A Q&A with Hometime
Emerging Dublin singer-songwriter…
What’s the title of your latest release, and what does it mean to you?
My new single is called ‘It Beats Living Alone’. It’s a song I’ve had a long time but it means a lot to me. It documents a particular time in my life and feels a bit like a letter I should have had the nerve to send.
What was the hardest part about putting this release together, and why?
The pandemic made everything so frustrating. Our national restrictions were such that the studio was way out of the permitted travel distance and lockdown happened a few times.
Who produced the release – what did they bring to it? If you produced it yourselves what do enjoy most about producing your own material?
My producer is Seán Hurley and we work in his Little Bear studio in a far-flung corner of Dublin. Seán came to the song, knowing only what he heard. So his objectivity freed things up a little bit, because he wasn’t wedded to existing riffs or arrangements or whatever. He has created a few things with me in the studio that are “exclusively Hometime” and it feels good that he’s so invested in the project.
What do you want the listener to take away from listening to your music?
I want people to know that I mean it, if that makes sense. I try to be completely honest in what I write. That means that my output is very personal but I hope that people can see their own experiences reflected in there too.
How does a track normally come together? Can you tell us something about the process?
When I write alone, it usually starts off with a hook or melody popping into my head. If it stays there and I can remember it later, then I try to build a structure and lyric around it. These days, I’m more inclined to send it to Seán or to Gavin Murphy – another song writing partner and good friend – for some input. Equally, they send me songs for lyrics and vocal melodies. It’s a set of symbiotic relationships in that respect. In fact, Gavin released a few of our co-writes on his first album, and more are coming on his new set. In terms of recording, Seán and I will put stuff together in the studio and then, weeks later, decide we don’t like it! We’ve done that so often on this album project. My first single, “Gratitude,” went through four very different versions before we came to something we both liked!
What band/artists have influenced you the most since you started this project, and why?
I don’t think any one particular act has been a main influence. Seán and I are both pop fiends – which still surprises me, because of Seán’s background as a rock guitarist – and we listen to a lot of different stuff. We’ve been listening to everything from ABBA, to 1980s maximalist pop productions, to Max Martin creations, to Chvrches… You name it. I’d hate to wear one particular influence on my sleeve.
What countries would you like to tour? Are there any standout venues you’d like to play in?
To be honest, live work seems very much like the stuff of fantasy right now. I haven’t stood on a stage with a band for such a long time, that I’d be utterly terrified to do it now. But if the responses to my music is a yardstick, then I think I’d like to play some shows in Canada: for some reason, that’s where a big chunk of my listeners seem to be. Or maybe Japan. I was lucky enough to spend a short time living there years ago and could imagine myself singing to a small club audience in Nagoya or Tokyo. Those people know how to have a good time!
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?
That would have to be my new single ‘It Beats Living Alone’. As I said earlier, the song means a great deal to me and it would mean the world if people gave it a spin and connected with the song in their own way.
What ambitions do you have for the band/your career?
Right now, the goal is simply to be heard. I have absolutely no interest in becoming a celebrity. But it would be fantastic if someone heard the songs and put them in a movie or TV show. Or if someone covered a song or two.
Finally, as you leave the stage, what are your parting words?
Never take a laxative and a sleeping pill together.
For more info visit: facebook.com/hometime