INTERVIEW: Jeremy Tuplin

Singer, songwriter and storyteller Jeremy Tuplin lifts the lid on uncomfortable truths in his new record Pink Mirror.

Released on Trapped Animal Records, Pink Mirror juxtaposes Tuplin’s dry, astute lyrics with unexpectedly uplifting musical arrangements. Mellow baritone vocals are eloquently nestled within a canvas of guitars, dreamy atmospherics and a playful rhythm section. Dark humour and witty social commentary set a distinct narrative and tone.

Keen to find out more about how the record was made and the themes behind it, I caught up with Jeremy to have a chat about his influences, life on tour and future plans…

Hey Jeremy! Introduce yourself to our readers…

Hi readers, my name’s Jeremy Tuplin. In an alternative universe, I’m a florist.

Congratulations on the release of your new album Pink Mirror. Can you give us some insight into the writing / recording process?

Thank you – yes, I’ll try. It was written and recorded last year, in a relatively short period of time – a few months really. I think because of that it’s got a lot of recurring theme and imagery running through it. I’d like to think it has a fairly cohesive feel about it.

Different to my last album; I didn’t use a lot of musicians this time around, mainly a close knit group most of whom now form my regular backing band – The Ultimate Power Assembly.

What’s your favourite track from the album and why?

It changes quite a lot actually. I’m still surprised when I go back and listen the album now and again that I’m able to enjoy it, let alone tolerate it, considering how many times and under various processes and stresses that I’ve listened to the goddamn thing. But I do still really like it, and I don’t mind admitting that.

I think maybe the most important song in the album for our times, for me, is Gaia, but right now the devil in me is enjoying Love’s Penitentiary.

You’ve been aptly compared to songwriters such as Leonard Cohen and Bill Callahan. Where do you draw your musical influences from?

Leonard Cohen and Bill Callahan are definitely two of my all-time front-runners.

I get compared to so many different people – especially vocally – and many of them I’ve never even really listened to. Tindersticks for example, I’ve never listened to before, and they get mentioned a lot. I should probably listen to them.

As opposed to direct influences, I think it’s more about absorbing everything around you and developing ensuing ideas to their fullest, and pushing them to their deepest of creative depths.

A lot of it’s not really that much of a conscious process – different things just arrive at different times. The only definite conscious idea I had on this record was, when dealing with a serious or dark subject matter lyrically, to make those tracks as musically upbeat and airy as possible to act as a counterpoint, and try to be subversive in that way.

I see you’ve just finished a tour. How was that?

Yeah, I just came back from 9 shows in 12 days in Germany. I did a solo tour along with fellow singer-songwriter Dominic Silvani. It was great, we played some beautiful shows to lots of beautiful people.

I was fairly broken when I got back though – still am a bit. I think the next one might have to be a bit more sustainable.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given as a musician?

I don’t think I’ve ever been given any advice as a musician, or maybe I have and I haven’t listened to it.

I’m not sure there is any advice that can be given or taken really, it’s all just wild chaos and you’ve got to manage it somehow. I think if something feels right then it probably is, and if it doesn’t feel right then change it until it does.

What are your plans for the rest of the year?

I’m taking most of the band to Italy in August for some shows out there that I’ll hopefully announce soon. Then I’m planning another UK run of shows in September.

I’ve got a quite lot of new material written and ideas to develop, so I guess I should think about recording again at some point, too.

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