; Alicia Keys, Lianne La Havas; Puma Blue, Bruno Major - and my rider would be green tea (smiles).
What are your plans regarding gigs/touring?
We are organising a show this summer with Her Songs. T.B.C.
Is there any advice you’d give to upcoming artists?
Self-initiation. Try to learn as much as you can on your own and continue to develop and range your skill sets. Collaborate. Remember why you fell in love with music and your instrument. Keep that passion and curiosity brewing. Don’t compare yourself to anyone. Everyone is on their own path, journey and lesson. Learn from the greats; transcribe and listen. Surround yourself with positive, creative and driven individuals who inspire.
IN THIS PHOTO: SIPPRELL
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
Not that much at the moment to be honest! I unwind by either reading before bed, watching a series or film (loving Chef’s Table at the moment on Netflix). I love cooking and WINE over conversations with friends.
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).
Sipprell - From Afar
Puma Blue - Want Me
(Both songs speak to me deeply at the moment).
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