Yorkshire artist shares 70s-pop infused debut track ‘Easy For Me’
Track is the first release on GigList’s new label Carrie
Soft Focus – the moniker of Yorkshire-based multi-instrumentalist and producer Bianca Eddleston – has announced her debut track ‘Easy for Me‘. Co-produced alongside Bill Ryder Jones, the track also marks the first release for Carrie – a new label from the team behind GigList that aims to elevate and celebrate female musicians, producers, and female-presenting voices.
‘Easy for Me’ takes the laser-focussed songwriting of artists like Fleetwood Mac and Elton John, but adds a shimmering, psych-pop tint. Despite the retro-leanings, the track has a modern minimalism and gloss to it, helping Bianca’s vocals to captivate. It’s already caught the ears of Lauren Laverne, who played it on her BBC Radio 6 show, as well as getting played on Amazing Radio, BBC Introducing and many more.
“‘Easy For Me’ is a phrase many friends have said to me when I’ve moaned about something in my life, like ‘Oh B, it must be easy for you,'” says Bianca of one of the track’s themes. “It’s the way I was raised too, if anything went wrong for me my mum would say ‘just think of such and such they have it so much harder than you’. It made me not trust my own emotions, I’m still learning to do that even now.”
“Easy For Me” has the production qualities and addictive attributes from an artist at the height of their career, the fact this is the debut single will leave you in awe. This full-bodied creation exudes the charming vocal melodies from Soft Focus, the lyrical journey soars amongst the bold percussive beats and bountiful textures. This harmonic ensemble focuses on this uplifting ambiance emitting from the compelling hooks and immersive tones. Whilst the lyrics take on this intimate impression, once the words and vocal notes flirt with the rolling rhythms and crucial build-ups, the energy explodes. The extreme energy intensities whilst the lyrics bring this fragility to the vision.
Carrie is a new record label being launched by GigList that seeks to discover and champion female and female-presenting producers, artists and musicians.
Reaching out is never easy, and in the last year, it’s been near impossible. Isolated in her house in Yorkshire’s artistic enclave of Hebden Bridge, Soft Focus felt the urge to reach out stronger than ever, and with no other way to do so, turned to her songwriting to help her reconnect with a world in isolation.
Soft Focus is the moniker of Bianca Eddleston, an introspective yet celebratory project that took shape as she was going through both a divorce and then a wild love affair during lockdown. “I have struggled with PTSD and find it very hard to focus and stay present sometimes without dissociating and drifting away in my daydreams,” Eddleston explains of the name. Soft Focus is a chance to step back from the relationship extremes and encourage some “self therapy, pointing a camera at myself”, says Eddleston.
With her work slowing down over the pandemic leaving her with more time to prioritise her music, Soft Focus ended up with an album’s worth of material. After demoing the album within her own four walls, she recruited friend Bill Ryder Jones to co-produce with her, decamping to Yawn Studios in West Kirby and crafting two of these tracks into perfect shape.
‘Won’t Tell’ and ‘Easy for Me’ – the first pieces of Soft Focus that have been offered out – are indebted to the 70s soft rock and pop, with the atmospheric yet crisp sounds of acts like Fleetwood Mac, Carol King and Elton John. But there’s a minimalism that permeates as well, and small flourishes that bring the tracks firmly into the present. Airy vocals drape themselves across punchy basslines and kinetic guitars, with Bianca indulging her love of vintage synths to add the kind of swirling haziness that allow the tracks to live up to the name Soft Focus.
First single ‘Easy For Me’ stays thematically hard to pin down. “My songs are rarely about one thing,” Eddleston admits. But through its psych-like shimmering we catch the tailend of a doomed love-affair, the feeling of being both smothered by and isolated from a person, and learning to trust one’s own emotions. To get all this depth of feeling into such a compact package is no mean feat, but Eddleston found that by stripping away the instrumental layers, the song was able to shine through: “When I record myself I do a lot of layering and have an abundance of instrumentals, so wanted to strip it back a bit more and remove some of the competing melodies and have it more vocal-led.”
Soft Focus may have been born from isolation but now she is reaching out, gifting us with two perfect pieces of glossy yet lo-fi pop. These also represent the first releases on the fledgling Carrie label – a new venture from the creators of GigList that aims to elevate and celebrate female musicians, producers, and female-presenting voices. On ‘Easy for Me’ and ‘Won’t Tell’, Soft Focus provides the perfect introduction to both herself and the new label, and with an album due in the Autumn, this is only the beginning.