Amelia’s Magazine | Yulia Kondranina: Fashion Scout Ones to Watch A/W 2013 Catwalk Review

Yulia Kondranina A/W 2013 by youdesignme
Yulia Kondranina A/W 2013 by youdesignme.

Russian designer and Central Saint Martins graduate Yulia Kondranina was last to show at Ones to Watch, with a small collection of immaculate construction: models stepped out on the catwalk in heavily tasselled dresses, the threads swaying gracefully around legs and arms as they walked. Black threads on black created an elegant gothic feel, whilst white on black was a very on trend nod to the monochrome colour palette which has been omnipresent this season.

Yulia Kondranina A/W 2013 by Laura Hickman
Yulia Kondranina A/W 2013 by Laura Hickman.

ones to watch yulia kondranina AW 2013-photo by amelia gregory
ones to watch yulia kondranina AW 2013-photo by amelia gregory
ones to watch yulia kondranina AW 2013-photo by amelia gregory
Yulia Kondranina A/W 2013 by Laura Hickman
Yulia Kondranina A/W 2013 by Laura Hickman.

My favourites were undoubtably the three colourful dresses with which Yulia Kondranina ended her show, jewel coloured and swinging flatteringly around hips over the top of tube skirts. I was able to check out the dresses up close at the Fashion Scout exhibition, where I discovered that the delicate threads were given substance with clever internal hoops. I’m not sure how easy they would be to wear, but the collection was beautifully conceived.

ones to watch yulia kondranina AW 2013-photo by amelia gregory
ones to watch yulia kondranina AW 2013-photo by amelia gregory
Yulia Kondranina A/W 2013. All photography by Amelia Gregory.

Categories ,A/W 2013, ,Central Saint Martins, ,Fashion Scout, ,Freemasons’ Hall, ,Laura Hickman, ,Ones To Watch, ,review, ,Russian, ,youdesignme

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Amelia’s Magazine | Patrick Li: Fashion Scout Ones to Watch A/W 2013 Catwalk Review

Patrick Li A/W 2013 by Sylwia Szyszka
Patrick Li A/W 2013 by Sylwia Szyszka.

We profiled Patrick Li as one of our favourite Ones to Watch before London Fashion Week, and now it’s time to catch up with his catwalk show.

ones to watch patrick li AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
ones to watch patrick li AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
ones to watch patrick li AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
ones to watch patrick li AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
Patrick Li A/W 2013 by Sylwia Szyszka
Patrick Li A/W 2013 by Sylwia Szyszka.

I had an inkling of what to expect from Ones to Watch stylist Rebekah Roy, who was wearing a collar fashioned out of the glittery material that Patrick Li used through out his gorgeous tailored collection. Models strode out to bassy beats in sleek ponytails and simple heels, some with a covered ankle feature all the better to show off plentiful asymmetric hemlines.

ones to watch patrick li AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
ones to watch patrick li AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
ones to watch patrick li AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
ones to watch patrick li AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
Patrick Li A/W 2013 by youdesignme
Patrick Li A/W 2013 by youdesignme.

A series of predominantly black minidresses were given the layered treatment, with glitter peeking out from beneath sharp diagonal hems, at waists or on the seams that draped across the body. Crushed velvet made an outing in dusky mink and tapered crop trousers were worn with simple white shirts. Box-shouldered coats came in crop, mid and long versions, all eminently wearable. This was a thoroughly modern collection with great sales potential, and I look forward to watching what the talented Patrick Li does next.

ones to watch patrick li AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
ones to watch patrick li AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
ones to watch patrick li AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
ones to watch patrick li AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
Susie Lau of Style Bubble checks out Ones to Watch. All photography by Amelia Gregory.

Categories ,A/W 2013, ,Fashion Scout, ,Freemasons’ Hall, ,Ones To Watch, ,Patrick Li, ,Rebekah Roy, ,review, ,Style Bubble, ,Susie Lau, ,Sylwia Szyszka, ,youdesignme

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Amelia’s Magazine | An Interview with Designer Joseph Turvey – Part 1

Joseph Turvey A/W 2013 by Krister Selin

While everybody else viewed next season’s collections at the A/W 2013 London Collections: Men shows in January, I spent the week on a rather tedious stint of jury service. For days I sat doing nowt, following the shows and presentations on my iPhone through the usual channels. Twitter, Facebook and Instagram went wild for the latest offerings and it was Joseph Turvey‘s incredible dalmatian-themed collection that I most enjoyed viewing at 640 pixels wide.

