The brilliant four track EP is out now. We got in touch with Blackaby.
FEATURE | BLACKABY | WORDS BY KARL JOHNSON
Hailing from Maidstone, Kent but now based in North London’s Kentish Town, Will Blackaby’s solo project, Blackaby, has been ticking away beautifully over the past couple of years. My first experiences of Blackaby as a project were ‘Georgie Wants a Garden’, a RIP Records single, and the heartfelt ‘Paula’, which I’m personally incredibly happy made it onto the EP. We got in touch with Will on the eve of the release of his long-awaited debut EP ‘What’s On The TV?’ for a quick Q&A.
Hard Of Hearing: You’re set to release your debut EP ‘What’s On The TV?’, what’s the process been like plotting a release such as this in terms of its mechanics and moving parts?
Will: “It’s nice to finally have it out, having had the songs kicking about for a little while. There’s a fair bit to do to prepare: Finalise the mixes, getting the songs mastered, instrumental versions, get photos done, create artwork, music videos, decide how you want to release and then put a time scale in place. A lot of time for over thinking things. And then hopefully people end up hearing the bastard!”
Hard Of Hearing: What did you want to say with the release of the EP, is there a thread that connects the tracks emotionally or do they have their own personalities and timelines?
Will: “I think the theme is one of remembering and also venting frustrations. ‘What’s on the TV?’ (the single) is more about attempting to be an ‘adult’ where ‘Semolina’ and ‘Bubblegum’ are more about looking back at struggling through younger days. Conclusion – it’s never easy at any stage but keep going!”
Hard Of Hearing: How would you describe your journey as an artist up until this point?
Will: “A total mess. Never smooth and never easy but on the flip side I’ve met some amazing people, played fun shows in all kinds of places and ultimately been very fulfilled to write and release music.”
Hard Of Hearing: You’ve been pretty prolific release-wise of late, how hard was it to choose the tracklisting for the EP? Were there some tough conversations to have with those songs that didn’t make the cut?
Will: “Those songs were all from the same session (same day I think!) so they sit together well in terms of sound. They also fit together thematically as mentioned before so was an easy choice to have them together. There’s a bunch more from the same sessions I’m looking forward to putting out.”
Hard Of Hearing: How does the link up with Hand In Hive and Sad Club Records help you along/ assist you as an artist?
Will: “Both Hand In Hive and Sad Club have been really great during the release. They’ve been such positive people to work with. It’s also opened up my music to their networks and followers who probably wouldn’t have heard it otherwise.”
Hard Of Hearing: Aside from music, do you have a favourite pastime?
Will: “I mainly like to spend time with my dog, Eggs. I also like bike riding, seeing what charity shops have to offer and the occasional night time disco boogie.”
Opener ‘What’s On The TV?’ is an indie banger in the waiting, wielding pop hooks and understated lyricism. ‘Semolina’ drifts into an oddball pop world draped in psychedelic clothing, progressive and haunting with each squirming synth part. ‘Paula’ draws a perfect line between the previous two tracks, a beautiful and intricate pop song but classic sounding in it’s songwriting and certainly a standout moment on the release. ‘Bubblegum’ is delicate, homely and warm, soaked in emotion and gently building in it’s approach. In under 11 minutes in length, Blackaby’s EP holds more emotional weight than most albums, and now we know he’s got the material, let’s see what 2021 has to offer.
You can purchase the ‘What’s On The TV?’ EP on cassette via Sad Club Records here, on a limited run of 50 copies.