A Q&A with Ed Cosens
Reverend and the Makers man goes it alone – here’s Ed Cosens…
How did you get the title of your latest release, and what does it mean to you?
The title of the album, Fortunes Favour, comes from the song of the same name that is featured on the album. It’s a title that has a meaning in two parts; firstly it refers to the fickle nature of the music business and how fortune often shines its light on both the deserving and more interestingly the undeserving. Secondly it refers to me and my life and how, as a believer in fate, fortune has ended up shining its light on me with regards my amazing family and how, having worked incredibly hard, my career, well, I still have one!
What was the hardest part about putting this release together, and why?
Finding the confidence both in the music and in myself was and has always been difficult for me. Its not been until the last few years that I’ve finally found the inner belief that the songs I was writing were good enough and could stand up against those songs and in particular the lyrics of some of my peers. Once I’d found the right path to follow recording the album and putting together everything that goes with it has been fairly straightforward really, with the help of some very talented friends and people of course! As a musician and producer, putting stuff together is the easy bit!
Who produced the release – what did they bring to it?
The album was produced by a good friend of mine Dave Sanderson who I’ve worked with many times previously, most notably on the last two Reverend and the Makers albums. Dave is not only a fantastic engineer but has a real ear for music and how tracks are put together. His input in helping to guide the overall sound and giving the album an identity as a whole was crucial in getting such a good result.
What do you want the listener to take away from listening to your music?
Most of the tracks are semi-autobiographical and deal with experiences that I’ve gone through and experiences I think a lot of people will relate to, falling in and out of love, making those classic mistakes we all make and the ups and downs of friendships and work. Hopefully people will feel a connection with the themes of the songs and also the message of looking for and finding a belief in yourself and what you want to do.
How does a track normally come together? Can you tell us something about the process?
The process of writing the songs for this albums usually starts with me and an acoustic guitar and finding some chords and a melody that I like or something that sticks in my mind for a few days. Once I’ve got the basic structure and melodic changes, I start to think about the lyrics and what I want to say, something that fits with the vibe of the music. The notable exception to this rule was the track on the album called ‘The River’ which came about much in the opposite way, I was out walking one day, pushing along my soundly asleep first son in the pram. I happened to be walking through my local park which has a river flowing right through it and I literally just started to sing the main line from the chorus and almost as a flow of consciousness the melody and lyrics just came together. It wasn’t until I’d got home that I sat down and actually put the music and chords together for it.
What band/artists have influenced you the most since you started this project, and why?
I can’t really say anything about influences without of course mentioning The Beatles, as I don’t think very many songwriters couldn’t! But perhaps the more poignant influences whilst making this album are people like Richard Hawley, who I’ve (very flatteringly) been compared to on occasion. Also the soundtrack album for the film Submarine written by Alex Turner was key and also Dan Auerbach’s latest solo record was something I was listening to a lot whilst putting together the songs for the album. I think, particularly with the Submarine soundtrack by Alex, there is a sonic quality to it that I really liked and that resonated with me and suited some of the tracks on the album. Richard Hawley and his expression of Sheffield and it’s people also resonates with me a lot and I think a good amount of that expression filtered into this album along the way.
When the world is back to normal where would like to tour, and why?
Everywhere if it were possible and if there was the desire for me to! I love playing live and I think once the world does get back to some sort of normality I’d definitely like to get out there and play as much as I can. We’ve missed a lot of time gigging this year so there’s definitely some making up to do!
If you could pick one track for our readers to listen to in order to get a taste of your music, what would you pick, and why?
I think either ‘The River’ or ‘Fortunes Favour’. They’re the two songs on the album where I think the overall sound and expression of my songwriting really comes through. They, for me, represent the album, and as I’ve already mentioned the Title of the album comes from the track ‘Fortunes Favour’ so lyrically and emotionally it definitely gives the right vibe.
What ambitions do you have for the band/your career?
I definitely don’t want to leave it at one album. I’m already working on songs for a second so hopefully I can make that happen, as long as there’s a desire for me to make another! I very much see my solo career as sitting next to and complimenting the work I do with Reverend and the Makers and moving forward, hopefully they can both flourish!
Finally, as you leave the stage, what are your parting words?
In this age of disposable music and the instant nature of life now with social media and the like, I hope you find the time to sit and listen to my album as a whole and enjoy the journey it takes you on, and finally if you like it, please share it and spread the word. Thank You. x
The debut album by Ed Cosens, ‘Fortunes Favour’ is out 29th January
For more info visit: facebook.com/edcosensmusic