Interview by Miriam Cadoni
Raising from the green and enchanting lands of the Northern Ireland, the singer-songwriter Louise Patricia Crane, of The Eden House fame, has recently released via her own imprint Peculiar Doll Records, her debut album “Deep Blue”. Successfully mixing “guitar-driven ’70s progressive rock & blues, through to ’80s avant-garde dream pop”, “Deep Blue” shows a deep appreciation for music who might satisfy the old The Eden House fans while gaining fans some good ol’ progressive rock fans. Read together with us, this amazing interview and learn more about Louise Patricia‘s career and her debut. Enjoy!
First of all, I want to thank you for being available to take this interview.
It’s my pleasure. Thank you for having me.
Then, I wanted to continue by introducing your début album which was released on May 15th via Peculiar Doll Records. What can you share about its general production?
Sure. So, I started writing the record and its first song was the title track “Deep Blue”. I wrote that when I still lived in Northern Ireland. I played bass guitar and I just played slow and simple bass lines while I was writing down these words which turned out to be quite melancholic. I remember that night I recorded the whole song into my phone to make a reference on it. At the time I was still part of Eden House and working with Stephen Carey, I previously recorded the two songs with the band and then, I directly sent everything to him to know his idea about it. Also, I told him that my musical material was taken from the Tori Amos “Boys for Pele” era and early Nine Inch Nails. Firstly, I wrote the song myself however when I told Stephen what I was planning to, he came back with this beautiful piano line and that was exactly what I did described and wanted. It’s after this moment, that I realized that Stephen and I could work together because he did understand me and the vision I had musically in mind. We have a shared musical interest but not on every level. For example, the progressive rock that it totally interests me so much, Stephen isn’t a huge fan of that. Logically, that’s all my thing that I brought to but the best thing has been realizing that my dreams, artistically, come to this. I have put so much of myself into what I want to do because I’ve always worked with other bands, so writing for them and their vision which makes me now in control of my music. For once, it has been nice to be the boss and to offer what I give to music.
For example, I know that throughout your career you have collaborated with The Eden House, Raven House and Solemn Novena. How all these past musical experiences influenced you and created the artistic persona that you are right now?
Wow, that’s a great question. I think starting off with the path I did, which was gothic rock, I was never brought up to listen to it and also I was never a big of a fan of it. Other than other stuff that wouldn’t really pass as both strictly, I love stuff such as The Cure, All About Eve, The Cocteau Twins, Suzie and the Banshees. I liked all the bands that I have mentioned before but my taste in music wasn’t quite in that realm. By the time Solemn Novena broke up, I started Raven Adore with Stephen. There was already progression that it did happen because there I had much more control. Up to that point, we’re just the two of us, so we were already stepping away from the signature of the gothic drum machine. Well, due to these past two band experiences that put me on the radar and to further progress my collaboration with him. Eventually, this led to the collaboration on The Eden House. I remember that he sent me some songs as a tryout such as “Sin”, “All My Love” and “Trashed Treasures” and if he said if I can sing these then I can be part of the band. He additionally sent me the music for one of my lyrics which turned out to be “Misery”. I guess, my influence has come from being a record collector then being a music obsessed. Musically, it hasn’t come so much from being a member of those bands. However, if I have to give a thought, the most influence comes from Stephen Carey and The Eden House because for the first time, while we were working on the song “The Ardent Tide”, I was feeling valued in the input that I expressed towards its musical structure. That was really inspiring and since the beginning, I definitely knew that we could work due to the fact that he was so respectful of my role as a songwriter and that he didn’t perceive me only as the singer that joins a band just for performing his material. He was always keen to hear what I had to say even about the musical structures and vocal style as well. Overall, I can confirm from that experience I’ve learned a lot.
In a way we can affirm that your collaboration with The Eden House continued because you partnered up with Stephen Carey for the production of your full-length. How challenging was it for you and Stephen to work with your material instead of The Eden House‘s?
I mean, there were absolutely several moments in which we didn’t see eye to eye on it owing to the fact that we don’t share exactly the same musical tastes. I listen to a lot of musical genres and one of my favourites is progressive rock. Then I like jazz and fusion too. These are musical areas on which Stephen doesn’t have any knowledge and even interest in it. He’ll tell you that himself, for sure. In that sense, he was such a great producer because no matter his musical tastes, he respected the fact that this wasn’t an Eden House record. For example, while working together, he would candidly admit that if he wasn’t sure about something or if I was asking for something, if he didn’t know the reference point, he would go straight to listen to it. He would totally go to listen to that particular artist or song and he would get it. Also, he was really receptive towards my creative goals and what I wanted to achieve. Personally, creating a new record that sounded like The Eden House was the last thing I wanted to make and he did know it. I wanted to make a record that has my stamp on it and that has an uniqueness that relates to me only. Surely, The Eden House fans will definitely get vibes from the last record, this is because I love The Eden House, I’m a big fan and I feel really fortunate to be in this band.
