Scottish-born and London-based songstress Neev takes us track by track through their brand new EP release titled ‘Currants’.
I wrote this song at the beginning of lockdown when a lot of people I knew were separated from their families. It made me think a lot about home, grounding, where each of us find comfort. So the song circles these themes and each verse traces times in my life where I needed comfort and support and received it. I wanted to write something about the support I received but also something that feels supportive, warm and calming itself. The song emerged really fast and I had a lot of fun with the arrangement and working with Anabel Roberts on strings was a great experience. I learned a lot about how and where sound should grow and build within each piece.
Lovesong happened very quickly, it started simple and I wanted to keep it that way. It always felt like it would be a minimal arrangement and I have quite a bad habit of piling loads of sound onto a song until it feels overwhelming and I have to go back to the drawing board, so this was an exercise in restraint! I’m really happy I stuck to that and as soon as I wrote it I knew exactly how I wanted it to sound and was raring to record it from the moment I was done writing it. Nothing felt forced with the arrangement. I asked the brilliant Alex Bayly to lend his beautiful low, warm voice to the track to enrich the harmonies a bit more. When he sent it over he also sent over a little piano track he improvised and although I hadn’t originally imagined piano on the track it fit the rise and fall of the song so perfectly. I feel really lucky the song came together so well.
It feels so weird to me now that Flowers almost didn’t make this EP, to me it started out as a bit of an afterthought but now I feel like it’s so integral to how the EP plays out. The whole song was a real brain dump, it came out of brain in the exact order it’s written and I stopped myself from going back and re-writing or tweaking or perfecting as I wanted to preserve it as it was, as exactly how I was feeling at the time. The song definitely traces experiences and feelings of not knowing yourself, of feeling like there’s work to be done, reflection to be had but with an overwhelming tone of wanting to run or escape that process. It was cathartic to write and still feels great to sing as it’s so disjointed and assertive, I’m really glad it made the cut in the end.
This one is the most recent song on the EP and took the longest to write. The verses are from a song that I never finished and the guitar part was something I’d been playing around with for ages, when I finally thought to combine the two, the rest of it came much more naturally. I wrote it in my family home over the Christmas lockdown back in Glasgow, made the first demo there and recorded the piano parts on our old (and a bit out of tune) piano. It still feels really fresh, Anabel Roberts’ string piece completely transformed the shape and form of it for me too.
This is the oldest track on the EP, I wrote it in February of 2020 and had been playing around with it ever since. I’ve workshopped it with so many of my collaborator friends and it feels like it’s lived so many lives. The whole song really explores the idea of home and memory. I often feel like when I look back on certain parts of my life, I can really lose track of when things were and how they join up, this song really communicates the disjointedness I sometimes feel when looking back at former experiences I’ve had and people I’ve met. Memories can feel like such odd things and I wanted to create that sense of unease in the song. So the eerie, spacious final product I ended up with I think was very true to how it was written.
Keep up to date with Neev below: