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Photography: Richard Haywood

If you had to describe your music in a sentence, what would you say?
Soft as shit: memoirs of a wet flannel.

How did you get into music?
I guess I’ve always messed around with instruments since I’ve had access to them. I started recording with my mate on his laptop when I was about 17 and that made me think a bit more about what I was doing. Around the same time, I was in a band with three mates from school so I learnt a lot from writing with them. When I went to uni I taught myself to record, which allowed me to write independently.

Can you pinpoint a live gig or a piece of music that initially inspired you?
I remember seeing a lass (can’t remember her name – standard) covering A Case Of You by Joni Mitchell when I was just starting to play. I went home and learnt it and I guess that inspired my guitar playing a lot. From there I got into a lot of Nick Drake, Bob Dylan and other artists with a similar style.

"It’s really cathartic to write. It puts things in perspective" Sophie Thompson

Do you have a favourite song or piece of music to perform? What does it say about you?
I think Never Sleeping is my favourite to perform. It’s the only song that I’ve thought about lyrically first. It’s also quite recent, so I remember where I was when I wrote it and that it came from a good place.

How does where you are from affect your writing, if at all?
I’m from Carlisle originally. Live music when I was growing up was alright, actually, but you had to know what was going on. My favourite band from home has always been The Lucid Dream, so they got me onto The Black Angels, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Spiritualized and all that. Clearly that doesn’t influence my solo stuff, but it definitely does Pale Rider [who Sophie drums with]. I’ve occasionally considered covering some psych on my acoustic but surprisingly it’s always sounded like dog shit. Who knew?

How useful do you think music is as an expression of your emotions? Do you ever use it to express things that you’d find it difficult to say otherwise?
Yeh, 100 per cent. It’s really cathartic to write. Also, it’s quite interesting to listen to songs you wrote at a different time. It puts things in perspective.

Why is music important to you?
It makes a lot of sense but it’s not boring.

 

soundcloud.com/smophmusic

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