London based alt folk singer and songwriter Alex Bayly will this week release a new four track EP, Skipping Stones. Self produced out of necessity in 2020, the music comes from the introspection that the enforced isolation of the past months has brought to us all.
The title song addresses the nagging thoughts of doubt, regret or anger we all carry around. “Do I need this, bringing me down?”. Living through a pandemic and various levels of lockdown will lead to contemplation as we have all found and many of us are still coming to terms with the changes. Lyrics such as
“Skipping life, Staying in instead. If you’re coming round, There is nothing said”
echo the seemingly endless soul searching that staying indoors has come to feel like for many. The beautiful falsetto adds an ethereal, wistful sound that encapsulates the feelings projected by the song.
Of the four tracks, ‘It’s True‘ is my favourite, not least due to the harmonica that makes an appearance (I do love a bit of harmonica in a song). I also love a bit of humour in a song and there’s plenty in ‘It’s True’, starting with the image of the hangover from hell and the half remembered remnants of the night before.
Alex’s advice for aspiring musicians is contemplative and starts from the ground up:
Success is relative. Success is something I and most musicians strive for. But it’s important to remember that the journey is more import and the experiences, rather the final destination. There have been opportunities some of which have come off and some of which haven’t. But I still enjoy writing and recording music as much as I ever did. No one can take your enjoyment of the creative process away from you.
Have a backup. 9/10 out of 10 times it won’t work so be versatile and be realistic and think about ways that you can make a living with your music without gigging, streams and being a rock star. For me that’s teaching guitar and piano. I quite like it and it keeps me playing and learning. Which is one of the aspects of music I enjoy the most.
I’ve been in a lot of bands and played with a lot people. But I wish I’d played with more…Part of that is fear of failure. I wish I’d jammed with more jazzers and musical monsters. Also, now during the pandemic you can’t play with anyone. I miss it so much. Don’t worry about making mistakes or people thinking you’re rubbish. Because you will learn more from a bad gig than any good gig. Every mistake is a valuable lesson. So just get out there and do it!
Skipping Stones is released on 5 February on The Last Records. Get your copy here.
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