Lis­ten to the mu­sic

Weaned on Tom Waits and with a voice hewn from blues and soul, Cold Specks tells Tony Clay­ton-lea of her jour­ney from small town Canada to London and why it’s not all doom

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Cover Story -

“I’m from Eto­bi­coke, Canada – it’s a re­ally re­mote place, so not many peo­ple have ever heard of it. I was in high school and got very much into Tomwaits, so he can be blamed for to­tally spark­ing my in­ter­est in mu­sic. I started off lis­ten­ing to his al­bum Rain Dogs and then worked back­wards and for­wards through his records. I have to be hon­est and tell you that I’d never heard any­thing quite like him be­fore or since. Af­ter that, I be­gan to ex­plore quite a few old blues and soul singers – peo­ple like James Carr – which kinda got me to where I am to­day.” and some­times a video cam­era. It was very DIY; in fact, I didn’t even know what I was do­ing. So I can’t say I un­der­stood the struc­tures in­volved, but at the age of 16 I sup­pose you’re not geared up to it.”

should just lis­ten to songs.” “I’m a very pri­vate per­son, yes, and I like hav­ing the as­pect of mys­tery – not de­lib­er­ately, though, it’s just the way it should be, I reckon. I also want peo­ple to lis­ten to the mu­sic with­out at­tach­ing a story be­hind it. I love peo­ple like Bon Iver, for ex­am­ple, but when­ever you read about him, it’s al­ways about some dude in a cabin. I’d much rather the mu­sic tell the story.” “Oh, no, please don’t tell me that’s out there! I was hang­ing around my man­ager’s place one day and we were con­struct­ing a Face­book page for me, and when it came to writ­ing what the mu­sic was about, I wrote ‘doom soul’ as a joke. Un­for­tu­nately, it caught on. It’s ab­so­lutely ridicu­lous that it has be­come the best way to de­scribe what I do. I hate defin­ing my mu­sic but in many ways you’re forced to. I’ve been called the new Adele, for good­ness sake, but my mu­sic is noth­ing – and I re­ally mean noth­ing – like that. I don’t like to cat­e­gorise, ei­ther – we

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