My Inspiration: Imogen Bose-Ward – Elton | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Newcastle-based singer-songwriter Imogen Bose-Ward drops her latest single, Elton, which takes inspiration from the likes of Carol King, Kacey Musgraves, Nora Jones, and John Prine. The soft shuffly rhythms, lingering bass-line and Imogen’s melodious voice shape the song’s delicate and graceful ‘sad country’ sound which permeates the air with a warm, Summery ambience. 

Here, the artist tells us more about what inspired the song…

Elton is a song about feelings of worry, and how the same thoughts seemed to be coming up over and over. I can be introspective to a fault, and lots of my songs come from the things I cook up in my train of thought, and Elton was no different. Lyrically, this song was inspired by feeling unable to create anything new because that perfectionist frustration kept getting in the way, and how that can lead me to be put off trying at all. I think it is something that can come up for a lot of artists and is the ultimate self-sabotage. For me, it can be perpetuated by looking sideways at other people’s highlight reels of their creative careers, which as we know was our main form of communication for a long time.

Musically, I love seeing how jazz, pop, folk and country can fuse together and this single is another step in that direction. One of my biggest musical influences is John Martyn, and I really wanted to feature something that had a keys solo that alluded to the solo on ‘Don’t Want to Know’ from his Solid Air album (one of my all-time favourites). This was such a formative album for me as a teenager, and it has come along for the ride in all stages of my life since. As well as John Martyn, I also love the way that Nora Jones fuses similar genres, and I have loved listening to the way she pairs songwriting with folk/jazz instrumentation.

When this song came together in the studio under the guise of multi-instrumentalist and sound engineer Rob Griffiths, I wanted a cosiness and vulnerability to come across, so the vocals are close-mic’d and kept it fairly sparse with some push and pull. I love hearing the ‘human’ in recorded music, and the musicians on the track are so locked into my style of playing and singing. I love to have a looseness in the delivery of my songs, and I’ve been so lucky to play with a band that breathes so much life into that style.

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