‘Some songs are born in an instant, others are crafted and tentatively tended to over the course of sometimes years’
Based in the west-country, multi-instrumentalist and song-writer, Chloe Merilla Tyghe has just released her stunning debut album, Cruel Girl. Full of gentle melodies, that evolve into sweeping, heartfelt and grandiose choruses, GIGsoup wanted to discover more about her creative process and what inspires her confessional lyrics.
Who or what inspires you?
‘I am inspired by the compulsion in me to create work that provides tangible beauty for the listener – particularly in moments of pain, confusion & vulnerability. I am inspired by beauty, I believe beauty creates a space that allows you to unravel, be yourself, rest, rejuvenate & heal. I find beauty in people and particularly in nature. I am inspired by people who dare to dream, dare to be bold and different & who pave the way forward into new places & experiences. There are a multitude of people who I could list……….’
You recently released Cruel Girl, your debut album. Tell us the story behind its release.
Cruel Girl has been a marathon for me. Some of the core melodies on the album I began writing seven years ago however, most of the songs fell onto the page almost instantly during the winter of 2015/2016. The album is ultimately an expression of the process I was walking through during the time it was written. I found myself at the very abrupt end of a six-year relationship and was suddenly cut off from this very familiar and safe world whilst simultaneously diving into the depths of a new love and whole new vibrant community. It was very much a time where I would literally cling to the piano to navigate me through this strange, wonderful and revealing period. The album was recorded almost entirely live in a church in Wiltshire. I wanted the finished result to retain a raw, stark and intimate feel. The album is essentially my personal diary from November 2015 to Spring 2016 haha! Gulp!
Cruel Girl seems like quite a self-depreciating title, was that intentional?
‘I suppose the album title should have had a question mark at the end, that would have been a more accurate representation, perhaps. Ultimately, we all have the capacity to shed light and dark and there are shadows in us all and I wanted to be brutally honest with myself about my actions before I pushed blame, regret or sadness onto anyone else involved’.
What one track from the alum do you think represents you as an artist and why?
‘I feel the whole album as a piece represents me as an artist because I wanted to take the listener on a journey. But if I could choose one: I think New Year’s Eve’s best represents me. It is ridiculously romantic, a little bit tragic, very honest & describes a journey from Bath Spa Railway station to Glasgow Central station. The accompanying piano nods to my obsession with evocative film music and references an old love of period dramas. When I write I try and paint a visual picture for the listener to get on board with. I think this song best signifies my desire to create a narrative & build a ‘micro-plot’ in a matter of 3ish minutes. It combines my love for film, drama & music. Perhaps I’ll turn it into a short film one day…’
If you could have a dinner party with three other musicians, who would you choose?
‘Man. Um……Honestly right now I would love to meet Rosie Carney, who released her debut album one week before me and I just resonate with her music so much. For someone so young I am just captivated by her grace and depth and the album is truly exquisite. It would also have to be Jeff Buckley simply because I would like to interview him on the story behind ‘lover you should’ve come over’ (which is probably one of my favourite songs in the universe). Again, another classic, but genuinely would love to meet Thom Yorke and pepper him with questions on how he crafts his songs and where does all the darkness come from? Radiohead were on repeat on my little noughties mp3 player back in the day. Oh and maybe Bat for Lashes (seeing as Jeff is now dead) – she is a trail blazer and deep inspiration to me (and we share the same birthday!)’.
What is your favourite book and album?
‘Honestly, sometimes I will devour whole novels in an evening but I often go months without reading a book. I just read Call the Midwife and I just loved it/slightly obsessed with it. I love books where I can journey with the heroine/characters to places of the heart I wouldn’t otherwise experience in real life – which I guess it why most people love books?
Album – crumbs. That’s a difficult one. I have some classics I cling too but currently I am still listening to Rosie Carney’s album (Bare) on repeat. It has been the audio back drop for my January/February and March. When I get into a new album I tend to listen to it in depth for months and months…… Another example of an album I listened to for months on end recently was Infinite Bisous’ W/Love album.
Are you able to describe the process of writing a song?
‘Some songs are born in an instant, others are crafted and tentatively tended to over the course of sometimes years. Sometimes I have used a melody I wrote when I was a child and somehow it marries perfectly to lyrics I have written that day. The music part of songwriting is almost never thought about it is very much felt and written intuitively whereas, most of the time, the lyrics take much more consideration. There have been several occasions though where both music and lyrics happen all at once – that’s magic when it happens. I have learnt to be more intentional with my songwriting – I have to shut myself away in a church or soundproof music room. Either with a blank canvas day or an evening alone. I find that space and stillness (& sometimes a cup of red bush tea or glass of red wine) can help evoke the flow…’
What musical instrument would you like to learn?
‘100% would love to learn the violin. My late grandad, Teddy Tyghe, who I never got to meet played the violin and I always think of him when I see/hear the violin. I think people look so expressive and gorgeous when they play the violin – it’s like the cousin of the human singing voice.’
If you could give one piece of advice to aspiring musician, what would it be?
‘Enjoy it! What you have to bring to the table is completely unique – particularly the more daring and brave you dare yourself to be. Be inspired by other artists but don’t feel you have to emulate or copy what they are doing. If what you are creating excites, resonates and releases you – then keep going!’
What would you like to achieve over the next year?
‘Ugh man so much. This question kind of makes me ache because what I want to ‘achieve’ (I prefer create) this year is ENDLESS. Something I keep referring to is this idea of ‘expanding my capacity’. I’m sure many creatives can relate to the juggling act of working to earn a living, working on your art form and trying to wash your clothes every now and then, not to mention checking in on your grandparents etc. etc…The pull of life is extreme. I want to tour, I want to release more music (album no.2 is almost ready!) & I have two singles ready to record and release into the world. I would love to become more daring, put myself out there more & I would love for my music to reach to a wider audience and resonate with those who want and need it!’
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