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Interview: Timothy Blackman Talks With Kate Teague About New Album 'Brightest Days'

Interview: Timothy Blackman Talks With Kate Teague About New Album 'Brightest Days'

Brooke Singer / Interview by Kate Teague / Monday 16th September, 2019 9:41AM

Pōneke recording artist Timothy Blackman releases his new album ​Brightest Days ​on local label ​Home Alone Music today and announces two corresponding shows this October​. ​It is the first new album from Blackman in eight years, written during a period of time spent hiding out on the East Cape and on his return to Wellington.

Recorded in Wellington with ​French for Rabbits’ ​Brooke Singer, it is a sparsely ornamented collection of strikingly intimate and absorbing songs in Blackman’s detailed observational songwriting style.

Ahead of the release he caught up with rising US artist Kate Teague, who is releasing ​her self-titled EP this Friday on ​Muscle Beach Records, ​for a conversation about songwriting, honesty and making records. Check out the details for Blackman's North Island release events here, open your ears to Brightest Days, and scroll downwards to read their chat...

Timothy Blackman - Brightest Days album release shows

Friday 11th October - The Wine Cellar, Auckland
Saturday 12th October - Brooklyn Scout Hall, Wellington

Tickets available HERE via UTR

Kate Teague: I know this was your first record in eight years. How do you feel about that? Are you nervous or excited or both?

Timothy Blackman: More so nervous/scared than excited. The reality of sharing your personal stories with strangers is bizarre, especially after so long away.

Kate, how do you feel about sharing your new EP this week?

It feels bittersweet. I’m really stoked to finally release a body of work, but these songs represent the last four or five years living in Oxford, Mississippi and I’m about to move from there now so it’s kind of the perfect way to close that chapter and start the next.

I like that, making a set of recordings (in a place) to define a point and time. Is Oxford a good place for creating? Where are you moving to next, is it for creative reasons?

Yes, I like it too, but it was totally coincidental. I decided to leave Oxford fairly recently, but it’s been good closer for me. Oxford is definitely a nice place for creating. It’s a literary town, with William Faulkner being from here, so there is a really awesome hub of talented writers and musicians. I’m moving to New Orleans temporarily to focus on songwriting. I was the executive director for a non-profit in Oxford, and I loved it but it took up a lot of time, so I decided to quit so that I could focus full time on music. One of my friends in New Orleans has graciously offered to let me live in her upstairs to write for 6 months.

I feel like we have a similar writing style in that we are pretty plain spoken and vulnerable. Does that have any affect on you or your personal relationships when you sing them / release them publicly?

These days I mostly write about the past, rather than what is happening currently in my life. It takes me time to process things. This approach could be a subconscious way of protecting that...

Well, that’s probably a good subconscious move, haha. I tend to process situations I’m facing through writing about them, so I end up writing a lot about what’s happening currently. However, so far, everyone in my life has been pretty respectful of my writing and doesn’t ask questions about it.

The way your album is recorded sounds super intimate and delicately beautiful. I was so happy to hear the lovely Brooke Singer recorded it. How was the recording process with her?

It was really great. We chipped away at it between December 2017 and June 2019. Brooke taught me to persevere until you are completely happy with the outcome, rather than accepting. A very good life lesson. Brooke also played lots on the album - it was awesome to have someone so talented to collaborate with.

Timothy Blackman's new album 'Brightest Days' is out now digitally on Bandcamp, Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music via Home Alone Music.

Kate Teague’s self-titled EP is out on Friday 20th September via Muscle Beach Records.


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Fri 11th Oct
The Wine Cellar, Auckland
Sat 12th Oct
Brooklyn Scout Hall, Wellington

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