February 17th, 2017
We have a chat with the excellently eccentric Myles Manley.
Hailing from Sligo, Ireland, Myles Manley is the wonderfully weird songwriting genius you’ve always wanted. Having been the resident indie kid in his village, Myles started to create extraordinarily imaginative songs, taking influences from folk music to post-punk.
He has now released new single ‘Relax; Enjoy Your Night Upon The Town’, via Dublin’s Little L Records. The Irish singer-songwriter displays his idiosyncratic take on folk music, combining guitar and drum rhythms to make a delightfully quirky folk tune, and the accompanying video allows him to show off his dance moves.
We were lucky enough to sit down with Myles to chat about the single and find out a bit more about him.
What music did you listen to when growing up?
Ages 0-11 was bourgeois tune oriented stuff (sorry pops). Selected highlights include Judy Garland live at Carnegie Hall, Talking Heads – Sand in the Vaseline, REM – Green and Pet Shop Boys Greatest Hits etc. This is my ABC to be honest. Bought Lou Bega, Nickelback and Jamiroquai singles. Then I thought I didn’t like music for a while cos everyone was listening to Alien Ant Farm. And what’s worse, Foo Fighters! I discovered this class way of life called indie rock. After the Arctic Monkey’s travesty I lost my identity for a while before getting it so, so right of course. Only joking I didn’t hear any music until I was 16.5.
Who are your musical influences?
I wouldn’t say he’s a huge influence on the sound of my music now but the first proper gig I ever saw was, my absolute favourite at the time, The Divine Comedy in the Black Box, Galway when I was about 10. And it was very interesting indeed to see him on Top Of The Pops (even though he was outside the top 20) around the same time.
How would you describe your sound?
Bucolic Tropicana! Wait, that sounds like a disease!
Can you tell us about your most recent single ‘Relax; Enjoy Your Night Upon The Town’?
Yes I can, it’s a song about the sheer excitement of going out the first few times and abandoning your simpering mates for pastures new.
What was the inspiration behind the track?
It was one of a bunch of songs that were going to be my contribution to the centenary of the Easter Rising. There was all this terrible art being funded by the arts council here as part of it and I wanted to do something anti-nationalistic. Took too long basically and I thought it might be a bit petty. Maybe I was wrong about that!
And the title?
I was going to guitarist Chris’s studio at night from like 10pm-4am kind of time so it was a little bit of a joke about that. I can’t remember if it was this song in particular but one of the nights was the shooting at the Bataclan and someone said “Oh, have you heard there’s been terrible shootings in Paris” and I said “Oh don’t tell me anything about it” and went and finished my song and then the next day read about it and got upset of course. But I thought, “Well done Myles you’ve done your thing.”
Some of the rhythms were inspired by early hip hop. Can you tell us a bit about what drew you to these interesting sounds?
Not so much the rhythms as the sounds, the clunkiness. Just got on a big kick of listening to hiphop after seeing the documentary on Nas’ Illmatic. Hadn’t heard so much stuff. It’s such a sophisticated form now but I like the 80s stuff especially. I’m more interested in nascent stuff than technical peaks I think, it’s interesting to think about why it worked so well even though other forms of music were much more advanced at the time. I like the cockiness as well. A whole new world! So I bought a second hand MPC500 which is what I wrote the rhythm tracks for my newer songs on.
In the video, you show off your dance moves. What was your creative vision for the video?
Loner’s night out. I love making videos with Seamus, we just go out with no real plan and think up
stuff on the spot. I’m the only one in the video but he’s a character in it too with the way he shoots and edits it.
What else do you have lined up for 2017?
I’m releasing Relax; Enjoy Your Night Upon The Town as a single, with B-side Pasta Solo, on 7” with Little L Records on Feb 17.
Can pre-order here: https://mylesmanley.bandcamp.com/album/relax-enjoy-your-night-upon-the-town
Doing these gigs in a band with Chris Barry (guitar/bass) and Solamh Kelly (drums):
Feb 17 — London (New Cross) — Amersham Arms (w/ Mat Riviere / Sky coloured)
Feb 18 — Brighton — The Hope and Ruin (w/ Sacred Paws / Spinning Coin)
Feb 19 — Coventry — The Tin Arts and Music
Feb 20 – Birmingham — The Flapper
Feb 22 — Newport — Le Pub (w/ Nevsky Perspective)
Feb 23 — Manchester — The Castle Hotel (w/ Rainmaker) Feb 24 — Leeds — House Show (w/ Trust Fund, Rosseau)
Feb 25 — Edinburgh — Safari Lounge (w/ Alexander Auld Smith / Sasquatch Jnr / James M)
Feb 26 — Sheffield — Audacious Art Experiment (w/ Duck)
Mar 3 — Belfast — The Sunflower *
Mar 4 — Sligo — McGarrigles
Mar 23 — Buncrana — Ned’s Point Arts Centre *
Mar 24 — Derry – Bennigans (w/ Foreign Owl)
Mar 25 — Dublin — The Workman’s Club *
Apr 8 — Limerick — Dolan’s Warehouse (opening for Girl Band)
Apr 9 — Dundalk — The Spirit Store (* w/ Strength NIA)
We just played in Cork at the Quarter Block Party which was great but we’ll hopefully do another couple of gigs around there before summer. And will hopefully organise more gigs in the UK too and do some festivals. Have a load of new songs which we will have to work out what to do with after this run o gigs. w exciting!
Words: Elly Watson