Have you heard of Emily Parish? As she releases her EP Don't Need Much she reflects on how she uses songwriting as cheap therapy and wanting more from her 20's.
What was the inspiration behind your EP?
‘Don’t Need Much’ was a way of trying to feel creative again. Throughout all the lockdowns I felt really drained (I’m sure everyone did) and music was definitely on standby. I released my debut album in October 2020 which was a small miracle, but almost everything was sorted before the pandemic hit, so there was actually a lot of time without me writing or producing any new music.
This therefore made the EP a mix of feelings from throughout our changed lives in post-2020, but I didn’t want to make it just about a pandemic. It embraces everything from love and relationships to working life and wanting more from my 20s.
“I can’t help but be emotive in my songwriting”
What is your favourite track from the EP and why?
This is difficult as there are different reasons why I love each track - one was the first I ever wrote that made me feel like a songwriter, one is more of the kind of writing I started with and the other is more where I’m going. Probably Moonbeam, if I absolutely have to choose (just because it’s a different narrative for me to write about - not just relationship troubles).
What would you say is your greatest strength an artist?
I can’t help but be emotive in my songwriting (trust me sometimes I want to write an up-beat/care-free tune, but I can’t seem to get it right), so I think that is something I’ve made a strength. It’s nerve-wracking being so honest and putting your life out into the universe for a bunch of people to listen to and decide if they like, but the honesty often leads to people feeling their own emotion about my music - and hopefully relating to it.
What was the recording process like?
I’ve recorded almost all of my music with the same person (Tom Joy) based in Norwich, so there was an intense day of recording to get everything done in a day and then a lot of back and forth via an online platform to edit! I wish I had the knowledge/tech to record myself but technology scares me and Tom is way better at it.
What inspires you when songwriting?
To be honest, my writing is a big emotional dump - and mostly the sad stuff. Whatever I’m feeling I like to put it in a song and then go from there really. I guess it’s cheap therapy.
Do you have a set formula for your songwriting?
The only thing I do each time is record on my voice notes app, it’s perfect for recording a short motif/riff that you’ve just made up and don’t want to forget. Other than that, it’s a lot of creating playlists for inspiration with a theme or style in mind, plus a lot of winging it.
“To be honest, my writing is a big emotional dump - and mostly the sad stuff. Whatever I’m feeling I like to put it in a song and then go from there really. I guess it’s cheap therapy.”
What is next for you?
I’m really keen to get into the London music scene in 2022. Having moved here about 18 months ago, it’s been a slow process to get gigs lined up in a variety of lockdowns and different restrictions but this is something I’m looking forward to changing! I have some great gigs lined up in March and April!
What artists inspire you?
I think this changes with the season honestly! With this EP I’ve definitely been influenced by both Billie Marten & Billie Eilish, Phoebe Bridgers, Raveena, Griff, Tessa Violet, iiola, Japanese Breakfast and Maude Latour. I’ve actually made a playlist of all of my influences because there are so many incredible artists out there that have impacted my own music.
If you were to describe your style in a sentence, what would it be?
On a train, looking out the window, listening to sad music with a slight beat.
What was the first album you ever bought?
I’m not sure exactly which album I bought first, but Shania Twain has always been a favourite artist and one of my earliest memories of l have of singing along in the back of the car as a child. I think any artist that can go from an emotional ballad to telling men how unimpressive they are, is a force to be reckoned with. Other than Shania, I remember being a big fan of Avril Lavigne’s early work.
What was your first gig you went to?
One of my first gigs as a teenager was to see The Wombats. They were incredible and still are. However, I did get to see Blue when I was about 7 and I was so excited during the support act that I sat down through all of Blue’s performance from tiredness.
How do you want to see the music industry change for women and gender minorities?
I think one of the most important things for me as an artist is to be respected as just that, not treated as a face/body to be used to sell a ‘brand’ or style. So far, my experiences have been mostly great, but I know this isn’t the case for every woman/non-binary artist and probably because I’m a small, independent musician.
Representation across all types of music is also key. Men dominate most of the music industry and definitely festival line-ups. There are so many great female/non-binary acts out there, you just have to take the time to look.
Stream Don't Need Much here: