FAULT Favourite Flo Morrissey releases debut album ‘Tomorrow Will Be Beautiful’

 

FAULT Favourite Flo Morrissey, who we featured for FAULT Online in March, will be releasing her debut album ‘Tomorrow Will Be Beautiful‘ next week, on Monday 15th June (Glassnote Records.)

Tomorrow Will Be Beautiful, (Glassnote Records), released June 15th

Tomorrow Will Be Beautiful, (Glassnote Records), released June 15th

We were able to have a listen to the record before Flo releases it into the world and it is a remarkably strong statement for a debuting artist (especially one who is only 20 years old.) Her voice is haunting and unique, richly retro-inspired, and hallmarked with the influence of Kate Bush, Devendra Banhart, Bjork, and Jeff Buckley. Her lyrics have a child-like fragility, and we see her exploring the journey into adulthood (especially pertinent given that she herself is on the cusp of a similar leap into the spotlight.) ‘Pages of Gold‘ and ‘Show Me‘ are statement tracks, with pop-power and surging melodies, whilst ‘Wildflower‘ and title-track ‘Tomorrow Will Be Beautiful‘ are somehow both ghostly and anthemic- an unexpected and beautiful balancing act. ‘Why’ almost teeters too far into fairytale-territory, with it’s lilting melody reminiscent of the Disney score for Sleeping Beauty (perhaps this particular reference says more about me than Morrissey), but its searching vocals are intriguing and anchor the track in emotion and experience. It is impossible to ignore the force of Morrissey’s artistry, and just how enchanting her voice truly is. Full of range, story-telling character, and effortless stylistic variations, we have no doubt she will continue to captivate as this album finally reaches its eagerly-awaiting public.

Revisit our exclusive feature with Flo here, with photographs by Kurtiss Lloyd.

Flo Morrissey, photographed exclusively for FAULT Online by Kurtiss Lloyd in March 2015.

Flo Morrissey, photographed exclusively for FAULT Online by Kurtiss Lloyd in March 2015.

FAULT Favourite: Yoko Ono collaborates with Tiger on ‘Conceptual Photograpy’

 

The inimitable Yoko Ono, creative legend and FAULT Favourite, has collaborated with Danish brand Tiger on a new project- a conceptual art book centred on the idea that art should be accessible to all. The 159-page hardback, entitled ‘Conceptual Photography’, coincides with the artist’s latest exhibition, ‘Yoko Ono: One Woman Show 1960–1971’, taking place at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

coverA conceptual coffee-table tome, this project plays with words and photography in a beautifully poetic way, drawing the reader deep into Yoko’s wonderfully eccentric universe. A fantastical film script conjures a musical score consisting of an audience instructed to “hold bunch of white flowers, and pick them slowly”, whilst Ono urges the reader to “rearrange the photos in their mind.” By taking us on such an immersive journey between enigmatic narrative and poetic instruction, ‘Conceptual Photography‘ challenges us to perceive the world in a different way.

Two years in the making, Tiger and Ono have agreed to release the book for just £10-a nod to the idea of making the artwork accesible to all- and it is available in select Tiger stores across the UK. Mai Due Brinch, Concept Development Manager at Tiger comments, “Conceptual Photography breaks down genre borders, creating a fascinating ‘universe’ of text and images. The collaboration with Yoko Ono felt symbiotic given we share the same mission; to democratise access to art and move towards a truly inclusive experience, fair to both artist and spectator.”

15852_image_171

image courtesy of Yoko Ono and Tiger

 

Conceptual Photography is now available in selected UK Tiger stores. Yoko Ono’s exhibition entitled ‘Yoko Ono: One Woman Show 1960–1971’, at MoMA, New York, from May 17–September 7, 2015.

www.tigerstores.co.uk

FAULT Focus: Marie Naffah returns with #Blindfold – a special collaboration to raise awareness of visual impairment

 

FAULT Favourite Marie Naffah, MTV’s Unsigned Artist for 2014 and a star of FAULT 18 (The RAW Issue), has returned with a special project.

In a not-for-profit project to raise awareness and understanding of the issues surrounding visual impairment and sight loss, Marie has teamed up with a group of six blind and visually-impaired musicians to record and release for free her song ‘Blindfold’: as a documentary-style video exploring the disability and the importance of music to those who suffer from it.

