Bristol-based artist Emily Magpie has recently unveiled her single ‘The Witching Hour’, the singer songwriter/ producer made a name for herself with her stand out 2016 debut EP release. With the arrival of her latest work, Emily has secured her unique sound and established her tentative fan base. ‘The Witching Hour’ has been described as “soaring with the rich passion of Magpie’s smooth, distinctive vocals alongside glitchy, pulsating beats, the single is an eerily majestic creation”. Gavin Brown spent some time talking with Emily to discuss her inspiration, her latest release, live performances and more…
Q- Your new track The Witching Hour is out now, how did the recording of the EP go?
It’s still in progress- The single is completed and I’m in production mode on the other tracks at the moment.. It’s an interesting process as I take the tracks right from the bare conception to fully produced myself, alongside my collaborator Robin Mathur. They grow and evolve so much and I’m always learning when doing it.
Q- What is the song about?
The Witching hour is about feminine power and energy. I’d been reading about the witch trials and was traveling in South America where there’s a lot of culture around Pacha Mama, so that was all swirling around in my head.
Q- There is an electronic element to this material, was that an important thing for you to include in this EP?
Yeah, it’s how I build around my voice and ukulele.. I love the freedom of electronic music and the interplay between that and analogue… It just helps me to create the sounds in my head.
Q- You worked with Robin Mathur on the EP, how did you hook up and what did he bring to your sound?
I met him at a gig a couple of years ago.. He’s been producing for a long time and is so talented. I’ve learnt a lot from him, and he helped tease out that darker, heavier edge to The Witching Hour and taught me about making it sound tighter.
Q- Is the new material in a similar vein to your last EP Same Stuff?
It’s an evolution I guess… It’s still dreampop and lots of floaty vocals and dreamy lyrics, but I’m growing and exploring. I’m really excited about how it’s sounding at the moment.
Q- Are there any plans for a debut album anytime soon?
Yes! The EP will be out later this year, and I’ve begun writing for the album.. I’m going to take a few months start of next year to do some concentrated writing then an album next year is the plan.
Q- How long have you been singing?
I used to sing in a jazz band as a teenager, so I guess that’s how I started.
Q- Who are some of your influences as a vocalist?
A lot of old jazz singers, but also I really love FKA Twigs, Laura Marling, and Alice Phoebe Lou at the moment.
Q- Have you got any upcoming live dates at the moment?
I’m taking July to do some production but August there’s some exciting gigs coming up:
11th August Bristol Balloon Fiesta
19th August Green Man
31st August No1 Harbourside
Q- How does your live show differ from your recorded output?
I love playing live, and connecting with the audience, there’s something special in it. The tracks are slightly stripped back but the bass is pretty hefty… I do a couple of acoustic tracks too.
Q- You’re playing at the Green Man festival in August, have you played many festivals before?
I played Home Farm Fest a month ago, but I’m pretty new to festivals, it’s an exciting time.
Q- What festival would you love to play?
Secret Garden! But it’s the last year… Or Shambala. Glasto obviously too, and some abroad.
Q- If you could curate your own five act Festival, who would you have play and why?
Ibeyi, Alice Phoebe Lou for chill and connection, FKA Twigs because she’s amazing, then Glass Animals and Grimes for dancing. It would be a pretty spacey festival..
Q- What has been your favourite moment at a festival ever?
I saw Bombay Bicycle Club years ago, such amazing vibes.
Q- What music are you listening to at the moment?
NAO on repeat… Solange too.
Q- Your current hometown of Bristol has always had a rich musical history. What’s it like there at the minute?
It’s amazing, it’s such a supportive and full scene. There’s something for everyone. In summer I think people think they are constantly at a festival here…
Q- Are there any artist that you can recommend for us to check out?
My friend Anna Pancaldi is a beautiful singer songwriter.
Interview: Gavin Brown