I have been talking with Tally Spear...
about her new song, City Girl, and finding out more about it. She reveals when music arrived in her life and which albums are important to her; which modern artists she is inspired by and how her new work compares to her earlier stuff.
I ask Spear why she took a break from music last year and what comes next; if there is a rising artist we should look out for and how she spends time away from music – she selects a great song to end things with.
Hi, Tally. How are you? How has your week been?
Kind of you to ask. It’s been super-busy but exciting! I can’t wait to release my new track this week.
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourself, please?
So. I started out as a lover of Americana and Folk music when I was around eighteen. I was pretty determined to be a Folk singer myself but last year something changed quite significantly for me. It was like the click of a switch. I suddenly started writing music with a new vision and sound in mind and it finally felt like me. I got to work in British Grove Studios with an incredible producer I was introduced to and it all started falling into place. Now I would say I’m an Alt-Pop artist, writing music about life as a twenty-three-year-old Londoner…
What can you reveal about your new single, City Girl? How did it come to mind?
This song is kind of like a patchwork…
It has a few different themes woven together. It is inspired by the fact that you can be living in one of the busiest cities in the world, like I do, yet you can feel totally detached from the people around you; modern-day loneliness is an issue that I think hasn’t been spoken about much. It’s about sitting back and observing the world as it goes by, almost from bird’s eye view…but it’s dressed up as a love song about someone who can’t commit. Intrigued? (Winks).
How do you think your latest single differs from your earliest work?
This single just feels like me. I’m not saying my earlier music wasn’t me; at the time it was but this song marks the transition that I feel was inevitable in my journey as an artist and writer.
Last year, there was a period when you needed to take a step back and focus on self-discovery. How important was that decision and do you think it has revitalised your music?
This decision was just an essential next step for me - it didn’t feel like a decision, it just was the way forward. New sound, new image - I think I was just growing up and the music was growing with me. Sometimes, you just need to take some time out, to be creative and consider what you actually want…and there really is no shame in starting again.
When you were growing up, which artists/records did you hold dear?
Hannah Montana? Kidding. (Not kidding). Nah, I’m pretty lucky. My dad has been working in the music biz since he was a teenager and he’s kept all of his records growing up. We now have an entire room in the house dedicated to housing these records. So, I was fed some good stuff. I absolutely adore Carole King’s Tapestry and a load of Bob Dylan albums have a forever place in my heart!
In terms of modern artists, are there any that you take guidance from?
I take inspiration from lot of different artists. It’s like when I listen to new music, new artists; it fuels my own writing. It’s such an inspiration to listen to others. At the moment, I’m really intrigued by Billie Eilish and I’m also into Sigrid and Alice Merton.
Do you have a standout memory from your time in music so far?
Stepping into British Grove Studios for the first time to begin recording City Girl. I just felt like there was no other place I was meant to be in the world at that moment but there. I’m really grateful for that time.
Which three albums mean the most to you would you say (and why)?
Tapestry by Carole King
I think every song on this album is pretty flawless and I think it’s very unusual to be able to say that.
By the Way by the Red Hot Chili Peppers
This takes me back to being a young teen at college. I rinsed this album.
Bringing It All Back Home by Bob Dylan
It contains some of the songs that I listened to all night long at university when I couldn’t sleep!
If you could support any musician alive today, and choose your own rider, what would that entail?
Oh, my gosh. Joan Jett?! That’d be an absolutely historic night. Massive band behind me, lots of flashing lights. And definitely singing I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll alongside her. My fingers are crossed.
What does the rest of this year hold for you?
In the music industry, I feel like everything is a surprise for you and for me. But I am planning on releasing more of the new music than I’ve been recording! Hoping to release a single every three months.
Are you planning any gigs in the coming months?
I’ll be playing with Sofar Sounds on my single launch day, then at Track Record London on 20th April! I’ll be sharing ticket info online for the second gig.
How important is performing? Do you prefer it to life in the studio?
It’s a totally different experience to studio life! At the moment, I’m in the process of transforming my live set into more of a full, band experience rather than always solo. But, being in the studio is a magical creative experience as you watch a song come to life.
IN THIS PHOTO: Caitlyn Scarlett
Are there any new artists you recommend we check out?
Caitlyn Scarlett! She’s awesome.
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
I’m a bit obsessed with being busy I think. I like to feel like I’m always being proactive, so switching off is difficult. But, when I go out with my friends for dinners and walks or spend time with family I definitely feel chilled. A candlelit bath (with some chocolate) is always a good shout too.
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).
Let’s go with Caitlyn Scarlett - Ornaments. She’s the artist I mentioned earlier. I love her voice! Enjoy!
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