Photography: Constance Meath Baker

Photography: Constance Meath Baker

The song itself was written by Marie, who is 22, as a response to her grandmother’s experience with blindness and the implications it had had on her life and the lives around her. Having performed the song to senior BBC broadcast journalist Tony Shearman, who is also blind, Marie was invited to play and be interviewed on Insight Radio – the official radio station of the Royal National Institute of Blindness (RNIB).

Steve Plowman, a blind drummer living just outside of London, heard Marie on Insight Radio and impressed by the poignancy of the lyrics, as well as the tuneful song itself, he asked Marie whether there would be an opportunity for him to perform it with her.

With help from the RNIB, five more blind and partially sighted musicians expressed interest in the project, and so it was decided that a documentary/recording of the track would be made: to emphasise the importance of music in the lives of visually-impaired people and to show how, contrary to public opinion, a disability such as blindness does not automatically prevent a person from being able to perform music.

The 12 minute documentary, made by filmmaker Constance Meath Baker, consists of a series of interviews with the musicians followed by the track itself, recorded at a studio in High Wycombe with help from producer David Lane.

www.facebook.com/marienaffahmusic

www.twitter.com/marienaffah

FAULT Future: Freddie Dickson

 

We recently spent the afternoon with Freddie Dickson, the young voice setting music blogs ablaze with his dark ‘Doom Pop’ sound. Courting comparisons to Lana del Rey and the legendary Nick Cave, Dickson has just today released the video for his new single ‘Speculate‘,  which has already been played on Annie Mac’s show on Radio 1 and Jo Good’s on XFM.

It’s taken from an EP, of the same name, out April 13th on Columbia. Dickson has also announced an intimate headline show at The Waiting Room in Stoke Newington on 1st April, before heading out on the Communion New Faces tour on the 20th.
Freddie Dickson (2015), photographed by Constance Meath Baker

Freddie Dickson (2015), photographed by Constance Meath Baker

What are your influences and how have you arrived at this current ‘Doom Pop’ sound?

In the early days it was Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Van Morrison, and all those guys I had grown up on. Then as I got older I became more into production- The XX, Lana del Rey, Florence + the Machine, Plan B. I wanted an all-encompassing style for my music.

When did you start writing?

I didn’t start singing until I was 18 at an open mic, but I had been writing since I was 15/16. It just got to a point where I realised I didn’t want anyone else to be singing my songs.

When you did start performing, was it something that came easily to you?

No, I was so shy! But I just drilled my way through endless open mics. I guess I ‘Ed Sheeran’d’ my way through it! (laughs)

Were people quick to take notice?

No, not until I changed my sound. To begin with, I was just too stuck in the past. I was trying to be Bob Dylan, and no-one should try that! I got bored myself, and I did a gig in East London when I was 21 and a friend was just like “that was really bad.” And I knew it.

But I went away, and got Logic on my laptop, and started developing the sound I have now. The artists I want to be like are the ones who constantly change- Plan B, Kanye, Bowie. I get bored so easily (laughs)

Freddie Dickson (2015), photographed by Constance Meath Baker

Freddie Dickson (2015), photographed by Constance Meath Baker

It’s interesting, watching sessions and live performances that you’ve done, to see how you take that production-based sound and transfer it into the realm of the live experience. How do you find the music changes when you perform it live?
I think the live experience has to be so different from the record – if you just try to mimic the recorded version, there’s nothing worse. It’s almost like you have to do a cover of your own song, and put some twist on it.

The visuals seem very important to your music- is that something you’re closely involved with?
Yeah I think it’s so important. All the artists I like – Nick Cave, Patti Smith – they created all this powerful imagery. It would be weird, given how dark my sound is, if I was styled with bright neon clothing, right? (laughs) I think it all has to fit together; how you’re photographed, how you look, the live performance.

Part of that process is collaboration, which seems to underpin so much of today’s music industry. Is that something that comes easily to you?
When I was first signed I had so many co-writing sessions set up for me, and none of them really worked. But  I eventually hit it off with someone and now I have this great team of musicians and producers who help me reach the exact thing I want. I’m not an accomplished musician, and I don’t even try to aspire to greatness because the singing is really my thing.

