Artist Spotlight: Bored at My Grandmas House – Our Culture – Our Culture Mag

Posted: February 10, 2021 at 9:54 pm

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Do you ever think of showers as like a new beginning? 20-year-old Leeds-based songwriter Amber Strawbridge asks on the opening track of her new EP, Sometimes I Forget Youre Human Too. The project, out today via Clue Records, indeed marks a kind of new beginning for the dream-pop artist, who was born in Whitehaven, Cumbria and started making songs on GarageBand while literally bored at her grandmothers place. After releasing a series of singles on SoundCloud as well as Isolation Tape, in her words a kind of random release that nevertheless allowed her to further explore her sound, her latest finds her refining her approach with help from producer Alex Greaves while retaining the lo-fi, bedroom pop charm of her early productions. Nowhere is this more evident than on opener Showers, which conjures the kind of soaring hook youd expect from any of the big names in shoegazey alt-rock, while the title track swirls in a melodic haze and Skin cuts through the messiness of human relationships. With the addition of live drums and gauzy layers of guitars towering above her, it sounds like watching someone beginning to open up to the immensity of the world around them as they reflect on things either lost or forgotten, but no longer completely out of view.

We caught up with Amber Strawbridge aka Bored at My Grandmas House for the latest edition of our Artist Spotlight interview series, where we showcase up-and-coming artists and talk to them about their music.

How are you? How has your day been so far?

Ive not done much today. I went for a walk, that was fun. Im at my parents house at the minute because of lockdown.

I just noticed what does the poster behind you say?

It says, Animals are my friends and I dont eat my friends. Its by Bernard Shaw, whos a really great writer.

Are you interested in veganism and animal rights?

Yeah, I mean, Im vegan, so.

Me too actually, which is why that caught my eye. This isnt how these interviews normally start!

Yeah, I was raised veggie, so its kind of always been normal to me. And then I went vegan around five years ago.

Thats really cool. And from what I understand, you also grew up in a kind of musical family and around many instruments? Do you have any early memories of being drawn to music?

My parents used to just take me to loads of different little festivals. They were just really weird hippie festivals with like, gypsy jazz, folk music, that kind of stuff. So I was just always surrounded by loads and loads of different types of we went to, like, Austria, and went to festivals there, so I had a really good childhood in that sense. And my dad plays loads of different instruments like piano and violin. I think he just kind of let me do whatever I wanted, like I cant even play piano or violin, but just having them there and just him playing stuff, I think it probably subconsciously affected me.

What types of music were you exposed to at the time, and what did you find yourself gravitating towards?

I feel like when everybodys younger they kind of just listen to whatever their parents are listening to, so like, Pink Floyd, The Police, David Bowie, that kind of stuff, but also just weird folk bands who I dont even know the name of. And I have an older brother, so then I progressed into liking what he liked, and he just liked loads of indie bands. And when I got a bit older, I just found my own niche, I guess, I went more into shoegazey kind of people.

I got my guitar because I saw Ellie [Rowsell] from Wolf Alice with her guitar and I was like, I want that. And then I just taught myself.

What was it that drew you to shoegaze?

Its actually kind of weird, because I was listening to shoegaze before I actually knew what shoegaze was. So I was listening to bands that were probably influenced by like, Slowdive or Jesus and the Mary Chain, like bigger shoegaze people. And then I started to make music and people would come up to me and be like, Oh, I like how youve got that shoegaze sound and I was like, What? What is shoegaze? I didnt even know what it was, and then I started to get more into it.

When did you go from uploading songs on SoundCloud to deciding you were going to make this EP? How did the idea of the project come about?

For this EP, I did the songs in the first lockdown, so all of them were just recorded when I came back home. And I dont know, I think it was just like, Id been at uni for so many months and at uni its just very fast-paced and like everyones constantly doing stuff and then when I came home, it was kind of a calmness that I could get in touch with my thoughts and everything, and I just wrote a lot.

