New Hair New Me by Eyes of Others is the best new song I've heard in ages. I fell for it instantly. It's warm, gooey, dreamy and catchy pop music. When I fall for a song in this way, I play it on repeat ... for days.
Even though I've had New Hair New Me on a loop, playing half a dozen times in a row on at least three occasions, the beautiful thing about this song is that I still find so much in it. I love how fresh it continues to feel, I keep going back for more.
John Bryden (AKA Eyes of Others) leaves loads of space in this single. Everything hangs on a loose funky bass; beats, handclaps, ukulele drifts in and out, a dreamy synth riff, vocals that are sleepily whispered at times, addictively melodic in a playful sing-song-y way at others.
Sometimes the lyrics are easy to make out, other times they are blurred in the perfect way, the groove, feel and melody being more important.
The accompanying video also has loads of space. Bryden wanders round snow filled landscapes in Norway, down roads, on frozen lakes, wading through drifts, diving headfirst into deep snow, having fun making snow angels and clutching on to his beloved synth.
The single is out now and Eyes of Others self titled album will be out on Heavenly Recordings on May 19th.
Read on for an interview with John.
EF - I've only just discovered Eyes of Others, but you have been releasing music sporadically (in the form of singles and EP's) under this guise since 2017. You're now ready to release an album, did you have a plan? Or have things just got to this stage pretty naturally?
Now that I think about it, I’ve been making music for about 20 years and only now is my debut album about to be released….so really I’m disgusted with myself and my poor planning.
Where have I been all my life?
EF - I love the way you describe your sound as 'post-pub, couldn't get in the club music' - there is a real dreamy quality to New Hair New Me. Did you find that sound from late nights? Did you/do you have a favourite pub/club?
Hmmm it’s hard to trace where exactly a sound comes from but there’s probably some truth in that as I’ve had a few late nights in my time.
But I don’t drink anymore. I just stay home and eat biscuits so I think some sort of home-biscuit-isolation aesthetic permeates the track too.
My favourite pub is the Regent Bar in Abbyhill, Edinburgh. It’s pretty chilled and friendly.
Earlier on in the life of Eyes of Others you were remixed by the late great Andrew Weatherall. Did you learn anything from the way he remixed I See You In The Shrubs? Did that, or any other remixes, give you any new ideas on how to approach creating music?
Yeah for sure. I remember listening to it for the first time and thinking it was a total curve ball. It was like trying to learn a new language, re many listens.
Once I got to grips with it I was in awe. I took a lot from Weatherall’s approach with regards to my own music - not to sit still and don’t just give people what you think they want.
His remix gave me something I didn’t know I wanted. That’s what it’s all about for me really, when something comes along and just shatters what you think you know and opens doors to other worlds.
EF - Do you play everything on your singles to date and forthcoming album? Do you have a favourite instrument?
In the main I played most of the instruments on the record. And there’s some drum programming there too. Stuart Evans (formerly of Green Door Studio Glasgow, now operating at Green Door West - west as in California) mixed and co-produced the record. So he helped tighten up a lot of the demos with some of his own playing.
For me playing an instrument feels like a car that continually won’t start, so Stuart helped massively there. I should perhaps focus and practice more but I do enjoy jumping around various instruments - just picking up whatever and trying to get a tune out of it in that moment because it feels right for the track.
I got an old harmonium recently. I am terrible at it. It’s my favourite.
EF - Will you have a band for live dates? And can we expect some more to be announced?
At the moment there’s two of us playing live. There’s are more dates to be announced but we have the following:
03 March - The Social London
11 March - YES, Manchester (supporting H. Hawkline)
13 March - Hug and Pint, Glasgow (supporting H. Hawkline)
30 April - Sounds from the Other City, Salford
27 May - Sea Change Weekender, Totnes
9-11 June, Kite Festival, Oxfordshire
EF - Lastly, what music are you enjoying at present?
I’ve been listening to these tracks a lot; Tom Waits’ Dog Door, Nelly Furtado’s All Good Things Come to an End, and Shu-de’s Aian Dudal.
Thanks to John for taking the time to answer my questions. Check the single, it's sublime. I'll blog on the album when it comes out.