INTERVIEW: Fiona Liquid | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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It seems fitting to me that the overarching theme of this piece is predominantly about growth and pushing one’s comfort zones creatively in order to progress, grow musically and experiment with sounds that are not identifiable with an artist, but that is exactly what Newcastle-based inventive artist Fiona Liquid’s debut EP, Fluid, has done by the bucket load.

While chatting with Fiona (also known as Finlay Ireland), I found her to be enthusiastic in explaining her work and how she arrived in her current musical guise. “The reason I perform under Fiona Liquid is down to two reasons: it’s just really fun to dress up in a wig and make-up. Seriously, every man should do it at least once. And, it’s a way for me to separate the two aspects of myself. When performing on stage, you put on an affect, to an extent. David Bowie was really Davy Jones, Alice Cooper is really Vincent Furnier. Fiona Liquid is my spin on doing that.”

When performing on stage, you put on an affect, to an extent. Fiona Liquid is my spin on doing that

Fiona’s tenacity and love of artistic self-exploration has paid dividends on her debut EP. It’s not over-produced, or steeped in finesse, and this is endearing. I cannot get away from the punk influences in everything I hear, but I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing, as we all have a foundation from which we move forward, and I believe this may be hers. “I’ve always hated it when I’m finally uploading a song and it asks me what genre the song falls into.” She explains. “Especially in today’s age, where genre becomes more fluid and artists take more from varying different inspiration.”

Fiona describes opening track New Thing! as “trying to write a pop song that also doubles as a cheeky critique of materialism”. To me, every track throughout the release is underpinned with the blatant and brazenness that is characteristic of punk. Fiona tells me that she uses pop artist Olivia Rodrigo’s writing process – “Lyrics first, song second” – which indicates the experimentation rolls right back to the skeleton of the processes.

On lo-fi track Blue she draws from her own periods of poor mental health for inspiration. “Having suffered from depression since I was a young teenager, the lyrics came very quickly.” Further explaining that, “the vocals are some of the best I’ve ever done. At least so far. Also the hardest, the breath control required was way out of my range.” The ever-evolving James – by far the most interesting instrumentally, as there is so much going on – is a favourite of Fiona’s too. It was my favourite to make, building on a demo and transferring it into this insane dance/electro monster.” Lastly, Happiness: “It’s a song of happy accidents…the synth line is a total accident. I’d say it’s my best work so far.”

It’s a pleasure to bear witness to this artist’s experimentations, which require her to be both uncomfortable and vulnerable. Join her on the journey, you won’t regret it.

Fiona Liquid releases Fluid on 15th April. She performs at Head of Steam, Newcastle, supporting Drool, on Saturday 2nd April.

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