Kieran Callanan’s debut EP as BYE LOUIS has been long in the making, utilising field recordings to create a deeply organic sense of space within the record’s pastoral hues.
Why is music important to you?
Probably for similar reasons to a lot of people. At its best, music can help you feel a connection with the world around you – people, animals, the earth itself. It comes from somewhere I don’t really understand, and does special things.
If you had to describe your style in a sentence, what would you say?
Soft and gentle songs for reflection and growth.
How did you get into music?
I used to mimic how my grandad played the piano from when I was old enough to sit up on his piano stool. I then learned how to record onto a tape on an old ghetto blaster stereo thing at about seven. I’ve always loved the idea of songwriting. I always seem to have melodies or rhythms repeating in my head, and have done since I was really young.
Can you pinpoint a live gig or a piece of music that initially inspired you?
It would be weird to pinpoint just one, but hearing Feels by Animal Collective for the first time was an incredibly important moment for me, as was seeing Battles live in about 2006.
More recently, experiencing a proper sound system has been a hugely transformative experience – I’ve helped put on a couple of nights that have used the likes of RC1 and Sinai Sound System and it’s mind-blowing what these things can do to your body and soul.
Do you have a favourite song or piece of music to perform? What does it say about you?
I really enjoy playing a song called Give Me Your Dream. It’s slow, relaxed and tells a story about growing up. It probably says a lot about my disposition that it’s my favourite to perform.
What do you think is the overriding influence on your songwriting?
At the moment, I find myself drawn to ideas relating to the uniqueness of every relationship we have. How we define the relationships we have with one another, what’s unspoken or implied, and what space we might need for different relationships to move and grow in the ways that they probably should.
I also really get inspired by being around animals. I think animals put me in a certain state of mind. I’ve not properly analysed myself on this yet but it’s probably something to do with a desire to find a connection in a less obvious way than through verbal communication, or something.
Do you have a favourite venue you’ve performed in? If so, what makes it special?
Last year I played within the grounds of Birkenhead Priory. That was pretty special. The history of the place runs all the way back to the 12th century, and the setting as things stand now with it being in the shadow of Cammell Laird – and all of the cranes and ships that come with that – makes it a very unique place to be. Family and friends were there and the sun was out – it was a really beautiful day.
Can you recommend an artist, band or album that Bido Lito! readers might not have heard?
It’s hard to name someone that hasn’t been on your radar already! But if you get the chance to see Foxen Cyn perform live, make sure you go. Orrell Park dark pop. Stuff that Bido Lito! readers should have heard of but should make sure they don’t forget: Charlie McKeon, Dan Disgrace, Seatbelts and Ana Mae.
Bye Louis’ new EP The Same Boy is released on 7th September via Emotion Wave, with a launch show at Kazimier Stockroom.