18 Aug 2022
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Emily Fairlight - Emily Fairlight Newsletter Interview

23 Aug 2018 // An interview by Shade

Wellington based musician Emily Fairlight has just released her latest work Mother of Gloom - and muzic.net.nz's Amanda was lucky enough to head along to her Auckland album release show on 18 August. Amanda had a quick chat with Emily a few days afterwards and asked her a few questions.

You’ve just released your stunning album Mother of Gloom – a lot of the songs in the album carry a melancholic tone – you described your songs the other night as being full of misery, how does it feel to put your personal self out there in the public?

It feels important to be honest as an artist, and I think it's relatable for a listener. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by the subject matter as I'm performing the songs, but it's more brief than when I'm writing them... and that feels powerful rather than crippling.

How long have you known you wanted to be a musician? What was that first moment that just made you realise?

I always sang from when I was really young. But I think the moment I knew it was something I couldn't not do was after the first Texas tour. I was always writing, and don't think I'll ever stop that.. but playing and travelling everyday was a whole new experience, and I loved the comradery I found along the way.

Who are some of your biggest influences?

Neutral Milk Hotel for sure, bit of Leonard Cohen, just anything and everything really. I never write a song feeling a bit Lucinda or anything, but they are writers who made me feel like I could have my own odd voice.

What comes first – the lyrics, or the music?

Always different! I have no real formulaic creative process.. I guess you could say coffee always comes first though.

What’s a memory from your favourite show you’ve played so far?

Probably from my Wellington album release show at San Fran. I organised a 10-piece band for that and felt like we could have just kept playing forever! Looking around the stage, being surrounded by a bunch of incredibly talented guys and gals who I love, that was cool.

And an embarrassing/strange tour memory you’d rather forget?

Life is too short to feel embarrassment! That, or I just don't remember haha.. strange I guess, was playing in a homeware store just out of Austin TX, saying into the mic, mid song "what the fuck am I doing here" and no one even noticing... guess that had its own level of embarrassment too.

If you could take any two other NZ musicians/bands on tour (dead or alive) who would they be?

I guess this answer is always changing... and I'd go with people I know because I'm lucky enough to know some really good musicians! At this stage, on this day, I'd go with Finn Johannson (WGTN) and The Shifting Sands (DUD).

And do you have any favourite NZ venues that would be at the top of the list to play on that tour?

San Fran (WGTN), Lyttelton Records or Blue Smoke (CHCH), The Captain Cook (DUD).. and we had fun at Auckland's newest venue Anthology Lounge last weekend.

What rumour do you wish you could start about your music?

There are probably enough rumours already about the subjects in the album without me needing to start any up!

You mentioned that you hold a day time job, how do you balance music, working, and having a life?

Easy, I have no life. Well, that's not entirely true.. but my version of having a life is very tied in with playing shows, practices, building bands in different cities. Yeah so I guess that's my life, and I'm into it. Wouldn't mind kicking the full-time job though... might get a bit more sleep.

If you weren’t making music – what career path do you think you would have taken?

I dunno ha.. I like making videos, but probably wouldn't have gotten into that if I wasn't playing music.

What are your plans for the rest of this year?

I'm doing a wee tour with an exciting artist Sept/Oct.. but that cat is still in the bag so watch this space. Then Americana Fest AK October 13th. Then I'm going to move to Dunedin end of October to make and record some music, make another couple of videos, set my sights for US/EU/UK 2019.

Where would you like to see yourself in five years' time?

Writing the songs I wanna be writing, recording them and touring.

If you could collaborate with one musician (dead or alive) on a song – who would it be?

I'd probably say Jeff Mangum from NMH.. reckon we'd do something worth listening to.

Would you rather only be able to sing one sentence repeated for the rest of your life? Or only be able to sing backwards? (if one sentence – do you know what you’d want that sentence to be?)

This is a strange question. noitseuq egnarts a si sihT.

And lastly, convince us all to listen to your album using only three words?

Melancholic, hopeful, cathartic.

 

About Emily Fairlight

Hailing from the mighty port town of Lyttelton, Emily Fairlight brings use mesmerizing folk music. Using story telling lyrics she invites you into her world and provides insights into religion, love, politics and relationships. Often playing solo with her rhythmic and hypnotizing guitar style, she will transport you and bring you back a better person.




Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Emily Fairlight

Releases

Mother of Gloom
Year: 2018
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape
Emily Fairlight
Year: 2011
Type: Album

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