Even though it seems as though time is moving slowly these days, it isn’t always on your side. Nor is it always the right time for certain things. It took a few listens and a couple of days for Notes and Dreams by Raveloe to hit home, but when it did, it quickly burrowed into the heart and head. This past year hasn’t been easy, but when music and mood align, the world feels a bit brighter and easier to manage.
SNACK was delighted to catch up with Kim Grant, Raveloe, to chat about her debut EP, online friends, and the importance of connectivity, now and going forward.
How’s it going?
I had quite a long day of lectures online, but it’s nice because I’m done for the day!
What are you studying?
I’m studying Music and Sound. It’s not bad, but this part of the course should be in a practice room, collaborating with other musicians. So, it’s different, but I’m glad to have something to keep me busy.
When your last band, Tongue Trap split, was it obvious you would go solo?
Yeah, that was the reason I decided to end my previous band. I had so many ideas and I had a different direction in mind.
How was the recording process for the EP?
Yeah, it was a really nice way to stay in touch with friends. Jacob [Tomlinson] had drummed with me before; we were just kind of jamming and he had to move to Derby from Glasgow because he lost his job because of Covid. He was sending me stems of drum parts, and I was putting them in. I hadn’t done much of that before, so it was a real learning curve.
My friend Erin [F. Watt], who used to be in Tongue Trap, she’s in Melbourne, and she was sending me over parts. My other friend Izzy [Rose] was sending me parts from Dumfries and Galloway, and then Jen [Athan] was in Glasgow. We were all over the shop! While I’m name-checking everyone, I should say ‘Steady’ was mixed by Jason Riddell, and the mastering was by Mark Jasper, so thanks to them as well!
Were people bringing their ideas to the process?
They asked me what I was going for, and I sent them lots of demos; but I very much wanted them to have the freedom to write parts that they wanted to write and create. They had creative control for their parts. On ‘Steady’ for example, I wrote that bass part, and Izzy added bits on. We managed to do that one live before the lockdown.
Was there anything which inspired you to change things?
When Jen sent me the string parts. I’ve never had strings on any of my songs before, and that made me feel differently about that song. It opened it up, made it wider, and I wanted to layer some textures over it. That was quite fun to hear!
A lot of reviews reference the songs with respect to lockdown, isolation and loneliness. Was that your thinking when you were writing the songs, or do you think people are projecting their feelings onto the music?
A bit of both. As a writer, I would hope for both those things to happen. It’s a big thing for me to know people are connecting with it, and so projecting what they’re doing is part of that process. You know, it was quite unavoidable that this was seeping into the songs, but they came from different places too.
Any bands/acts you’ve been listening to of late?
Over lockdown, I listened to an album called Mia Gargaret by an artist called Gia Margaret. She used a muddle-up of her name. It’s an ambient instrumental album; she only sings on the last song, as she lost her voice, and decided to make ambient music. That really transported me during the whole lockdown time. Adrianne Lenker and Big Thief; I listened to them a lot. Also, Jill Lorean, she’s a Glasgow artist. I listened to her EP, and I loved that. It was exciting to hear these great songs coming from Glasgow.
You’ve played a few live online sets – have you enjoyed these shows?
The first ones were a bit unusual, getting used to the format. I found the first one quite challenging, and then I had a realisation. I realised that I’m in the most comfortable place I can be in, my bedroom, and I reminded myself of that and of what I wanted to get across. That helped a lot.
Having an audience, but not in front of you, which is usually the big thing, was nice.
I played with Withered Hand, Chrissy Barnacle, Molly [Linen] and Jason [Riddell]. It was such a nice community feel, and I was missing that. I like meeting bands and having a chat. There are some positives about live gigs and shows that would be good to retain as we move forward. It’s a good way to be more accessible. I can see a more blended form of gigs going forward, with artists doing live shows online, as well as in venues.
Before you played your set at the Govanhill Street Music Festival, did you think it would lead to your EP being released?
Ha! I did not, no. That was a really big surprise.
How was the festival? It took place in August 2020, so social distancing was in place.
It was a surreal experience. It was amazing, but I felt a bit nervous. When you’re gigging every week, you are well-practised, so there was that element to consider. There was a really special atmosphere, but it was bizarre. It took me a while to relax, certainly for most of the first song.
And that is where Lloyd [Meredith, from Olive Grove] saw you?
He is so encouraging and supportive. It was amazing to meet him; he came up to me with his son. I think Lloyd was going to be a bit coy about it, and then his son said, ‘My dad runs a record label,’ I still wasn’t sure what was going to happen, but I was like, ‘That’s really nice.’
I then met up with Lloyd and Carla [J. Easton] and we went for a walk in the park. I sent an EP over to Lloyd; I wasn’t thinking he would put it out. I just thought I’d share it.
What’s been your favourite part or parts of releasing the EP and the promotion?
It’s all been a lovely experience. Going from doing something in my bedroom to placing it out into the world and then connecting with people. That’s more than I could have hoped to happen, and it’s been really reassuring. It’s been nice to feel that sense of community and support. That’s been brilliant. It’s a bit nerve-wracking; I’m not used to talking about my music, but I’m getting used to it.
What are your next plans? Apart from leaving the house?
Yes, that would be a good one! I managed to record a single in Glenwood Studio – I think I can share that – which will be released soon. I’m excited, because that was with a producer in the studio, and Peter Kelly was playing drums. I think he’s a great drummer. I want to keep recording. I have a bunch of songs written. The plan is to record them when studios open up again. I have a few gigs coming up. One is for The Glad Live Sessions, the date for that is still being confirmed. And then The Hug & Pint. I just can’t wait to play again.