We chat to Irish singer-songwriter, Eve Belle, about her musical upbringing, her favourite track of all-time and the longest she has ever spent in the studio.
Rising star, Eve Belle may only be 20, but her work is far beyond her years in experience. Having previously toured with Scottish band, Frightened Rabbit, Belle has also secured a number of published music videos to her name. (Including a brilliant single-take promo for ‘Boy From The Blue’) and a new EP in the works.
Tell me a bit about what got you into writing music?
I grew up in a household of music. Both my parents love music and I’ve always kind of had a big selection of it around me while I was growing up. My dad would introduce me to Pink Floyd and Talking Heads while my mum would have listened to John Martin and Bob Dylan and that kind of thing, so I always had a huge amount of influences growing up.
When I was ten / eleven, I started to learn the guitar and writing because it was cathartic – just working through things that I was feeling or situations I was experiencing. It was always a nice way of having a snapshot of things I was going through. It just snowballed from there.
When did you know that this was definitely what you wanted to do?
Once people were reacting to the songs I was making. I would play something and people would react saying “I liked that, it made me think of this and that.” I was doing what I loved and it also meant something to other people. What I got out of listening to music is what other people could get from listening to my music. The relief and understanding of listening to singers sing about what has happened to me, is something I really wanted to work towards. That definitely was a huge motivation for me.
When did you start singing professionally?
It gradually happened. I started writing and gigging properly when I was 14 or 15, and then just built up by performing support gigs. I signed with my label last year, so it’s just been this wonderful, gradual process. It’s cool for me as well, looking back at when it started and where I am now, I can see the different styles of songwriting and different approaches to working, which is great. I really enjoy it.
What inspires you to write your favourite songs?
I think for me, the best songs come from the most earnest emotions and the most difficult situations. When I’m songwriting, I try to have a minimal filter between what I’m feeling, what’s going on in my brain, and what I’m singing. That’s what would spur me to write a good song – something emotionally challenging, things that are difficult to verbalise, something which you have to take a minute to put into words. Those situations, those emotions and those feelings.
Which song are you most proud of?
Oh wow! That’s kind of like asking to pick between your kids! I think my song out at the moment, ‘Best Intentions.’ I’m quite happy with it in terms of it being about a very specific situation and I feel like it’s a vivid snapshot of the feelings I’ve been going through. That’s the song that I feel has done its job for me.
What is your favourite song of all-time?
The go-to answer for a favourite song is probably, ‘Lua’ by Bright Eyes. Conor Oberst is probably my songwriting icon. He’s got this fantastic element of storytelling and conservationism in his lyrics, which don’t detract from the beautiful metaphors and hard-hitting ideas. ‘Lua,’ is a story-song; beautiful and really sad. It’s just somebody talking and that was what always got me about Bright Eyes and Conor Oberst; that element of feeling like someone’s just sitting there telling you a story.
Tell me about the EP you’re working on at the moment?
I’ve released two singles off an EP that will hopefully be coming out in autumn. I’m currently recording new stuff as well.
How many hours a day do you spend recording?
It depends on the day, but recently we spent 13 hours, which is a record for me! I think that was the longest I’ve done in the studio, it was pretty intense. After a while of working and working you just get into the zone of coming up with ideas. Being in the studio is a really fantastic experience. If you hear something and want to do it, you have all the tools at your disposal to make it happen. When you’re in the zone, and there’s a good vibe going, it’s a really great experience.
Where are you planning on touring soon?
I would love, love, love to play in France. I’m a big languages person and it would be so nice to practice my French, but there’s also much French music I’m inspired by. It would be great to be around that history and share the musical side of such an amazing place.
Which artists inspire you?
Julien Baker is a big inspiration to me, I absolutely love her, and I’m big into Ariel Pink, too. I’ve been having a Talking Heads revival over the past couple of months but I try to listen to as much music as I possibly can. I’m lucky to have a lot of jazzy, cool friends who are always finding random people I’ve not heard of. I would definitely cite Julien Baker as my main inspiration.
What are your hopes for the future?
My whole dream is just to be able to do music and nothing else. That’s all I want out of life. If I can play music and support myself, pay rent, eat food then that’s everything I want. I’m going into my third year at Trinity College in Dublin studying French and Spanish – which is handy because I love languages and I’m a big fan of everything they involve. I was on tour with Frightened Rabbit a couple of years ago when they came to Ireland and they were incredible! Being allowed to play a different audience every night and watching Frightened Rabbit’s stagecraft – I was really inspired. It made me determined to be able to tour around places with people wanting to hear your songs. That would be an absolute dream for me even if It’s just to a bar of five people. It’s definitely what I’m passionate about and what I want to be doing, for sure.
Eve Belle’s latest single ‘Best Intentions’ is out now and available to listen to below.