Interview: Ed Dowie – 'It's a bit weird, it's electronic and I sing: it's sort of nice.'
Ed Dowie's debut album is a bewitching blend of dreaminess, melancholy and oddness
Ed Dowie, recent addition to the Lost Map roster, releases his debut album The Uncle Sold on Fri 27 Jan. We caught up with him to chat about his varied career, working in a group and as a solo artist, and future plans.
Tell us more about The Uncle Sold …
The album is a collection of songs made over the past couple of years, recorded in studio spaces around London. The title is a malapropism of the Kazuo Ishiguro novel, The Unconsoled. I absolutely love that book. It continually changes throughout, creating a dream-like state that is both strangely comforting and unnerving and it's unlike anything I've ever read. I wanted it to just continue on forever. I really like it when music goes to places that you wouldn't expect it to, so I hope I've created something that is surprising and interesting.
How would you describe your sound to those who haven't heard it yet?
I still don't have a good description of that. I usually say something like 'it's a bit weird, it's electronic and I sing: it's sort of nice', which is pretty unhelpful, isn't it? Recently I was described as odd-pop which I kind of like. I think if I read that description applied to someone else, I'd want to hear what that sounded like.
Who are the artists around right now you think are really killing it?
I guess it depends on the definition of killing it. I recently saw Yama Warashi who I thought were absolutely brilliant. They were supporting fellow Lost Mapper Rozi Plain (who is also brilliant). And Beyoncé's doing pretty well isn't she?
You've worked with The Paper Cinema – can you tell us a bit more about that side of your career?
I've composed music for various theatre productions and short films, including working with The Paper Cinema for about five years. It was amazing, as it involved composing music, and also performing it live alongside the puppeteers. It was a great experience to be involved in and the show we made in 2012 is still touring around the world.
Do you prefer working alone or in a group?
I definitely prefer working on my own (so far). I like that I can just lock myself away and try stuff that is probably terrible, and no-one has to hear it but me. I struggle a bit to make suggestions when working in a group. You don't really know if anything's any good until you've tried it, and I think you need the freedom to give anything a go.
What have you got lined up for the new year?
I want to try and gig more this year. So far, most of the shows I've done have been in London, so I'd really like to try and find some places around the country that'd have me. I'm really excited about the album coming out on 27 Jan, as it sort of feels like it doesn't quite exist yet, even though I finished it ages ago. I think it being out will help me know a bit better what it is, and what happens next.
The Uncle Sold is out on Fri 27 Jan via Lost Map Records