Joseph Turvey

Back in 2010 I saw Joseph present his BA graduate womenswear collection at Graduate Fashion Week. Inspired by Margaret Rutherford and complete with ethereal masks, it was a sharp, polished collection with elements of menswear tailoring. I interviewed Joe shortly afterwards; a brief, standard post-GFW interview. Joseph then contributed illustrations to Amelia’s Magazine (amongst many other publications). But it was during Ones to Watch A/W 2012, merging his illustrative style with his talent for tailoring and eye for experimental materials, that propelled him on to the menswear scene. Also, Beyoncé once touched his hand during a performance of Halo.

Joseph Turvey A/W 2013 by Dom&Ink

I meet Joe in the hip offices of Coffin on Cake PR – a labyrinth of rooms above Redchurch Street with all sorts of weird and wonderful objects adorning walls. Joe is waiting in the showroom at the end of a long corridor, with other brands overshadowed by his incredible S/S and A/W 2013 collections. On sight of the dalmatian print enveloping his latest designs, I leap towards it to finally see it in the flesh. I’ve met Joe before but I’d forgotten how tall he was. His gentle personality and new-found confidence are instantly infectious. I launch into a series of typical questions, surmounting the urge to chat about Beyoncé – that will have to wait.

Joseph Turvey A/W 2013 by youdesignme

When I ask him how his day has been, he tells me he’s been rushed off his feet and hasn’t stopped – photoshoots, meetings, and walking his beloved cockapoo. This takes us nicely into chatting about his current collection. ‘I’m obsessed with dogs,’ he tells me, ‘I’m surrounded by dog owners and I love the idea of dog owners dressing like their dogs.’ I ask about the A/W 2013 presentation that garnered so much attention. ‘I got obsessed with having dalmatian puppies at the show… they came up from Devon!’ he says. I play devil’s advocate and ponder what PETA might think. ‘They were very well looked after… they were on rotation, and they’re show dogs – one of the girl pups absolutely loved the attention!’.

Each collection has had a central figure as inspiration and it will come as no surprise to learn that this season’s was Cruella de Vil; the result, a slick collection featuring suiting, bombers, sweaters and t-shirts adorned with dalmatian print. The installation at the AW13 showcase was ‘intense’ – two hours of ‘hardcore’ attention and showmanship. He describes it as ‘overwhelming’ and ‘scary’ and remembers the drama, with hushed whispers of PRs introducing attendees and figures like Natalie Massenet checking things out.

Joe launched himself straight onto the MA at London College of Fashion after graduating from the University of Birmingham. It was a tutor there who commented on the masculine feel of his womenswear collections, and so he decided to move in that direction. I ask Joe if he’d like to return to womenswear. ‘You never know what’s going to happen’, he says, coyly, ‘I just want to make the menswear the best it can be.’

Part two to follow tomorrow!

Photography by Matt Bramford except images of A/W 2013 presentation – courtesy of Coffin on Cake PR.

Categories ,A/W’13, ,beyonce, ,Coffin on Cake PR, ,Cruella de Vil, ,Dalmatians, ,Dogs, ,interview, ,Joseph Turvey, ,Krister Selin, ,London Collections Men, ,Matt Bramford, ,menswear, ,Ones To Watch, ,puppies, ,SS13, ,Style, ,youdesignme

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Amelia’s Magazine | Film Review: The Place Beyond the Pines

The Place Beyond the Pines by Krister Selin

Hollywood heartthrobs Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper star alongside Eva Mendes and Ray Liotta in new action thriller The Place Beyond the Pines.

Ryan Gosling by Michael Arnold

I don’t mind admitting I’m a bit out of my depth here: regular film reviews at Amelia’s Magazine tend to be fashion, art or music based, but I was invited along to see a preview of this flick after reviewing the glorious Diana Vreeland documentary, so I thought – oh, why not. What I didn’t bank on was the film’s dramatic plot and radical twists and now I’m a totally stuck. But I’ll give it a go anyway. I am desperate to shout ‘AND THEN THIS HAPPENS’ but I’ll do my best not to as this is one of those films where the surprises make it enjoyable.

