It seems like we’re in a very different world to the one that saw the release of John Myrtle’s debut EP Here’s John Myrtle back in 2019. A sprawling journey across love, heartbreak and loneliness (with a quick detour to sing about a slug named Cyril) the EP was jangly acoustic pop at its best. Judging by his latest track Get Her Off My Mind, released today via Sad Club Records, the past year has proven that sometimes simplicity is key. His music is just as 60’s inspired and warm as ever, but filled with the upbeat hope and optimism of new love. With a new single out today, and more in the pipeline, we caught up with Myrtle to hear what he’s been up to and what we should expect to come.
RC: Hi John! Can you describe the music you make in three words?
JM: Very Fresh Daisies
RC: Your latest track Get Her Off My Mind is out on the 17th February on Sad Club Records. What was the story behind its creation?
JM: I’ve had this song knocking around for many years now, and people have always said it’s their favourite song of mine! It’s just such a simple song, I think people just really like the melody so it’s stayed! I’ve recorded it in various studios but it never sounded right until I learnt how to record myself at home.
RC: Your tracks centre on lyrics, whether that’s humorous stories of slugs or rose-tinted love songs like your latest track. Do you base your song writing on personal experiences or create characters for them?
JM: Absolutely! I think my songwriting is always from a place of me pretending to be someone (or something!), and just trying to capture feelings that are both strong and relatable. There’s obviously always truth in them, but I do approach songwriting as almost like an actor reading a script! It gives me so much more creative freedom and doesn’t confide me to sing about things that are only relevant to myself.
RC: What’s your earliest memory of being drawn to music?
JM: My parents had a cassette of The Kinks when I was growing up and I was absolutely obsessed with it – some of my earliest memories are of dancing around my living room to ‘Apeman’!
RC: Your music is clearly very 60s inspired, particularly this latest track. What drew you to this style and who do you consider as significant influences on your sound?
JM: I think a lot of 60s music is really focused on melody and that’s what I’m always drawn to, whatever the era!
I enjoy records that capture a homespun kind of quality… albums like Wild Honey and Friends by The Beach Boys, Margo Guryan’s demos, Ween’s early stuff, McCartney’s Ram and McCartney I… I take influence from things that hopefully can inform my very chaotic home set up!
I’ve always avoided music studios as I find they’re quite difficult places for me to be relaxed – recording from home and the sound it all brings only helps my sound really!
RC: What have been your favourite lockdown discoveries (musical or otherwise)?
JM: I know I’ve just said how I like homespun sounding records…but I’ve got to say I really got into Steely Dan in lockdown, people always told me I’d like them but I never had the chance to take in their music properly. The Royal Scam is probably my favourite record of theirs…or perhaps Gaucho.
I was playing Through the Ages with my housemates a fair bit as well – Through the Ages is an extremely long board game with loads of cards and cubes…hell yes.
RC: What are your goals for the coming year?
JM: To release lots of new music and for people to enjoy it! Oh and to stop stressing over nothing.
RC: If you could perform at any venue in the world, where would it be and why?
JM: Mothers in Birmingham back in the day in the 70s. I’m from Birmingham originally and I’ve just heard brilliant stories about that place…
If we’re talking today, I’d say Hebden Bridge Trades Club. I’ve seen shows there but never played it, Hebden Bridge is just one of the most beautiful places in all of the land!
RC: Finally, if you could collaborate with any musician, alive or dead, who would it be and why?
JM: Charlie Hilton, I loved her solo record so much. It was just so mysterious all the way through.
John’s new track Get Her Off My Mind is out now on Sad Club Records, check it out here.