Ahead of releasing her new album Doubt & Reckoning next month, we caught up with Bristol via Australia artist Nuala Honan to talk five tracks that have influenced her powerful and distinct sound.
On her latest single ‘Part Of Something’ Honan channels a punkish ferocity and vivacity that calls to mind the likes of PRIESTS and The Yeah Yeah Yeahs with her fusion of driving guitar riffs and expressive vocals that soar from rich gravelly intonations to an almost operatic vibrato. The track is the latest taken from her upcoming new record which sees the Bristol-based artist’s sound evolve, further adding to her vibrant sound palette as she seamlessly shifts from moments of resplendent folk to ardent post-punk and avant-garde pop, all delivered with textured intricacy and an enthralling magnetism.
Get to know Nuala Honan In Five…
You Am I – Heavy Heart
This is the song that made me want to be a songwriter. I always wanted to be a singer from a young age, but things changed dramatically when I heard this song and realised I could try and pen my own sad songs to move people the way music moves me. I listened to this band every day throughout my teenage years. They’re mostly a noisy grunge rock band. Check them out – they’re Australian and amazing. If I had to recommend you one album, it would be Hi Fi Way.
Gillian Welch – Everything Is Free
Growing up, country music was banned in our house. My family despised everything about it, the production and aesthetic, and mostly, I think, the accents. So it took me years to break down the door into country music, and thank God I did. It opened a world of just the best songwriting known to humans! Gillian Welch is a staunch favourite. It’s hard to choose one song, but this one is, like all her songs, really relevant nearly twenty years after its release.
I learned from Gillian about taking my time and the craft of creating a world of harmony with just two people. (Love to my friend Kit Hawes who I played most of her repertoire with for years.)
St Vincent – Prince Johnny
When I first saw St Vincent play live, I went home and bought my first electric guitar! She’s an insane guitarist. I’m hugely inspired by the production on her albums, and the work John Congleton has done with her and Angel Olsen. I find myself trying to dive into each song and hear and understand every strange layer and how it all fits together. I chose this song because the first notes of the chorus are the most satisfying riff ever.
tUnE-yArDs – Real Live Flesh
Tune-yards has been a really influential artist for me in the last decade. This album opened a world of possibility, like oh wow, you can use your voice however the fuck you like! And scream and wail and yodel nonsense if that is what your heart is telling you to do! And when I heard she made it with a dictaphone and the free software Audacity, it made being a producer way more accessible for me. I started to think maybe I could produce my own music instead of waiting around for someone else to do it. It’s raw and primal and some of the most authentic music I’ve ever heard, and it makes me want to search for my own authenticity.
Pom Poko – Follow The Lights
BEST BAND! I love this band SO MUCH. Everything they do on this record is everything I love about music! It’s got crunchy riffs (with a very Dirty Projectors guitar sound), all the best bits of jazz, satisfying time signature and tempo changes, lofty wailing vocals, important messages, and an inimitable fizzy sound of humans having a great time. It helped give me confidence that you could put terrifying noises next to gentle sweet lullabies on the same record.
Photo by Paul Blakemore