FFO: Wild Spelks – Hail Mary | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Wild Spelks, the solo project of Newcastle-based songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer Jonny Sabiston, releases his latest single, Hail Mary, a song about religion, young love and drinking too much. The track, which was all performed and recorded by Jonny himself, is big, bassy and anthemic – all the qualities you look for in an alt-rock banger.

Here, Johnny tries to sum up his sound using three tracks…

Weezer – Keep Fishin’
An unashamed 2:51 of sickly sweet pop-rock. The highlight for me being the Motown-esque modulation into the bridge, a true joy. Earworm pop songwriting, with all of the humbucking distortion, precision bass and hard hitting drums that I desire. This is what I aspire to, the benchmark.

Frightened Rabbit – Backyard Skulls
A band I regrettably only truly absorbed, after the passing of lead singer Scott Hutchison. His lyrics can really cut you deep, with topics often circling towards the anxious and morbid, in the most beautiful and vivid colour. A dialogue on mental health is something I always push for. Lyrically it is never too far away in any of my songs. Outside of the songs, I try to talk about it, as often as I can. Hi I’m Jonny and I am anxious, please listen to my music.

Jimmy Eat World – Work
In terms of production, this track has always been a reference point for my work. A clean, crisp slice of American pop rock. The chorus is Jim Adkins at his high range, belting best. Jim and I share a similar space in our vocal range. A space some might call a screech at times, I find that pushing my vocals to the upper limit, is how I convey my emotion. I’m not a fan of the vocal comfort zone, however much I regret it when it comes to playing live.

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