Last summer, Luca Firth found himself in a novel moment of tranquillity in a beautiful but isolated area in Italy. Having been born there, he has always had a strong connection to the country, but this visit enabled him to have a period of reflection and contemplation on the chaotic months that had preceded it. “I was basically doing farm work”, he explains, “and I felt so, so lucky to be able to be there in such a trying time and be able to do something as amazing as… working with your hands in a beautiful place. I think the whole experience of being isolated in the middle of nowhere, doing that kind of work, you know, making things grow and watching the world be still from the outside… I think it one hundred percent did change the way that I wrote and just my style and the way I even looked at or listened to music.”
It was in this period, surrounded by nature and growth, that Firth began to write his newest and most developed music yet. Reflecting on this he comments, “I think everyone had a pretty tough time, especially in those few months… you know from March until September, even though it was summer everyone had a pretty tough time.” His debut single Wings emerged from what he wrote while there, and it is a raw, intense and beautiful insight into the magic world he has constructed with his music.
Wings pulls you in instantly, with unpretentious lyrics and a straight to heart sound. Despite being Firth’s first release it reflects the years of writing and experience that have led to it. “That song kind of came out of an upward slope of what felt like being dragged through the mud a little bit. Yeah, dragging yourself through the mud and picking yourself out of it was the kind of sentiment.” The solace he found while surrounded by nature meant that “the world was kind of slowed and stopped, and I was thinking about trying to use that time to think about renewal and to feel growth instead of trying to let myself feel kind of shut in.” The lyrics are reflective of this mindset of growth and vulnerability, stripped back and simple with descriptions of the sensations Firth was feeling and an attempt to ground the self in the moment instead of running away with thoughts and worries. The song itself was recorded in an incredibly minimalist fashion, Luca describes the process as “just in my room… with a couple of guitars.” The drums you hear are not in fact drums but, Luca laughingly explains, his grandmother’s “big old wardrobe” that he was “banging on for the drum sounds.”
This track may be his first release but song-writing has been a habit of Luca’s for as long as he can remember. “I was always pretending to be a singer or something when I was little… [Although] I started doing more serious song-writing in the last six years.” When he first picked up a guitar aged ten, it was because of Mumford and Sons, which he admits with some embarrassment but explains that he “was just obsessed with that big strummy sound.” Other influences vary from Bon Iver to Nick Drake, evident in the folksy but whimsical tone of Wings.
In his years of writing, Luca reflects, his approach has developed and changed. “I think every songwriter, when they first start writing… [is] trying to imitate or trying to go off what you’ve heard. And I think that the more you do it, the more you find your own sound and you find what works for you writing wise and what you can make work for someone else, [that] I think, is a nice way to look at it as well. What you can make that will connect to yourself afterwards and to someone else.”
It is clear that Luca Firth is a raw and exciting talent from this first captivating single alone. He has constructed a magical and folksy world of solace and tranquillity, not separate from the chaos and tragedy of the past year but reflective of the future it has made us hope for. For now he fills his days with uni work, binging The Sopranos and cooking elaborate meals, but when asked about his hopes for the future they are bright and optimistic.
“I hope there’s more live music, and I hope people go,” he comments, “I hope people start going to live shows more… I feel like once live events start to happen again, people are going to be a lot more inclined to start going to them… instead of being spoilt for choice like we were before, I hope people are a lot more open to try things or just to go for something because it’s something to do… we took a lot of things for granted before COVID.”
As for his personal goals, they are modest but genuine. “I would want to do a tour as soon as possible. To be fair… I just want to release the music and see what happens. I feel like it just needs to get out there now and I want to get out and perform it. Yeah, there’s no big dreams yet, apart from headlining Glastonbury” he laughs.
Luca’s debut single Wings is out now, you can listen here.