Its interesting that you mention that, because Im curious about the title of the EP, Sometimes I Forget Youre Human Too. Youve said thats about the realization that not everyone has got it together all the time. Where did that realization come from?

I think I started writing that song at uni, because it was kind of around a time when everyone was just I think for me, Im always like, Oh, I should be doing more work or like, I should be doing better, like Im quite self-critical. And I cant put my finger on it, but just one day I was like, everybody has their own kind of faults or demons that theyre dealing with or whatever. I think it was kind of good for me to know, because the songs kind of me reassuring myself that its okay if youre not 100% amazing all the time. Because, you know, everybody else isnt.

Do you feel that relates at all to being a perfectionist? Is that something that informs how you approach music?

Its weird, because with songs I dont really like to go back to them. I do them as a whole product and then I find it difficult to go back I have a kind of flow of thoughts so I find it difficult to then get back to the same headspace that I was in when I was writing it. So I guess that would be not perfectionism, but I just think in day-to-day life Im quite a perfectionist. I just like to achieve things. [laughs] Im just like, Oh, I cant watch TV because I should be doing this, which is more productive, that kind of thing.

To change the subject a little bit, throughout the EP, I noticed there are a lot of references to water, from Showers to Summer, where you sing about hanging by the lakes, and of course the closing track, Safer at Sea. And I know you grew up in a coastal town as well.

Yeah, thats where Im at.

Was there any particular reason you found yourself returning to that kind of imagery?

You know what, Ive never thought about that, so thats a good point. It wasnt a conscious decision, maybe subconsciously. Maybe its just a safe space or what Im used to, maybe, or have always been surrounded by. I live by the coast, and then I also like 10 minutes out of the Lake District. And I guess in a way, because I came home from uni which is like a city, which is the opposite of my hometown, coming back from somewhere thats busy and just big lights and all that kind of stuff to, like, nature, maybe I was just reconnecting with that. But it wasnt deliberate.

To get to Safer at Sea specifically, which stands out to me lyrically. It feels like quite a vulnerable moment on the record. Do you remember what was going through your mind while writing that song?

I think what it was was, I started writing it during lockdown and there was just lots of things happening. There was something to do with the refugee crisis and like, one of the MPs said something really just horrible. And I was just so angry about it, and I think the line safer at sea its kind of like theres these people who are like, Were gonna travel across the sea to try and come to a safe space, and then theyve been met with horrible bigotry and it just contradicts what theyre hoping for. So the sea in the middle is like the safe space when theres not that, and none of society. And then I just kind of thought, maybe everyones safer at sea, like theres no racism, sexism, anything, its just peaceful. And then in the verses, I was kind of expressing how I feel a bit distant from society sometimes.

Could you talk more about that feeling?

I think its when things like that happen, like when I hear somebody say something that I just do not understand at all, I just dont understand how people like that can exist. And then because you live in a bubble, like I live with people who are on the same wavelength and we all have kind of similar opinions, I think its easy to get trapped in the thought that everyone thinks like you, whereas if you watch the news you can easily see that not everythings the same.

Thats interesting, it sounds like you feel strongly about injustice in general, and maybe that relates back to veganism as well?

Yeah, definitely. During the time I was writing, it was the comment about the refugees that really pissed me off, but the thing as a whole is like, you know, if everybody was vegan, if everybody wasnt racist or xenophobic, it would just be a better place. And obviously, thats not what it is at the minute, so the sea is kind of a better place. I think thats what I meant at the time.

I know you recently put together a band do you have any plans that youre excited about in the coming months or anything that youre working on currently?

Well, my band is just going to be my live band, so Im still gonna do everything myself and record it all myself. But I really, really wanna do gigs, thats my main thing. Ive got a catalog of songs now that are ready, so hopefully that will happen soon.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity and length.

Bored at My Grandmas Houses Sometimes I Forget Youre Human Too EP is out now via Clue Records.

Read the original here:
Artist Spotlight: Bored at My Grandmas House - Our Culture - Our Culture Mag

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February 10th, 2021 at 9:54 pm

Posted in Bernard Shaw