Ryan Gosling, Eva Mendes and Bradley Cooper by youdesignme

Gosling plays heartthrob Handsome Luke, not dissimilar to other characters he’s portrayed: he doesn’t say a great deal, instead spending the majority of the film perfecting his vacant stare and sideways smirk; the latter will no doubt have its own Hollywood star before Gosling does. The film opens with him smoking in a grotty dressing room and then we follow him into a carnival tent, where he’s performing a terrifying stunt on a motorbike that involves riding around a huge metal sphere with two other performers. Eva Mendes shows up shortly afterwards as Romina, looking ridiculously hot as always. It’s pretty clear from their short exchange and Gosling’s glad eye that they’ve copped off recently. Cut to a year later and, you guessed it, Romina is with Handsome Luke’s child. Oh, those pesky carnival hunks and their maverick approach to contraception. Why I oughta.

The Places Beyond the Pines by Gemma Cotterell

Unfortunately in Gosling’s absence, Mendes has shacked up with another hunk, but this time a more suitable, stable one. Gosling is determined to win her and his son back, though, and with the help of Ben Mendelsohn‘s character Jack, decides that the best way to do this is to start robbing banks. He enters various establishments in his motorcycle helmet, screaming expletives at workers and ordering them to stuff his rucksack with dollar bills. Each time the process becomes more sinister and it doesn’t take a genius to work out that this isn’t going to end well.

Bradley Cooper by Karina Järv

Bradley Cooper, in stark contrast, plays , a mature and sensible cop with a wife and kid and who seems to have it all together until a run-in with Handsome Luke ends badly and Cooper is hospitalised. Returning to work, he uncovers major corruption at his local cop shop and makes it his mission to overturn it. Cue lots of shouting and fists slamming on tables. Gripping stuff.

Ryan Gosling, Eva Mendes and Bradley Cooper by Natasha David

The film jumps fifteen years into the future from the 1990s to the present day and explores the relationship between father and son, documenting the effect that each of the main character’s lives has had on their children. The pace slows down a little in the absence of daredevil motorcycle riding, punch-ups and gun fights, but the story is worth following.

Eva Mendes by youdesignme

Ryan Gosling is hotter than I’ve ever seen him (and I’ve watched a lot of his movies – often alone) and Bradley Cooper gives it his all as the charming, troubled cop-cum-chief. Eva Mendes dominates whenever she’s on screen, and I have decided that I actually quite fancy her and am less jealous that this film brought Mendes and Gosling together and I think they will have beautiful children. It’s not a short film, though, and with the dramatic twists the film is split into different parts; you’ll leave the cinema thinking you’ve watched three movies. The ending is a tiny bit disappointing with Hollywood predictability, but by that point I don’t think I could have handled any more drama. Police corruption, murder, family ties and carnival contraception are all explored. It’s a dramatic thriller that even the most cynical of movie-goers will like, if only to enjoy the good looks of the three billed stars. I’ll certainly give it another watch.

Bradley Cooper by Michael Arnold

The Place Beyond the Pines is released in cinemas on April 12.

Categories ,Ben Mendelsohn, ,Bradley Cooper, ,Carnival, ,cinema, ,Eva Mendes, ,film, ,Focus Features, ,Gemma Cotterell, ,Handsome Luke, ,illustration, ,Karina Jarv, ,Krister Selin, ,Matt Bramford, ,Michael Arnold, ,motorcycles, ,movie, ,Natasha David, ,Ray Liotta, ,review, ,Romina, ,Ryan Gosling, ,The Place Beyond the Pines, ,youdesignme

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Amelia’s Magazine | An interview with Georgia Ruth and review of debut album Week of Pines

Georgia Ruth by Gemma Cotterell
Georgia Ruth by Gemma Cotterell.

Week of Pines is the beautiful long playing debut album by Welsh singer-songwriter and harpist Georgia Ruth, it’s creation prompted by a return to Wales. Love that has been lost is tempered with joy at being home, and in the solitude of a Snowdonia studio she has melded together a plethora of influences to create an album that has an all pervading sense of calmness. Opening track and album namesake Week of Pines is a highlight, the gorgeous melody swinging along to a hastening drum beat. Welsh tune Codi Angor harnesses more obvious folk influences, and Dovecote includes the atmospheric clanging of bells, Georgia’s voice drifting in and out of the instrumental with hypnotic grace. Seeing You Around and In Luna trace the troubles of lost love, her vocals soaring in delicate arcs around the harp. A lonesome harmonica takes pride of place in Old Blue, a reinvigorated Appalachian song made popular by Joan Baez, and the album finishes with the slow beat of Winter, redemptive lyrics bringing the album to a fitting close.

