I will cry at any movie that is even vaguely sad. If it's something like "Wendy & Lucy" (she loves her dog and is just trying to get by! Why be so harsh, world?) or "My Girl" (bees!) then I am a mess. But music doesn't make me cry. I don't think I've ever cried at a song unless it's in some way related to my own (continuing/everlasting) despair. About a year ago, I heard Lonely Galaxy's "Have a Heart" for the first time and it brought a big lump to my throat. So Mr. Galaxy (Harry Granger-Howell) has come closer than most. He's back now with a new EP, snappily-titled EP2, released by Transparent Records, home of heart throbs. Here's a track that shows how Harry doesn't even need to sing a note to get under your skin. The video suggests it might even be what God was jamming when he spent that week making stuff. I tried to cheer Harry up with some stupid questions.
Download: Lonely Galaxy, "Heavy"
"I've been feeling pretty low." How are you doing now, buddy?
I see what you've done there! I'm well thanks, although it's incredibly cold in this room and I'm having to drink coffee to try and warm myself up. It's not really working. Fear of frostbite aside, I'm feeling pretty good.
Your song writing is very raw and very honest, is it hard to put these songs out there?
All the songs I write come from a very personal place so I can understand why people might think it would be hard for me to put them out there, but I just find it cathartic really. There's always an honest feeling or emotion behind them and as long as the songs come from an honest place it's hard to be upset about anyone hearing it. I wouldn't say I've had a lot of heartbreak, but I do try to write about things that matter to me. Having said that, not all the songs are explicitly about the things they might appear to be, and once I've written a song about a bad situation I sort of draw a line under it so I'm really not as permanently upset as my songs might imply.
What is your favourite chocolate to eat when you're on your own?
I'm not mad on chocolate but I could really go for a Dime bar right now.
How was the tour with Perfume Genius? You guys are like kindred spirits.
It was a whole lot of fun yeah. The shows were the first time I'd ever really sung in front of more than a couple of people so that was daunting initially, about half way through the first gig I started just really enjoying it and the rest of the shows were a blast. Without wanting to be too sycophantic, they put on such a beautiful and moving show and it was an absolute pleasure to play with them. Mike's a very, very sweet and witty guy, the tour wasn't very rock n' roll. Lots of green tea was involved, but it was very enjoyable.
Tell us about the song "Heavy".
It was written at about three in the morning (as with most of the songs I write) and I just kept playing the chord progression over and over again. I think I was trying to write something peaceful and comforting that might be able to get me to sleep. It was sort of an antidote the police sirens going off at the end of my road. It used to have lyrics, but they didn't really fit with music so I just kept it as an instrumental.
There are lots of religious allusions in your work.
I've been an atheist for as long as I can remember, but I do find religion and the idea of faith itself fascinating. I work in a homeless hostel run by the Salvation Army so religion's around me on a day-to-day basis and I guess that's one of the reasons it has such an influence on the things I write. I've always loved the sound of church organs, my gran used to play a lot of hymns on her old Hammond organ when I was very little and hearing that sound brings out a lot of emotions in me. With the song "Bible Truth Depot" I liked the idea of using that really simple organ part to center the song while all the instrumentation around it did other things, once I came up with that little organ riff the rest of the songs wrote itself in about an hour.
What's next for you? EP 3? ALBUM 1?
I've got quite a lot of new songs recorded and I'm excited to put them out there, but I'm slightly unsure about whether they'll fit together smoothly as an E.P. I might just put them up on my MySpace to download for free over the next few weeks. However, if and when I do record and release an album I promise I won't do anything as annoying as naming it LP 1 or Album 1.