Artwork by @mystupidsketchbook
WHO is he?
“I am a solo artist based in Bristol called Emlyn. I use guitar, synths, samples and vocals to create ambient, ethereal music, with elements of alt-folk and sometimes trip-hop and shoe-gaze.
I picked up the guitar at primary school when I was 6 and frequently dabbled in writing my own guitar parts as I grew up, but rarely remembered any of them for more than a year. I found a passion for making electronic music when my dad got a copy of Ableton when I was around 14 and began taking songwriting and music in general a bit more seriously when my friend Angus and I started an acoustic duo, collaborating on songs and playing at local pubs.
After this I built a little collection of effects pedals and wrote my first solo material, combining reverby electric guitar and sampled beats. My song ‘Ritual’ was the first that I was satisfied with enough to share on SoundCloud.”
WHAT is he singing about?
“In most of my songs the lyrics are inspired by abstract concepts such as dreams, afterlife, ghosts and extra-terrestrial life. My lyrics often sound metaphorical and are very open to interpretation but I just read them literally. I normally have a pretty weird scene or story in my head that I’m trying to communicate. For example the opening lyrics of my upcoming EP ‘Etherealism’ are “I’ve got bruises on my brain, the vessels burst in me again”, which sound quite morbid now I see them written down.
Musically, I draw a lot of inspiration from the production and ambient works of Brian Eno, from modern bands such as Daughter and The XX, from some classical guitarists and composers such as Carcassi, Chopin and Steve Reich, and also from the atmosphere created with different effects such as reverb and delay. I think equipment like pedals, synths and drum machines etc. can shape an artist’s sound just as much as their musical influences.”WHERE did he grow up?
“Until moving out to university in Bristol I’ve lived in the same house for my whole life – in the quaint little village of Chalford Hill, near Stroud, in the ‘rural Cotswolds’.
I’m not sure if my songs are a direct reflection of the lush surroundings of where I live because of their ethereal nature; I’m normally trying to contrast what I’m actually seeing when writing a song, more like surrealism rather than landscape art.
The music and art scene is great in Stroud. Stroud Valley Artspace (or SVA) does what it says on the tin and provides studio space for artists, as well as putting on great events such as hosting DJs, live music showcases and touring bands or groups such as the Will Gregory Moog Ensemble. The Prince Albert pub is really dedicated to great live music from local bands and international artists and it was the first venue I ever played. Also Stroud Fringe Festival is an amazing showcase of all the eclectic talent and tastes of the area.”
WHY should I listen to him?
Emlyn’s music is not just sounds and beats but a true sensory experience that takes you to another dimension you can’t get enough of.
WHEN can I see him live?
“The live shows I’ve got lined up so far are: A solo set at Stroud Fringe on Friday 28th August; a full band set (with Angus on samplepads/percussion and Will on synths) supporting the wonderful Rozelle on September 26th at The Louisiana in Bristol; and a launch gig for my EP at the start of October (date and venue TBC).
I’ve also got quite a few shows lined up playing bass and electronics for Henry Green and some guitar and keyboard for Ardyn (fka Kitten and Bear), who are both really great artists that you should check out.”
Watch Emlyn perform Drowning (My Ivory)