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December 2020 / January 2021
Feature

Getting to know... Guest Singer

Synth-pop goodness from Doncaster.
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Published: 10:50 am, January 14, 2020 Photos: Graeme Oxby.
Getting to know... Guest Singer

Guest Singer's new single 'Think Face' is out today (Tuesday, 14th January) via Heist or Hit. Inspired by the best of 80s synth-pop, the eminently catchy tune arrives with the news that the Doncaster based trio's second EP 'Limbo Days' is imminent.

“Essentially, it’s about the emotional effort of songwriting,” frontman Jake Cope says of their new effort. “How it can snare you in a psychologically abusive relationship with yourself; requiring so much identity and only offering up small moments in return. When the music fades all that we’re left with is limbo days.”

Keep an eye out for 'Limbo Days' from 14th February, and get to know Guest Singer a little better below.

Hey Jake, how's it going? Are you enjoying 2020 so far?

Hey Dork Readers! Things are just swell, thanks. 2020 has been relatively similar to 2019 so far. New year, same me.

Have you set any resolutions for this year?

From a music point of view, getting out and playing some more shows and giving the songs some breathing space. It's always fun to get immediate reactions and get a true judgment on if what you've been trying to do has paid off. On a personal point of view, trying to cut down on quiche.

When did you realise you wanted to make music, then?

As most people do, I suppose. You start out making really terrible songs in your bedroom and playing them with your friends and then your hooked. You can't live without it. Through the amazing times and the horrendous times. It's a blessing, and a curse all rolled into one.

Has being a musician lived up to the hype so far?

Ha! Sometimes! I tried to touch a little on this in 'Think Face'. There's a line in the song that says 'There's always part of this that I just sometimes wish, didn't exist and I could erase ever knowing'. I feel like it's something I need to do and have sort of lived my life around, but sometimes I don't like the fact I need it, if that makes sense.
With being a musician or in any creative role, I suppose it's a lot of give and not much return. It can be really tough emotionally and mentally to try and maintain the sort of blind persistence that you need to get anywhere. It can be so much fun though, and it's those tiny glimmers of pure affirmation when you're playing or think of a good line, that keep you running on.

"Being a musician, or in any creative role, can be really tough emotionally and mentally"
Jake Cope

Tell us about your new single, 'Think Face'?
So 'Think Face' is a mash of things. It's essentially about the struggle of writing and the moments artists have after releases when things die down, and the buzz of the build-up starts to settle, but it's still heavy on keeping an 'active' online profile. There's a pressure to seem active and to constantly post about how busy your life is when behind it all there's probably not much going off at that minute at all. I think it's down to the sheer volume of artists out there now and people's attention being pulled in a million directions that bands have to constantly be like 'we are still here! We've got all this stuff going off, don't forget us'. When the majority of your time, whether in a band or not, is spent just living.

What's your songwriting process like?

We've tried to make it different for each release. Mainly to just keep it interesting for us. So because the subjects for the songs were about the 'limbo days', those long periods of time between posts or releases when nothing is going off and the reality of making music, it seemed like a good idea to write and produce the songs ourselves in a home setting rather than a studio, and sort of embrace the mundane moments and make something in them. So France (Lahmar, bassist) came with a whole bunch of ideas he'd made on his software, and we structured them into songs, and I then wrote and sang over them and then we made changes after. It's been a really interesting way to write.

Are you creative in non-musical ways too?

I used to draw and paint but haven't done for years. I've also been in a few plays a long time ago.

How did you approach curating the tracklisting for your new EP?

So it went on getting the message of the EP clear. I think that's why I like EPs because it allows you to be direct in the feel you want to give.
We got the songs together, and I knew that 'Think Face' was going to be first because it emphasised the whole message. Then it was just a case of listening through it and thinking which of the songs would I want to hear after that song. That's how they were put together.

How would you describe the EP's vibe?

Domestic Dark Disco.

What else are you working on at the mo?

Well, each of band members have other projects going off. Me and France have joined a collective that was set up by producer Matt Peel. It also features Josh from a band called Team Picture and Darren who's been in a few bands to write synth music for film and TV. It's called Superladder, and it's been a very interesting and fun journey so far. It's been nice to have that freedom that you get with that kind of writing. Also, the songs for Guest Singer will continue so keep an eye for that! Maybe an album?!

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