Liam Singer - Arc Iris Interview

I had the pleasure of speaking again with Liam Singer the other week on the phone from New York, whose new album Arc Iris is out on Hidden Shoal. It's such a fine piece of work, everyone should check it out, spinning a delicate and poignant brand of chamber pop. I reviewed the album here - there are also some tracks from the album on that link.

Over the course of the interview, it was interesting to hear Liam talk about the "tone colours" he had in mind for the album. In fact, if I'm not mistaken this certain atmospheric quality was his starting point and main aim for the record.

I asked him about the fact that many of the songs on the album seem to relate to incidents from early life or childhood. He agreed and made a fascinating point about the age at which people begin to write music, in his case around 10 years old. That is, that their songwriting often remains fixed at that age, occupied with themes, concerns relevant to that age, no matter at what age the writer is writing. It's something I'd never thought of before and is the kind of idea that could be a prism with which to revisit all my favourite music.

Liam has cited The Flaming Lips' The Soft Bulletin and Pet Sounds by The Beach Boys as two main influences on his thinking for Arc Iris. He expanded on that in the interview with reference to the psychedelic arrangements of those albums, in particular the "warped orchestral feel" of The Soft Bulletin which gives a strange sheen and sense of narrative through the album. It's a comment that's equally valid in relation to his own work with its rich variety of instrumentation taking in cello, choral work, woodwind, glockenspiel, as well as the piano at the core.

Interview with Liam Singer, whose new album Arc Iris is out now in Hidden Shoal. by Theundergroundofhappiness on Mixcloud

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