Hi, Sylvie here. Happy new year! Hope it’s a good one for you.
So far mine’s been a whirlwind – just as it was at the end of 2014, nonstop shows, interviews and radio sessions. In fact just this morning I was being interviewed by a journalist who asked me what it felt like changing sides from writing about music to making music. A good question except that when he asked it, I was busy writing an album review for MOJO! But I did find time to write a new song over the holidays (yep, another sad one) and there’s another song simmering in my head that I can’t wait to get to.
But back to this morning’s interview. I answered that in many ways it had felt surprisingly natural to make an album, once I’d finally plucked up courage to do it. I mean, I’d always played music for myself, as well as listened to and written about it, and I’d seen the inside of enough recording studios for them not to intimidate me too much. The hardest part, I told him, was trying to grow thicker skin in time for what I assumed would be very harsh reviews – because I’d broken the first rule of music journalism, which is that a rock writer should never release a record. The old cliche goes that all rock writers are deep-down failed or frustrated musicians, and maybe there’s some truth to that, even if my “inner rockstar” stayed hidden for quite a few decades.
He asked if it was strange reading reviews of my own album – and it was, it felt surreal. One of the strangest things though was how great they’ve all been, every one of them. What’s also been great is how supportive musicians have been. One of the highlights of last year was when Jim White, whose albums I’ve loved and written about for ages, asked me to sing with him in New York City in November at a benefit for the literary magazine Radio Silence. And in February – when I get back from Cartagena, Colombia, where I’m going to be appearing as both a writer and a singer at the Hay Festival of the Americas! – I’m going to head on the road with another singer-songwrite whose music I’ve admired and reviewed, Jason McNiff.
Well, one of my resolutions is to try and blog more often – I’m sorry things got so busy that I didn’t get around to writing about all the great stuff that’s been going on since I released my album – trips to Oslo, Helsinki, Dublin, London, Liverpool, Winchester and now back playing in California. I’ve put links to a few videos and radio shows on my website’s Sounds page, along with some of the reviews and interviews. Another resolution is to keep my Tour page updated every few days, whenever a new show or radio session is confirmed, so please check in on that page now and then, as I’d love to see you. And if you’re a Facebookie, feel free to friend me since I post there every day.
And I’ll leave you for now with a piece I wrote on Bob Dylan for Radio Silence