INTERVIEW: Girl From Winter Jargon | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Multi-instrumentalist and loop queen, Girl From Winter Jargon launches her new single Without Apology this month, and performs at a charity event in support of MIND at Stockton’s Green Room on Saturday 10th August.

When I first saw Rachel (the Girl herself) live, she was playing a cover of the brilliantly macabre Letter To Daddy from sinister 1962 film Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? Whilst the cover may now be omitted from her set, her use of polyphonic vocals and intriguing guitar style made it an ingenious performance that also acted as an introduction to her inimitable cabaret-meets-grunge-meets-neoclassical style. Whilst mainly known for her live performances and using a multitude of effects, she’s managed to carve a niche for herself as an engaging live solo performer, which is no small feat, and it’s her skills as a clarinet player and arranger that can be fully heard on the new single.

The musical seclusion of County Durham might add a lot to her unique sound; both in time and composition, Without Apology runs the gamut of musical influences and styles that have been left to meander without intrusion from outside scenes or trends. It stands for and by itself, an introspective take on personal experience inside a catchy, upbeat and sprawling arrangement of guitar and clarinet.

Without Apology is mostly about inner conflict. It’s about addressing your fears and willing yourself to be braver than you actually are

On explaining her intricate multi-layered approach to writing and recording she says: “Having absolute control over every single aspect of a song is in itself very satisfying! I’ll often ‘hear’ all the parts of a song in my head first, so it’s case of figuring out ways to ‘translate’ the arrangement via instruments. When you get to hear everything properly and completely in sync for the first time outside your head it’s an amazing feeling, but it’s not always an exact science; things won’t always sound the same, or a part might be too difficult for me to play so I’ll have to actually knuckle down and learn how to play it.”

Without Apology is an impressive and intricately organised track, weaving between idiosyncratic bell-like layered guitars alongside the surprising addition of some slap bass. “I love playing bass in the slap n’ pop style. You can hear a tiny bit of it in verse two. It’s quite subtle, but it’s there.” The final delivery arrives in the form of the climatic vocal and clarinet polyphony; rounds that urge the listener to discern each melody as they interweave. With the lyrics ranging from the sardonic and satirical to the contemplative, she describes it as a little note to yourself, of being brave in the face of uncertainty. “Without Apology is mostly about inner conflict. It’s about addressing your fears and willing yourself to be braver than you actually are.”

 

 

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