Six Of The Best: Tired Trace | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Tired Trace (Aka: Jake Anderson) creates intricate, electronic-based pieces to explore his emotions. His latest EP, 12D: BRINK OF NEARLY FULL, saw the artist become a performer, embracing the trip-hop elements of his sound.

Ahead of his performance at the Little Building stage of Northern Electric Festival on 23rd September…

I won’t pretend that I’ve been an MF DOOM fan my entire life, I only became a fan of the rapper about two years before his death. But I’d argue that he has had the greatest influence on my music over any other artist.

I truly believe the track That’s That from his album BORN LIKE THIS is quite possibly one of the best-written hip hop songs of all time, and when I write I think back to That’s That and how Dumile raps over himself like four times over – and every time I hear that or Strange Ways I just want to pick up a pen and write.

And that’s just writing, I also love how he has structured every one of his projects as narratives with samples, from Take Me To Your Leader to Mm.. Food, it’s what makes his LPs unique and there’s a lot of inspiration to be taken from that. It’s still an absolute tragedy that we lost one of hip-hop’s best, but his music and his voice will forever live on.

LIFE – Urban Environment
Throughout my life I’ve had this fascination with the urban environment, it was probably why I loved LEGO, Minecraft and Human Geography as a kid. The specific architecture of certain towns to the complexities of operating services within a city, it just truly interests me and has led me into my current career. Which has naturally translated into my music.

14A: HAUNTED BY THE NIGHT’s cover has a photo of Bewick Court in Newcastle against the cloudy night sky. It’s a building that signals a certain time when I lived in Newcastle, the time in which that EP was made, when I walked past that building daily – which feeds into songs like Copeland Terrace.

Or 12D: BRINK OF NEARLY FULL has a photo of a party in a stereotypical working-class terraced backyard, although in that context the photo was chosen more because I thought it looked cool. It’s an element to everyday life that many overlook but has had a huge influence on me.

FILM – Aftersun (Charlotte Wells, 2022)
Like anyone chronically online, I have a Letterboxd. And as I was looking to what film I could possibly even say was an influence on my creative output, my mind just kept coming back to Aftersun.

I saw Aftersun at Tyneside Cinema and it was a strange watch. It didn’t click with me straight away, but then about halfway through I finally understood what Aftersun was about, and my heart just dissolved into my chest. It’s a film that since seeing it in January, I have not stopped thinking about.

While Aftersun hasn’t influenced my music, it has heavily inspired my approach to the music video I’m currently working on for Encounter at the Metro / Light / Stay, along with Rye Lane and Never Rarely Sometimes Always.

The one shot that just has never left my mind is when Calum stands on his balcony railing, the silhouette of Paul Mescal’s body in complete darkness against the blue of the sky, as the character toys with the idea of his own mortality. It’s really heavy stuff.

MUSIC – Weyes Blood
Weyes Blood is quite possibly my favourite artist of all time, no hyperbole. I have like seven copies of Titanic Rising, and multiple of each album, as well as being lucky enough to meet her twice, and I’m seeing her again in November – hell I even own some of the PR CDs for her projects.

And while her music itself is not a direct influence for me, as she makes truly gorgeous sounding art pop or singer/songwriter soundscapes, her ambition to deliver truly great tunes and to keep her sound fresh while building upon it each time is truly an inspiration. Her discography trajectory is just remarkable, going from noise and drone to psychedelic-influenced indie pop, but as you examine each release that trajectory makes sense.

I genuinely hope to one day be able to create a project as sincere with its emotions and lush in its sound as Titanic Rising. I will never stop being grateful to Matthew Jameson for introducing me to her music.

TV – Cyberpunk: Edgerunners (2022)
For the record, I do not watch anime and I have not played Cyberpunk 2077. But 2022 being the absolute GOAT of a year it was for Film, Music and TV, gave us bangers like Aftersun and Cyberpunk: Edgerunners.

While I could sing the praises for this limited series for a good couple hours, C:Edgerunners has influenced me in two distinct ways.

First is how it conveys a narratively strong story with genuine emotional moments in a brisk runtime.  I hope to one day be able to tell a story through my own music that even attempts to hit the same impact with its story, it’s depressingly fun.

Secondly, is the truly outstanding pop song soundtrack. Let’s Eat Grandma was actually a huge influence of 12D: BONF, a brilliant electronic duo whose praise must be sung louder, but Rosa Walton’s I Really Want To Stay At Your House influenced a great deal of musical techniques and lyricism within the EP, with the title Stay for the final track being a direct nod to this influence. It’s just such an unbelievably catchy, heart-wrenching song – and it’s the centrepiece for this brilliant little show.

BOOK – How Music Works (David Byrne, 2012)
Talking Heads were a band I was obsessed with in my late teens, so it was just time before I read David Byrne’s How Music Works. I finished it not too long ago. I don’t read a lot, so it took me literal months to finish it, but it was a fantastic read. The opening begins with a discussion of how architecture has influenced music, which I loved! Then another chapter was about how technology has progressed, and another about how the corporate side to music actually works. It was a book which at the end of every chapter I felt as if I learned something.

But it’s being included on this list, for one specific talking point in the book – which was along the lines of ‘being talented on a laptop does not necessarily make you talented on stage’. It’s a talking point that I had a fair few discussions on with friends.

And while I’d certainly never call myself talented, it is something I’ve been thinking about recently as I’ve just started taking the stage to perform the songs from 12D: BONF.

What is a memorable and good performance when you’re just doing vocals over instrumentals? When I performed at Stockton’s NE Volume Bar, Yes Plant’s Adam Tyson joined me on stage and did push-ups, was that memorable? When I performed at Independent’s Open Mic Night, every song had a technical error, so I laughed my way through my set and pretended to give up on stage, was that a memorable performance?

What can I do to elevate my performance on stage to be great? It’s just something that’s been on my mind and influencing me lately, as Byrne’s words just echo in my head and something I should hopefully be able to test come Northern Electric Festival on the 23rd September.

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