Georgia Ruth
Week of Pines features songs in both Welsh and English – but I believe you did not even grow up speaking Welsh. How did you get to the position where you were confident to write and sing in it?
I grew up bilingually from the age of 4, when my family moved from South Wales to Aberystwyth and I started going to a Welsh language primary school. From then on, the two languages were an integral part of my everyday identity. And it’s very much true of my music, too. There are some things I feel only able to express in Welsh, and vice versa. But I knew the album would have songs in both languages.

Week Of Pines by Georgia Ruth.

You have said that most of your songs come from personal experiences – what experiences have made this record?
On the next album I’ve told myself that I’m not allowed to write one song that relates to my actual life, just to see how I get on! Narcissistic bugger. But in many ways Week of Pines is a record about coming home. I moved back to Wales a couple of years ago, after living in London and Brighton, and the friends and relationships that I found waiting for me here have been so important and strengthening.. It’s a happy record, sun through the leaves stuff, despite some moments in the shade!

Georgia Ruth by Laura Griffin
Georgia Ruth by Laura Griffin.

Why did you decide to learn the harp, and what is the best thing about it?
I started learning when I was 7. But it wasn’t quite my choice. In our primary school, the instrument you got was very much dependent on your place in the register. I wanted clarinet (the instrument of the enviable 10 year olds) but being a Williams did not stand in my favour. All the Evanses and Griffithses got the clarinet. So they offered me the harp, and I said yes! The best thing about the harp is that it’s a great conversation starter. You’re standing at the bus stop with one of these beauties stood next to you, someone’s going to want to ask you about it! That being said, it’s a nightmare to get it on planes. That is absolutely the worst thing about it. 

Georgia Ruth by Rhi Pardoe
Georgia Ruth by Rhi Pardoe.

You happily meld influences such as sea shanties, appalachian tunes and traditional folk. What were you listening to as you grew up?
Lots of different stuff! My parents would play a lot of Hank Williams, American and British folk music, Paul Simon, Melanie. And then I was learning these Welsh folk songs in school. When I hit my teens, it was the solo women who took up most of my earspace: Joni Mitchell, Kate Bush, Aimee Mann, Sandy Denny

Georgia Ruth
What was it like to record in the middle of Snowdonia?
Very quiet! Bryn Derwen is such a wonderful, peaceful studio. We were there for a week in the middle of August, and the air was thick and heavy with the smell of the eucalyptus trees. At times, you weren’t sure which country you were in! It was a very happy time. 

Georgia Ruth by youdesignme
Georgia Ruth by youdesignme.

This record has been described as a homecoming – what prompted the move back to Wales and will you be staying for the near future?
I just woke up one morning in Brighton, and realised that I missed Wales terribly. And I came back! I’m definitely very happy here, so yes: I’m not going anywhere. Unless someone forces me to live in sun-filled San Francisco, I would have to concede to their wishes… 

Georgia Ruth
What can musicians find in Wales that is not so easy to find elsewhere?
Mountains! Certainly for me, it’s been the sense of fraternity and support amongst the musicians here in Wales that has been the most amazing. In London, I often felt quite isolated as a musician. I didn’t feel as much a part of a community as I do now. And that’s been so key to the making of this record. I was all but ready to give up, and then I came home, met these remarkable people, and thought: nope! 

Georgia Ruth by youdesignme
Georgia Ruth by youdesignme.

Where can fans hear you over the course of 2013?
I’ll be touring the album in May and June with the band (current list of dates is on with a possible few more to be added) and I’m particularly excited about playing in Spillers Records in Cardiff on the day of release. It’s such a brilliant record shop, that’ll be a real privilege. 

Georgia Ruth Week of Pines album cover
Week of Pines by Georgia Ruth is released on 20th May 2013 by Gwymon Records.