Your début “Deep Blue” was introduced by the single “Deity”, which details can be shared about the song?
In a way, this song dates back to my times with Solemn Novena. I doubled a little bit with some janky summer-y pop music. When I was writing for that band, I didn’t have too much say in the musical direction but I always wanted to have my own 60s summer-y psychedelic pop song with an anthemic chorus and all those good pop trips. However, there’s some darkness undercurrent, something with an edge. Basically, I had an experience with some psychedelic drugs and this became the inspiration for the song’s lyrics. All this happened together with my friend Rosalie Cunningham (former Purson). I have to say that I never use any magic mushrooms before that special event. It was an exciting, child-like and fun experience for me. Of course, it was an inspiration for writing more about this idea to be swapped up and take us on a journey to another place. In that sense, the song itself is the perfect opener for this album because it does represent what I say before and my final aim with this record was the listener had some escapism and escape from the daily, normal and boring life. When a listener listens to my album for 40 minutes, I want them to like to be somewhere else otherworldly or have these magical, bewitching and mystical experiences, it’s not too much to ask.
I’ve just learned that your new single “Ophelia” was released today and I didn’t really have the time to listen to it. Instead, would you like to add something about this specific song?
Sure. I wrote “Ophelia’‘ on the same day that I wrote “Snake Oil”. For this album, I collected notes, drawings, sketches, imaginary, poetry, a collection of words and phrases of which I like the sound of and some sort of research that I did on some literary characters like Mata Hari who was mentioned in “Snake Oil”. In the end, everything goes into my black notebook. Originally, Ophelia was a character from Shakespeare‘s “Hamlet” and lately, I’ve become fixated with Sir John Everett Millais‘s when I visited the Tate Gallery in London a few years ago after my relocation in England. I specifically saw this painting which portrays Ophelia with her glassy eyes open in the water with the flowers around her. I’ve always been fascinated with flowers and I’ve introduced them in a lot of platonical themes and imagery into my lyrics. I just had to write a song about this character and painting of how it made me feel. The image that created my head and fast forward to a couple of years later, I’ve got these notes on “Ophelia” and the meaning of the flowers in the painting. So, every flower that lies beside her in the water holds meaning and it’s there for a reason and that’s why Millais painted them there which lead me to mention ‘forgive-me-nots’ in the chorus. Whoever if we think about its significance is in their name, you know she’s passed on and the flowers intent’ is her remembrance. I find that really fascinating, sad, macabre, romantic and beautiful. It was a mixture of all those elements that I have really loved and feel inspired by. If we get back to the single itself, Steve sent me this piece of music that he has composed and by listening to it, I’ve immediately understood that it was the right song for “Ophelia”. It was the right vehicle for writing its lyrics because in the instrumental middle break, I can hear her drowning while she succumbed to death. At the end, in one night I wrote both “Ophelia” and “Snake Oil” and I consequently recorded both songs next morning here at home in my multitrack vocals and home studio. It needed a ghostly element, it needed something special to illustrate the situation. You’ll hear after instrumental part in the multitrack atmospheric vocals that I’ve recorded but I know that I needed to go the extra mile to reach perfection. So, Jethro Tull‘s Ian Anderson who I have previously met during the year chose that track in order to improve it with something that helped stand out. He did a fantastic job, he really did it with his flute on that tune together with the other musicians. Everything in that section feels just right.
Besides Jethro Tull‘s Ian Anderson, “Deep Blue” features also the participation of another well-known artist in the progressive rock panorama such as King Crimson‘s Jaako Jakszyk and Kyuss‘s Scott Reeder. How were these collaborations born and how did you convince them to work together on your début album?