Freddie Dickson (2015), photographed by Constance Meath Baker

Freddie Dickson (2015), photographed by Constance Meath Baker

Does the writing process come easily to you?
No not at all! And I think that annoys so many of the people I work with (laughs) I like to make sure every word is perfect, and that every syllable comes out of my mouth easily. I could never be one of these people who writes three songs a week, they’d all sound the same!

It’s interesting to hear you talk in terms of before and after being signed. How has the process changed since being signed- are there new pressures that come with having a label?
Not really- my label has been really nice. We still do it in the same way, writing away in my bedroom, and they give me my own recording space with good speakers which is great. It’s like having a little office (laughs)

As you’re writing music, are you constantly listening to new material by other artists, or do you try to cut yourself from other people’s work?
No, I follow a lot of blogs and love just diving into new music. I’d love to work with a hip-hop band, or a dream collaborator like Nas or Sia! I think she’s amazing because it’s so much about the songs and the voice.

Are you excited to be going on the Communion New Faces tour at the end of April?
Yeah I can’t wait  – it’s such incredible exposure! At the moment I can see how the fans are spread out and there are so many in places like Russia and Eastern Europe, but not enough in England yet (laughs)

Finally, what is your FAULT?
Scotch Eggs. And not being able to write songs very quickly.

 

All photography by Constance Meath Baker

FAULT Future: Flo Morrissey

 

Flo Morrissey is a chanteuse who sits somewhere between a Lana Del Rey penchant for romantic nostalgia, the bohemian power of Florence & the Machine, the whispered and mystical vocals of early Björk, and the effortless charm of Jane Birkin or Stevie Nicks.

At only 20, her sound and lyrics are incredibly well-honed, born of influences her contemporaries haven’t heard of and a detachment from pop culture that has made her incredibly unique both to listen to, and to look at.

Having just released her debut single ‘Pages of Gold‘, and just finished her first tour in the UK supporting The Staves, we sat down with Flo to talk cinematic sounds, the world around the artist, and the power of not always saying yes…

Flo Morrissey (2015), by Kurtiss Lloyd

Flo Morrissey (2015), by Kurtiss Lloyd

How are you finding the tour so far?

I’m loving it – it’s my first one so it was quite daunting to start with, doing something new every night for people who haven’t necessarily come to see you! But it’s great to be playing with The Staves because the audience is there to really listen.

In terms of your biggest performances so far – SXSW, Green Man, etc. – it seems like you are really selective when it comes where to play. Is that the case?

Yeah, it’s just the way my path has gone. I think it’s down to the Internet- I started putting up my demos at 14 and never really did shows in pubs or clubs like other acts. I was just lucky that my manager found me online. I think people say yes to too many things nowadays, and it takes away the special nature of actually doing a show.

Is the live aspect something you enjoy, or is it something you find daunting?

I enjoy it more and more because I’m still new to it – but you never know how you’re going to feel after a show. One thing could change and you wish you had done it differently. But I want to perform more and I’m excited to do more shows. It’s just hard in the beginning! When I go on the road, I’ll hopefully have a multi-instrumentalist to play with me so it will be a little less daunting and lonely.

Beyond the live show, is sharing the actual music something that makes you feel vulnerable?

I don’t really think about it until after, when I realise how weird it can be to speak about the songs. I’d rather people had their own interpretation of it. It’s nice to think that someone else might get something from it as well.

Flo Morrissey (2015), by Kurtiss Lloyd

Flo Morrissey (2015), by Kurtiss Lloyd

The individualism of your music and vision is clearly close to your heart. As you grow as an artist- being signed and managed and touring in the UK and beyond- is it harder to retain that sense of self?

I picked my label because they completely let me do what I want to, and I don’t have to compromise. People have this idea of the music industry as this place where you always have to say yes, but you really don’t. I still do my own Facebook and Instagram, and I wouldn’t want that to ever change.

How did you start writing music?

I started putting stuff on Myspace when I was about 14. I used to sing more classical music at school, but I started playing guitar and it was just more fun! So I made my own recordings, and my own videos, and put covers online. I was this 15 year-old girl acting as my own manager, sending my music out to blogs and it just felt really natural.

In that vein of being your own manager, it seems that your vision is really all-encompassing? Is it important to you that all the elements are cohesive in that way?

I think it is really important to have a kind of world around the artist, but then you can’t think about it in that way. I just try to be natural about it.

