When Chordblossom came into existence, it was always our aim to shine a spotlight on the artists and bands that make up the music scene in Northern Ireland. We’ve been doing it for over ten years now and one of our favourite methods is our Introducing feature.
Put the kettle on, curl up on your sofa and and join us for a quickfire Q&A with some of our favourite new musicians. Who knows, maybe you’ll even discover your new favourite artists.
This iteration of Introducing features the musical talents of Moon Landing who just released their latest single ‘A Lack Of Natural Light’.
What was the inspiration behind your artist name?
I was brainstorming different names for a while without ever finding one that fit. I eventually thought of the name Moon Landing which I think reflects my music well as it’s dark and moody.
Unfortunately because of the world we live in, all of the Moon Landing social media is probably wedged somewhere between all half-baked conspiracy theories pages about the actual moon landing.
I also constantly get asked in interviews whether I think the actual moon landing was real. So I’d say the name is a pretty mixed bag, but at least it’s memorable.
You’ve just released a new single. How did it come about and what does it mean to you?
My new single ‘A Lack of Natural Light’ feels like a real new direction for me. I released an EP last year of three songs that were so different because I really wanted to experiment with my sound to find a clear path going forward. I feel like I’ve found that with ‘A Lack of Natural Light’ as it really takes you on an emotional journey with lots of ups and downs.
It was also my first opportunity to work with and arrange strings which I absolutely loved. They were played by my my friend Rhiannon Mulligan who is an amazing violinist and just being able to work with new instruments really gave my writing a new purpose!
Have you any more releases or studio time lined up for later in the year?
I recently received a grant to record and release music from Help Musicians, so I’ve been in recording in Half Bap Studios across January and February, so I’ll have several singles coming out in 2023 which I’m really excited about!
Tell us about your song writing process.
My song writing process can be pretty agonising to be honest! I tend to come up with a chord sequence or a melody that I like and then proceed to rip it apart and work on all the very fine little permutations of it to construct the whole song and the structure.
My main writing instrument has always been guitar, but overly the last year I’ve found myself more and more drawn to piano, as I think it’s interesting constructing songs with the naivety of only half being able to play an instrument. I think this is part of the draw of writing for violins as well, it takes me out of my comfort zone and opens up new possibilities and sounds.
Who were your favourite artists/bands growing up? Have your influences changed over time?
I pretty much grew up on bands like Green Day and Nirvana and I know so many musicians my age who are exactly the same! They really taught me how to play guitar and drums before I got into bands like the Pixies and Beck as a teenager. I then discovered Radiohead and have been on roughly a five year binge of non-stop Thom Yorke and Radiohead. They really changed the way I think and feel about music, not to mention the way I write and what I want to say with my music.
They also turned me onto so many other bands like Eels, Sigur Rós, Nick Cave and Portishead who I really feel a strong connection with and have tried to incorporate some of their sounds into my own. While these are a lot of my influences today, I think it’s amazing though that I can almost always hear elements of Green Day and Nirvana in my writing. It’s sometimes through melodies but mostly dynamically, I can always hear how that huge Green Day sound I grew up with has influenced so much of what I write.
The 2022 NI Music Prize has just concluded, what’s been your favourite album and single released this year?
There’s been a lot of great music already released this year. I’m a big Chalk fan who’ve already released a few great singles already this year, as well as acts like Problem Patterns and Lemonade Shoelace. I also loved Joshua Burnside’s EP that came out of the end of last year, that was probably my pick of 2022.
If you weren’t a musician, what line of work would we find you in?
It’s really hard to say as so much of my life revolves around music including some of my job. I also just finished a music degree so I think I’m in too deep with this whole music thing. If music was really off the table then I think I’d turn my attention to film, I’d love to get involved in writing or on a production side.
If you could collaborate with one artist or band from NI, who would it be and why?
Joshua Burnside. I just love the way he blends sound and genres. It’s so original and it partly inspired ‘A Lack if Natural Light’ and some of my other new material that’s yet to be released!
It is intensely difficult to be successful in the music industry. What does NI need to do to invest in/develop to boost your chances?
It’s hard to know where to start! There probably needs to be investment in every area of music and the arts. There needs to be investment in local venues and wider promotion for smaller local events. There’s so much great music in NI that it seems only people within the scene actually know about. I think the majority of people in NI would actually love a lot of the new music out there if they were actually aware of gigs and events that were on.
There also needs to be investment community arts and education to encourage young people to make music. I only started playing instruments when I was about 15/16 and until then my education did nothing but steer me away from music. It’s sad to think there could be lots of really talented people out there who will never know their potential because education has done everything they can to turn them away from the arts.
What does success look like for you?
It’s really hard to say because I’m so early in my career, but I think because I make a pretty emotional style of music and the fact that it might resonate with someone or deeply impact them is really a huge sign of success for me.
Someone once messaged me on Instagram to say my song ‘The Room is Spinning’ changed their life, “for the better.” So that’s a huge sign of success for me, but I’m glad she clarified it was for the better, and my song hadn’t been so bad that it ruined her life!
You’re going out on tour and can have anything you want on your rider, what would we find on yours?
Vast quantities of Guinness and salted or chilli nuts. All the nutritional bases covered there.
Where and when can we next catch you live?
I’ve been a studio artist for a long time but finally I’m happy to say I’ve got a bunch of amazing musicians with me to start performing soon. Anybody I’ve talked to about playing live will know I’ve been saying this for a while but hopefully I’ll be ready to play live with a full band very soon!
If you enjoyed this feature and fancy discovering some more new artists, we suggest you jump on over to our archive of Introducing pieces.
If you are a band or musician based in Northern Ireland interested in taking part in our Introducing feature, we recommend submitting new music to us via our Contact page and if we enjoy it, you’ll no doubt hear from us.