Categories ,Aberystwyth, ,Aimee Mann, ,americana, ,brighton, ,British folk music, ,Bryn Derwen, ,cardiff, ,Codi Angor, ,Dovecote, ,Gemma Cotterell, ,Georgia Ruth, ,Gwymon Records, ,Hank Williams, ,Harp, ,In Luna, ,interview, ,Joni Mitchell, ,Kate Bush, ,Laura Griffin, ,Melanie, ,Old Blue, ,Paul Simon, ,Rhi Pardoe, ,Sandy Denny, ,Seeing You Around, ,Snowdonia, ,South Wales, ,Spillers Records, ,wales, ,Week of Pines, ,Welsh folk songs, ,Winter, ,youdesignme

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Amelia’s Magazine | An interview with The Epstein about new album Mumurations

The Epstein by neonflower
The Epstein by neonflower.

Oxford based folk rockers The Epstein return with their second album Mumurations today. 14 months in the pipeline, it’s a record filled with songs of departure and change, all set against a lush melodic backdrop. From opener Morning News – a typically heartfelt tale set to the mournful twirls of a guitar – to the beautiful lilting sounds of current download single Calling Out Your Name, this is over 40 minutes of big folk that is well worth checking out. I spoke with Olly Wills, who is responsible for vocals and acoustic guitar.

The Epstein - Murmurations Cover
What does Murmurations mean?
Murmurations is the term used for a flock of starlings when they fly in swooping flocks of thousands and can be seen sweeping and diving above fields and trees… I think it is something that is most often seen in the early autumn. Type the word into google images and you will see what I mean, it is an amazing spectacle.

The Epstein by youdesignme
The Epstein by youdesignme.

Who came first to The Epstein, and how did the others come on board?
The band started with founder members Olly Wills and Al Verey and very quickly Jon Berry and Rowland Prytherch came on board. We started playing open mic nights in Oxford and London and built the band up from there. We got a residency in a local pub where they paid us to play for 2 hours a week on a Thursday night and slowly the band developed its live skills and worked out what songs worked and what songs didn’t. This was quite a few years ago now and the band has changed hugely over that time but Olly and Jon are still there along with Seb Reynolds on Keyboards, Humphrey Astley on Bass and Tommy Longfellow on drums.

YouTube Preview Image
What inspired the words and the sounds of the new album?
Our first album was pretty narrative in terms of its songwriting and pretty country-folk in terms of sound… we wanted the second album to be quite different in both regards. We aimed for a widescreen cinematic and fully studio sound and the songs whilst still being narrative in some regards are also more image based as well. Hopefully they allow the listener to paint pictures for themselves as they listen. 

The Epstein by SarahJayneDraws
The Epstein by Sarah Jayne Draws.

What can attendees expect of your album launch later this month?
We are playing album launches in Oxford on June 27th and London on June 30th and we are really excited about both shows… We have some great support coming from The Dreaming Spires, Co.Pilgrim, Empty White Circles and Jordan Oshea (2 support bands each night, not 4!) and we will be playing the whole album from first track to last with some great visuals to help create a magical atmosphere. Great venues, great music and some cool backdrops… what else could ask for?

YouTube Preview Image
Why is Oxford such a hot bed of musical goings-on? Anything special that you can put a finger on?
Ever since I have been involved with music in the city there has been a constant week in week out scene. You can choose between 4-6 gigs a night almost every night of the year which is a pretty healthy amount of creative activity for what is a pretty small city… There are some great local music magazines, there are loads of festivals to get involved in and a huge student population who are a big part of it all too. On top of this you are really well situated if you do want to do gigs in London and other UK cities. Oxford had a rich heritage in great music when I got here 10 years ago – Radiohead and Ride are just two that spring to mind – and is so cool that in recent years newer bands have brought recognition back to the city. Foals and Stornoway are two recent acts who are known far and wide now, so I guess that all in all these elements combine to create a scene in the city where as a musician there are many opportunities to get your project in front of many interested people and hopefully further a field as well.

YouTube Preview Image
It’s taken awhile to record this album. How did it take shape?
We started this album in a studio in north London, did sessions in Bremen, Germany and ended up doing a lot in Truck Studios, Oxford as well as various rooms in between. It involved many musicians and much planning and as a result took us quite some time to record let alone mix and master so that in brief paragraph explains the lengthy nature of the process… The end result is what we planned for at the start, I just dont think we thought it would take nearly as long as it did to get from that start to today where the album is all packaged and ready for people to take home with them.

