Reverieme is Louise Connell, and the last time we spoke to her she had just achieved 100% in her Pledge Music campaign for album Straw Woman. Now she’s back with Ten Feet Tall so we found out more about its themes and the development of her sound.
In my darker moments I extrapolate that dream to the point where I’ve made millions writing a Christmas song and can happily live out the rest of my days writing dirty limericks in a home that’s large enough to house at least forty-seven dogs (and one terrified cat).
Is Ten Feel Tall it a good example of where your sound is headed?
To me, the song that lurks within the production of Ten Feet Tall is a simple bit of verse-sentiment-lala-twee-chorus business, even more so than many of the tracks on Straw Woman. It’s a wee pop ditty that left a lot of space for pianos and organs and, most importantly, a key change to herald the moment when everyone in the band stands up from their stools and moves to the front of the stage. Having said that, the track probably isn’t hugely indicative of what we’ll be creating and producing in the near future; however, the b-side, ‘No Visitors’, will be happy to field further questions in this area.
Tell us a little more about the single itself?
It’s mostly about my niece and how it feels to watch her grow up. She’s one of my favourite people, but she’s starting to worry me because I think she’s aging at (at least) twice the normal rate. How else could I explain the fact she’s only just turned ten years old, when I too have only just turned ten years old? I’m 27; this isn’t healthy.
On the back of Straw Woman, we would have labelled you folk. How do you define your sound?
I’ve been categorised as folk for most of the time I’ve been foisting my music on the ears of poor, unsuspecting strangers, but I find it to be a peculiar label because I always thought of what I did as country or pop. I imagine that most people who write alone, especially if they don’t think towards production or arrangement (or, in my case, anything beyond making words rhyme and ordering the three chords I know), will let the song dictate the sound.
Alongside a diverse range of sonic influences, lyrics are clearly important to you. Where do you seek your inspirations?
I like reading the books - not all of the books, but many of the books – and I love distilling (see how I avoid the word ‘stealing’?) ideas from what I’ve read. I also like politely borrowing particularly beautiful lines and phrases for titles. Don’t tell anyone, but I’ve squirreled away the term ‘clients of suddenness’ from Eavan Boland’s Midnight Flowers for the next album title.
The critical response to Straw Woman was impressive. Did that increase the pressure to deliver something even stronger?
Fortunately, my ubiquitous and crippling sense of self-loathing protects me from such pressures, while keeping me at a terminal state of panic. It’s like if Batfink’s wings were tapestries of self-deprecating insults and not shields of steel. One tick, I’m just jotting that down in my album art ideas book.
You balance music with teaching. How easy is it to combine the two careers?
On a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is extricating oneself from a Netflix binge and 10 is completing Alien: Isolation on Nightmare Difficulty, I’d say it’s around a 7.5. Teaching can be hugely demanding and inflexible, as can gigging, writing, recording, and working on artwork, which goes a way to explaining why my most up to date pop culture reference is now three years old.
How would you define your current ambitions?
Most of me simply wants to find a way to do THE MUSICS full time, though in my darker moments I extrapolate that dream to the point where I’ve made millions writing a Christmas song and can happily live out the rest of my days writing dirty limericks in a home that’s large enough to house at least forty-seven dogs (and one terrified cat).
What performers inspire you?
So, I’m very shy when I perform, and I’m so easily distracted that to look up from the end of my microphone is to lose any semblance of control and concentration, which means I don’t have lofty ambitions for my stage persona. I was shown Runnin’ Down a Dream last year, though, and my new aspiration is to be more Tom Petty, which I think is entirely possible considering we have nothing in common whatsoever.
How has the fuller sound of the new material altered your stage show?
Sometimes I’m lucky enough to play with a very lovely band of musicians who, incidentally, know all of the chords, and their involvement allows the live version of Reverieme to shrink and expand depending on the situation, like that chap who squeezes through air vents to murder’ people in The X-Files. At the moment we’re doing most shows as a two-piece, where I’m accompanied by my best bud (to give him his heavily abridged title) Stuart doing all sorts of wizardry on the guitar.
Lastly, where and when can we next see you perform?
I have a series of festival appearances coming up, some with the full band, some as a stripped down two-piece thing. There are more dates being added all the time, but at the moment you can see me here:
7th June - XpoNorth (Hootananny, Inverness) (full band)
17th June - North Hop, Glasgow
24th June - Solas Festival
28th July - Bute Fest, Isle of Bute (full band)
19th August - Stranraer Festival (full band)
Listen to Reverieme on SoundCloud below. For the latest news go to the Reverieme Facebook page.