Blog interview: Ailsa Tully

Hi Ailsa how are you?

Really well thankyou! Enjoying doing a run of welsh festivals this year so spending some time in the hills – also feels amazing to have had such lovely comments on the single release.

Congratulations on the release of “Highly Strung”. How did this song come about?

“Highly Strung” came about at a time when I wasn’t in a great mental headspace – I had recently finished uni and felt quite lost about how to continue with my music and also felt like I was being swallowed by insecurities surrounding my music. “Highly Strung” was like wallowing in that grief and the sadness that envelops you when you can’t see your own worth.

You had the previous release of an EP, what was your favourite song from that project?

My favourite track from Feuds is definately Ebony – I love the lap harp and the reversed guitar. I find it really uplifting!

You are on the Skivvy Records label with Gillie another blog interviewee… what’s the best bit of advice you have given to each other?

It’s funny I feel like we agree on so much and have such a similar approach that it’s hard to pick out the advice she has given me. Gillie is amazing to have as a record label partner and as part of the band. She is a really calming, creative presence that instinctively finds harmonies and guitar parts that really compliment my songs – it is such a joy to work together. I think probably through looking at each others experiences we have really understood that authenticity is paramount. Always value your own musical identity and work with people that believe in what you are doing.

What did you listen to growing up?

My dad is a musician so we listened to loads of different things, The Incredible String band, The Beatles, Joni Mitchell, The Beach Boys, jazz, classical, choral etc. It was very diverse and we would always analyse the music together on car journeys as well as sing in local choirs together. I think choral music has quite profoundly influenced me.

What artists are getting you excited at the moment?

I just got back from playing Greenman and was really impressed with Marika Hackman, Aldous Harding and Pictish Trail, but I am also constantly inspired by my friends music – Thallo, GILLIE, Another Sky, Honey Stretton, Melquiades the list goes on.

You are a classically trained cellist, what is your favourite piece to play?

Ahhh – well I like playing Bach pieces, they are quite fun as an exercise, but I don’t really have a special classical piece. I am currently working on adapting Sleep by Eric Whitacre for cello. I find it interested to explore peices not really meant for cello. Sometimes I find the classical way of playing too stuffy so it puts me off the conventional pieces I guess.

Tell us about the band, how did they come together?

The band is a happy accident really, all of us are from wales and ended up at Goldsmiths on the same course. I was working with different set ups when Gillie joined, followed by Heledd when we were looking for a drummer. Gillie and Heledd lived 10 mins from each other in Carmarthen but never met until the band formed. It’s meant to be!

You have played festivals is there a particular favourite and one on the bucket list you’d like to play?

I have played Greenman Settlement a few times now but I would love to play the walled garden at Greenman. Its setting is stunning and is such a lovely chilled festival.

What are your plans for the next year?

Next year we will be playing lots of gigs around the UK, releasing some live videos and hopefully some singles too!




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