What next for The Epstein?
A busy summer of shows here in the UK promoting Murmurations and also on the continent where the album is out on PIAS Records. It is great to be busy again and the band has never been better as a live unit so we have a lot to look forward to in the near future. In the autumn we will finish off the next record – which we have already started on – and baring in mind the experience with the making of the current recordings we are seriously aiming to be able to release another album early in 2014. Fingers crossed!

The Epstein release Mumurations with Zawinul/PIAS on 24th June 2013. They will celebrate with a launch party at St Albans Church in their home town of Oxford.

Categories ,Al Verey, ,Co-pilgrim, ,Empty White Circles, ,Humphrey Astley, ,Jon Berry, ,Jordan Oshea, ,Morning News, ,Murmurations, ,neonflower, ,Olly Wills, ,Pias Records, ,Rowland Prytherch, ,Sarah-Jayne Draws, ,Seb Reynolds, ,St Albans Church, ,The Dreaming Spires, ,The Epstein, ,Tommy Longfellow, ,Truck Studios, ,youdesignme, ,Zawinul/PIAS

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Amelia’s Magazine | Joana Serrat: Dear Great Canyon, an interview and review

Joana Serrat by youdesignme iIlustration

Joana Serrat by youdesignme Illustration.

Singer songwriter Joana Serrat hails from Spain, where she has carefully crafted her stunning debut album, produced by Howard Bilerman and inspired by the songs of the American heartland via a sojourn in Ireland. Last Friday I managed to scamper out of the house to catch her half hour live set at Rough Trade East just before toddler bedtime, and was left suitably impressed by this diminutive Spanish lady.

Joana Serrat 2014-Rough Trade East live gig, photography by Amelia Gregory

Joana Serrat, Rough Trade East live gig, photography by Amelia Gregory.

Dear Great Canyon is a stunning album of carefully paced extremes: lilting lullabies interspersed with upbeat melodies. It opens with the elegiac Flowers on the Hillside, Joana’s faint Spanish accent the only indicator that this tune was crafted far from the Mid West. In The Blizzard Joana talks about the ‘shattering silence’ of heartbreak, her voice breaking in emotion against the richly orchestrated backdrop, with slide guitar becoming ever more prominent in Green Grass, an upbeat tune that sees Joana in more optimistic mood. After the brief 50s influenced wooziness of Stop Feelin’ Blue, So Clear is a rollicking paen to getting on with things. Summer on the Beach lulls the listener with Moogish noodlings, followed by another highlight – the Cold of the desert which is the setting for metaphors of the heart. The Wanderer narrates the tale of a magnetic dancer, and The Secret returns yet again to wild landscapes. The album draws to a close with the drifting strains of Yellow Rider, rootsy Place Called Home and piano driven Came Out of the Blue.

Joana Serrat by Natalie Burton

Joana Serrat by Natalie Burton.

Dear Great Canyon proves that location is of little importance in our globalised society, where we are as likely to be influenced by far off musicians as those on home soil. Here Joana Serrat describes how she came to fall in love with the folk music of distant lands, and how one email made her dreams come true.

Although you grew up in Barcelona your sound has been very much influenced by Americana, what were your favorite records when you first discovered music?
I used to listen to Neil Young a lot; I got into his music when I was 13 I think. I got into him because I found his Unplugged album at my Dad’s music shelves and really loved it. After that I went into Sleep with Angels and it became one of my favorite albums for years. I used to play My Heart on the piano, which I learned by listening to it. I would say Neil is my essence.

I must say when I was a child my mum used to play me on vinyl the records of a Catalan singer-songwriter named Xesco Boix who had traveled to States and came back to Catalunya under the influence of Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan and Joan Baez, which he had seen live in shows. He took traditional Catalan songs and some American songs too and went all over the schools to play those songs to children. I would say this is my first influence on music. I loved his voice, he calmed me down and made me feel I was not alone. So when I listened to Neil I recognized that feeling and it happened the same when I got into Bob’s records. I immediately felt attracted to his sound at the age of 22 and they made such a deep impact that I assumed I would write songs.
Joana Serrat by David Giménez

Joana Serrat by David Giménez.

