For our latest ‘My 5 Biggest Influences’ feature, we spoke to Archie Faulks, who released his new ‘Longing In London’ EP last week on February 14th.
‘My 5 Biggest Influences’ is when we talk to some of our favourite upcoming and established artists, delving into their greatest influences and inspirations, to see how bands, records, tracks, friends & family, hobbies and even environments have impacted on their work and music.
More about the new EP below, but first, here are Archie’s 5 Biggest Influences…
I went to Paris for the first time when I was 17 and stayed in a seminary in the 17th. In the mornings I was being taught the philosophy of religion and in the afternoons and evenings I would wander aimlessly around the beautiful city drinking wine and smoking cigarettes. I felt that at this point in my life I was truly living and I wanted to emulate that feeling as much as possible later in life. I wrote ‘Gold’ when I had returned to Paris and, due to complicated matters back home, I couldn’t get this sense of freedom back – I felt bogged down with all the things running through my head. So I wrote that song as a lesson in self-calm down, things don’t need to perfect all the time just try and be at ease with yourself and the decisions you made. After having finished it a weight seemed to lift off me and I wondered carelessly once more; indulging in the romanticism that lines each street.
Although the EP doesn’t really sound like Nick, for a good 2 months I was totally obsessed with the man. Every time I left the house he was playing in my ears. The melancholy he gets out of writing in a major key always resonated with me. Sadness is far more powerful when it is bittersweet and contains hope- it is easy to be sad in a minor key but far more poignant when major; Nick was a master at this.
When I was 16, a friend of mine, rather than going to college for A-Levels, decided to move to the mountains in Austria and become a climbing/ski instructor. It took me a good 6 years before I went out and visited him but it was truly a time of great self discovery. He is a very hardy individual and on arrival he announced that the next day we would be climbing a mountain. He insured me that it was fundamentally a glorified hike and that I would be fine to wear my trainers and carry my weekend bag (about 15 kilos). Luckily I decided to buy a backpack as the next day we had a 5 hour, almost vertical, incline up to a hut halfway up the mountain where we stayed the night. The peak of the mountain looked incredibly daunting and certainly not ‘hikeable’. We woke early and for 3 hours I did not say a word gripped with consumate fear, i have always been afraid of heights, as we shinned up near sheer rock faces without any ropes – I told you my friend was a bit mad. But we made it to the top and the feeling of elation was better than any external stimulant that I had ever sampled. As the world lay beneath us I began to sing and my lungs, although tired and lacking in oxygen, seemed to have a richer resonance than I had experienced before. I sung with freedom and without destination; a sensation that I took forward with me into the creative process of this EP and album.
When I was having pretty torrid time with my mental health I would dream frequently of whales. Initially I was in the ocean with them – overwhelmed by the sheer size and fearful of drowning. At a stage when I was beginning to lose hope that I would recover from the state I was in I dreamt that I was flying over a bay full of humpback whales. I had never had a dream so peaceful – It was almost as if the whales were telling me things would be okay. I returned to this bay many nights for the next month or so and, thanks to the whales, I recovered – so I am eternally thankful for their presence. Since then i have watched many nature shows and read about their mythological presence in many cultures – they are truly wonderful beings and when I think of them sometimes I can’t help but cry. They were an inspiration as without them I probably wouldn’t be able to be releasing music with excitement.
The first verse from Matthew Arnold’s ‘Self Dependence’
Weary of myself, and sick of asking
What I am, and what I ought to be,
At this vessel’s prow I stand, which bears me
Forwards, forwards, o’er the starlit sea.
I read this at a time when I was to conscious of my presence and thoughts. Creativity only thrives when you let it and by attempting to control it one will naturally lose something. I read this poem and it resonated with me greatly – I needed to live at the front of my vessel. I have a boat sailing under the starts tattooed on my chest as a reminder to myself to remain in the moment, don’t over think and live passionately.
A song-writer that gently caresses the eardrums, with a timelessly, moorish, alluring ambience reminiscent, London based Archie Faulks kicks off the new decade with his new ‘Longing In London’ EP.
With over 10 million streams across his previous singles, radio plays from BBC Radio 1 and Radio X, appearances at The Great Escape Festival and Live At Leeds, plus shows alongside Isaac Gracie, Rue Royal, Luke Sital-Singh and Delilah Montagu, you can stream his new single ‘What For’ below…
Live dates below…
Feb 27 – Leeds, Royal Park Cellars
Feb 28 – Glasgow, Gladcafe
Feb 29 – Newcastle, Surf Cafe
Mar 02 – Birmingham, Dead Wax
Mar 03 – London, The Islington
Mar 04 – Southampton, Joiners
Mar 12 – St Albans, The Horn