Well, I did previously know Jaako and we have such a shared musical taste, aesthetic and vision. Probably it’s because we are both Irish, believe it or not he’s Irish and he’s adopted [laughs]. Anyway, maybe it’s an Irish thing we both appreciate that melancholy and romantic vibe. So, he heard my music and the first thing that happened to listen to is “Deity” and he loved it and he thought it was fantastic. Actually, it was that he asked me if I wanted his contribution because he really liked the track. He listened to the other songs that I’ve recorded and he thought that were all great. As you can imagine, that can be one of the biggest compliments ever because King Crimson are my favorite band and one of all, he’s one of my favorite singers too. He’s brilliant and he’s also a fantastic guitar player. When he started recording my contributions, he was working at the same time with Dani Thompson that worked with Kate Bush, John Martin and Peter Gabriel. He found out about my material through Jaako and he ended up enjoying it a lot to the point, he ended up recording something for my last track of the album, “The Eve of the Hunter” which was recorded in Jaako‘s studio. Instead, if we refer to Ian Anderson’s meeting, it did happen through Jaako. Last June, King Crimson played these three special and prestigious concerts at the Royal Albert Hall in London and when I was there, Jaako arranged a sit beside Ian Anderson in one of the boxes during one of the evenings. For me, it was completely incredible because one of the other top bands is absolutely Jethro Tull. We really headed off, we’re chatting and we had a really deep conversation about music. He reminisced about his experience there when he played with Jethro Tull in the 70s. It was quite fascinating to listen to him. While we were parting ways, I remember that I mentioned to him that I had a ticket for Jethro Tull in Dublin in September and he offered to meet us after his show for a drink for a catch up. It was on that occasion that I nervously asked Ian if he might be interested in contributing with his flute in one of my songs. To my absolute shock, he agreed to send him the tracks over. So, I sent both “Ophelia” and “Snake Oil” with the idea that he had to choose one of these two. However, to my surprise he ended up playing on both songs. He was fascinating to work with because he wanted my lyrics and its related story and emotions. In the end, that was the starting point for playing these emotive pieces. Well, we can say that Scott Reeder worked differently. He has been for a long time a personal friend of mine. Initially, we became friends because he has a lot of animals and I gave him some advice on how to rescue a baby eagle but that’s another story. He has been really supportive of me since my times in The Eden House of which he became a huge fan. He always said that if I come to the point when I write my own album, he’d love to contribute to it and he did. I’m very very lucky to have had these superb, top-notch musicians to work with me.
The more I observe your promo photos, the more I can perceive that behind “Deep Blue” there is a main concept behind. Am I right?
Yes, what is the sort of impression that you are getting, if you don’t mind to elaborate?
Well, what I get is a sort of dreamy atmosphere.
Yeah, I’m really influenced by a sort of 70s surreal horror. In particular, there are a couple of things by which I got really inspired by this record. One of which I have already mentioned is the video of “Deity”. It’s plainly an homage to the fantastic film “Valerie and her Wicked Wonders”. I don’t know if you ever saw the film but it has a beautiful and surreal aesthetic and also an ethereal quality. At the same time, it’s also feminine, sensual and a little erotic which all this makes all this quite sinister as well. Actually, the other thing that I got inspired by is literature. Especially, I adore Angela Carter‘s book of short stories “The Bloody Chambers”. It’s often referred as a feminist book because it features stories all about women. It’s fascinating. What also I find alluring and appealing are themes of dreaminess, escapism, beauty and essentiality. In this last one, there’s a strength in essentiality as a woman and as being confident with yourself in expressing yourself in that way. All what I’ve previously said, it represents me and in this album I’ve poured all myself in it. However, if we have to find a musical reference in this context, I would totally mention Kate Bush‘s “Hounds of Love” because I wanted “Deep Blue” to feel. Naturally, I can get inspired by but my themes are my themes.
I might understand that these questions might result a bit awkward but what were supposed to be your plans for this year in terms of promotion and live performances? How does this crisis reflect on you?
It has been really difficult in the sense that it has totally put a stop to the album and this will prevent me from being able to do any kind of live activity which it will protracts to next year too. Of course, it’s disappointing but I tend to be quite optimistic and the main thing is that my music is out there. And after 3 years of personal battles and struggles, I’m positive to say that is finally happening and people are finally getting to hear the music and the dream that I had. I hope by the time I get to perform live, the fans will be intimately familiar with it and they will find something that they will relate to the music.
So, Louise, this was my last question. Now it’s your space, please be free to say hi to your fans and our readers. Thank you so much for this interview.
I’m absolutely honored to be asked to chat today. I really hope that fans of Femme Metal Webzine will enjoy the music that I’ve written and I’ve would be absolutely thrilled if someday, when’ll play live, I’ll meet some people who have discovered my music through our interview today. That would be nice and thank you so much for this opportunity.