What Spanish groups did you also listen to, and did any of these have any influence on your burgeoning sensibility?
I started to listen to Partido, McEnroe and Pajaro Sunrise two years ago, but I have never got that into Spanish bands.
What took you to Dublin, and what was your favorite bit about life in Ireland?
I went to Dublin because I needed a change in my life. I thought that perhaps everything in my life had come because of inertia and routine so I needed to check if I was able to have it for my own. I really felt the need to change my role in the family, and needed to put space between me and my life at that moment. I felt I first had to know myself better and get to understand me before introducing myself to others. I needed to find out who I was, what music meant for me. I came back more secure in myself, with knowledge and the certainty I had grown up and had matured.
I was lucky that I had a job in a wine bar and my life developed around the store and the people who worked in there. The crew was so cool, we really got on so well with each other, and we were like a family. I started to sing and lost my fears about my voice and my songs at some of the barbecues we used to have.
Joana Serrat by Amelia Gossman

Joana Serrat by Amelia Gossman.

When you start to write a song what kind of mood or situation suits you best?
I would say it’s easy for me to write when I feel sad or blue. Most of my songs were written in that mood but with Dear Great Canyon I learned to write from another kind of mood, wanting to make songs that tell a story. I still use my life and my experiences to write a song. I need my experiences, my feelings and emotions so I can compose. In that way I have a kind of dependence on my life. But I am happy I started to move away from sadness. I think it’s kinda dangerous to get dependent on sadness to create (whatever it is: music, painting, literature, etc…) It could ruin your personal life without you being conscious of it (in a Freudian way I mean).

Joana Serrat by Alicia Aguilera

Joana Serrat by Alicia Aguilera.

Where do you live at present, and what keeps you there?
I live in Vic were I was born. I came back here a year ago because my partner and I wanted a quiet life in the country. We were living in Barcelona before that but I love this land, its landscapes. Having said that I would really love to live abroad too.

How did you find and approach your producer?
I love his work with Wolf Parade, Basia Bulat and Vic Chesnutt and I was thrilled with the The Wooden Sky‘s Every Child a Daughter, Every Sun a Moon album that Howard Bilerman produced. So I decided to email him and attached 4 track demos. I asked him if he wanted to help me to make a dream come true, which was to record an album with him and he answered half an hour later saying ‘I love to make dreams come true’.  I wept when read it.

Joana Serrat by Jane Young

Joana Serrat by Jane Young.

What was the process of recording this album like? I hear much of it was recorded live…
Howard and I were talking a lot about the sound of the album. I gave him a lot of references of bands, songs and sounds I liked. I really insisted on the textures the songs must have. So he decided to record the album on tape live. It was great. Such an incredible experience. I had never recorded like that or had the chance to record properly. I mean, it was my first time that I had to think about nothing but the recording. It was amazing. At the same time it was very easy to work with him. He would be seated at the control desk, listening carefully. He is not interventionist at all. I see him as a song hunter. He catches the best perform of the song.

Where can fans see you this year in the UK?
We are playing in Liverpool soon and on August 16th at Jabberwocky Festival, London.

What next for Joana Serrat?
I wish to grow as a musician, as a performer, as a singer-songwriter and I really wish to play in a lot of places. I guess these things are what every artist wish, aren’t they? I would also really like to record an EP of new songs to be released at the end of this year or at the beginning of next year.

Joana Serrat Dear Great Canyon album cover

Dear Great Canyon by Joana Serrat is released on April 7th 2014 on the El Segell del Primavera label.

Categories ,Alicia Aguilera, ,Amelia Gossman, ,Amelia Grace Illustration, ,barcelona, ,Basia Bulat, ,Bob Dylan, ,Came Out of the Blue, ,Catalonia, ,Catalunya, ,Cold, ,David Giménez, ,Dear Great Canyon, ,El Segell del Primavera, ,Every Child a Daughter Every Sun a Moon, ,Flowers on the Hillside, ,Green Grass, ,Howard Bilerman, ,Jabberwocky Festival, ,Jane Young, ,Joan Baez, ,McEnroe, ,My Heart, ,Neil Young, ,Pajaro Sunrise, ,Partido, ,Pete Seeger, ,Place Called Home, ,review, ,Rough Trade East, ,Sleep with Angels, ,So Clear, ,spain, ,Stop Feelin’ Blue, ,Summer on the Beach, ,The Blizzard, ,The Secret, ,The Wanderer, ,The Wooden Sky, ,Unplugged, ,Vic, ,Vic Chesnutt, ,Wolf Parade, ,Xesco Boix, ,Yellow Rider, ,youdesignme

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