Paul Lynch: Searching for the Answer EP
We sit down with South London's Paul Lynch on the eve of his debut to talk about what being a young musician is like in London today, how a lack of Folk law speaks to his musical ambitions, his influences and, of course, his debut EP: Searching for the Answer. We give it ★★★★ by the way, let us know what you think.
So, this is your first ever EP which is exciting. When did the penny drop and you realise that you wanted to do this professionally?
Well, I began to become instrumental pretty late at the age of 17, and I never meant it as a something I would ever take up professionally. Obviously, you always dream but to be honest I was pretty deluded at first when I was in my first band. I thought: “Yeah this band is definitely going to make it.” – classic.
But by around the age of 20, I started to up my singing game and begin to think that realistically I could probably start doing something with this. I'm a bit more of a realist than I was at the beginning, but genuinely think that if I find the right people I could have a good crack at something great.
My dream is never to become massive and famous, but to be part of a self-sustaining band that allows me to make the music I love and live my life through it – it’s definitely not going to be easy, but it’s not impossible.
How are you finding these bandmates?
Well for the EP launch I had a six-piece band which was amazing – sadly that will have to stop because they’re not committed enough.
Do they know this or is it going to come as a surprise?
No, no, I’m going to tell them tonight actually. My friend Jesse – who took part in the EP launch but is more of a session musician – told me to sack them off and I think he’s onto something.
Fun fact: Jesse was the guitarist for Neil Finn (lead singer of Crowded House) for a bit.
What’s it like starting a solo music career in London today?
It’s really difficult, and there’s a massive learning curve. You have to make everything happen yourself because no-one who doesn’t know you will help you out. That’s why it’s important to have people who are keen to help and support you in what you're doing.
LET'S TALK ABOUT YOUR EP. How long did Searching for the answer take TO CREATE?
Ah man, it took frikkin’ forever, a lot of this was recorded last January. It was mixed and mastered by the end of March which was a good turnaround considering I had to coordinate the bass and the beatbox – which was tricky, to say the least. I was lucky enough to play at Eden Festival in Scotland and I also released my first video as well as my first single last year so it all built up and, as always, time gets away from you. 2017 was great in that respect and I’m both really looking forward to seeing what comes out this next release but even more excited for the what comes after.
THE TRACKS ON THE EP JUMP THROUGH GENRES AND TEMPO – HOW DID you select theM?
That’s quite an interesting one, I intended it to be a 5 track EP but as often happens one of the songs didn’t really come together. I spend quite a while writing the lyrics to the tracks and as time goes on whittle them down, swap them around and sometimes merge them entirely, so by the end I didn’t have as robust a number as you might think to choose from.
FOR EXAmPLE VinCENTE di CamAra is completely different to Loch Lomund, how did they end up being on the same album?
Well, Loch Lomond is a cover of a traditional Scottish song, and the other is based on this kid Vincente Di Camara who I was at primary school with. So they were always going to be different.
We made up the song, assumed he loved it, but it turned out he didn’t. Eventually, for the sake of Vincente di Camara we stopped singing the Vincente di Camara Song. Then, in the 2nd year of university, I remembered some of the lyrics to this catchy tune and added a few chords and music to it and it was all go (Vincente go).
Where is Vincente di Camara now?
I have no idea, I’ve tried to find him on Facebook but I can’t seem to find him – it really sucks, would love to know what he's up too.
Well, maybe he’ll come across it.
Searching for the Answer – WHAT GENRE WOULD YOU describe IT AS?
It's a bit more acoustic/reggae thanks to the bass, the same can be said for the electric guitar close to the end. It's also almost talky/singing in the verses which makes me think it's not necessarily a folk tune. The Undercover Hippy is more this kind of music, as are many of the bands from Small World Festival – full of New-Age Hippies.
Is there a link between love is the answer and searching for the answer? the two songs that bracket the EP?
I should probably have a good hard think about how to answer this question but I’m just going to answer it truthfully.
It was called ‘If Love is the Answer’ initially because at the end of the day, whenever I perform it's not supposed to be a wrapping up song: ‘oh look, love is the answer’. If you listen to the lyrics you can tell that it is a bit of an open-ended track. The lyrics are purposefully confusing though.
Perhaps I’ve realised the answer, but haven’t actually realised the answer – if that makes any sense.
Who’s behind the artwork?
That was Gareth – they turned out great. I really wanted it to be something you could hang on your wall and I think he’s hit the nail on the head.
So why Folk? you aren’t from a particularly folk centric background, how did you find your way into this genre?
I guess that comes from the Liam (Worldwide Welshman and Beyond) influence I guess. I have a really – well everyone says this – but I really do have a genuinely eclectic taste in music. Folk, in all its varieties, compliments this well and is a great source of inspiration for music taken from all over the world. I think this reflects as well in my sets, each song is totally different to the last.
Who are your other musical influences?
So how are you getting it out there?
The usual channels really, but I’m also pushing everyone to take a look at some remixes this collective called Darkest Before Dawn made of Vincente di Camara. A fun and unexpected turn.
How did that happen?
Well actually they thought it was someone else's song at first. I bumped into them one night last year and we ended up discussing the song over a drink. They mentioned they’d like to remix it and I got in touch (and ignored) about a year ago but then got in touch again three months ago. They got back to me and the result was 5 DJs made remixes/used samples of Vincente di Camara.
I like this a lot. It opens up my music to different genres – because of course not everyone will like my music – but if you attack it from a different angle and create something quite different it means you can branch out to an even wider audience. It was a fortunate turn of events.
thanks for chatting paul, Cheers!
Paul Lynch's debut EP Searching for the Answer is out now. Get on it.