How do you see yourself going forward? Pages of Gold, (the upcoming single), marks a shift towards a much bigger sound.

I am really open to experimentation and a lot of the songs on the album have big string sections. I’d love to bring a live band on tour because a lot of the songs are quite cinematic and I’m glad it went that way. It could have been a real folk record but I always wanted to have this more cinematic sound.

Flo Morrissey (2015), by Kurtiss Lloyd

Flo Morrissey (2015), by Kurtiss Lloyd

How was the process of recording your album in LA over the summer?

It was quite lonely at time because LA is just such a huge place. It was the longest I’ve ever been away from home but my manager lives there which was great, and I get along so well with Noah, the producer.

You are quite a quintessentially British artist- what do you see as the differences between making music in the US and the UK?

It was quite inspiring to be there because they won’t say no- they had this kind of “you go girl!” mentality (laughs) and it was actually really good for me! They strive for a lot and it’s so easy, and English, to be self-deprecating but it helped in music terms to have that empowerment on hand.

Do you feel the music industry has been really supportive so far?

I’ve been so lucky but I try not to think about it too much! I sometimes feel like my music is maybe not that accessible, especially with just me and a guitar because it’s so vulnerable and raw. It won’t appeal to everyone but I strangely like that. Usually the best things are the ones that have flaws.

On that note, what is your FAULT?

I worry too much!

Flo Morrissey (2015), by Kurtiss Lloyd

Flo Morrissey (2015), by Kurtiss Lloyd

https://www.facebook.com/FloMorrissey

All photographs by Kurtiss Lloyd

FAULT Focus: Ewa Wilczynski’s ‘THROES’, The Royal Academy of Arts

 

Stood amidst an enchanted crowd and the dramatic grandeur of the Senate Rooms at the Royal Academy of Arts, with her large-scale paintings on the walls and metallic couture by Inbar Spector cascading around her, FAULT Favourite Ewa Wilczynski made a creative declaration that she is truly one to watch.

'Ewa' (2015), by Kurtiss Lloyd for FAULT Magazine

‘Ewa’ (2015), by Kurtiss Lloyd for FAULT Magazine

As Wilczynski’s debut solo exhibition, THROES marks only three years since the artist graduated in Fine Art from Central Saint Martins (by way of the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Paris.) As a document of how her artistic practice has taken shape, the idea of transition was central to the exhibition. The title itself – taken from one of the most striking works in the show – conjures ideas of being in-between emotional and physical states, with an undercurrent of violent intensity that permeates the dramatic power of the paintings. Rendered in thick oil, and in shades of violet, red, black and blue, Wilczynski’s works depict phantasmagorical landscapes where disembodied figures turn in circles around each other, recognisable as self-portraits but with a Surrealist gesture that dislocates them from the real world.

“I think of it as a collaboration; I paint my personal myth and you, the spectator, fuse your own personal world to it. The paintings become this thin place in between where the two worlds collide and internal polarity comes to the surface.

 

The paintings are a membrane-that skin between my world and your world.”

'Ewa' (2015), by Kurtiss Lloyd for FAULT Magazine

‘Ewa’ (2015), by Kurtiss Lloyd for FAULT Magazine

The real world is something that Wilczynski shows little interest in, and her work speaks to a mysticism and personal mythology that she frames in terms of philosophy and psychoanalysis. The work in THROES was influenced by Jacques Derrida’s ‘Hymen’ theory; centred on the interplay of inside/outside, the work becomes an intersection and membrane between the artist and spectator, with the painting (the hymen) as a sort of skin.

This blurring of boundaries in the work lends a certain vulnerability to its exhibition and existence in the gallery space. The scale and intensity of the paintings is almost overwhelming, not only for the viewer but for the diminutive physical stature of Wilczynski herself. Standing against her own canvases, the collisions of figures and thunderous elements tower above her, looming over her shoulders. At THROES, the high-ceilinged rooms of the Royal Academy were heavily scented with lavender, making reference to historical exhibitions of the Sublime, and one display cabinet consciously echoed the format of the Wunderkammer in Renaissance Europe. Combined with the grandeur and decorative interior of the Senate Rooms, and the chanting beat of an electronic paean devised and DJ’d by Alexander Price, the exhibition again challenged our modern standard for white-walled exhibition display.

“all of us have our own little worlds and our personal myths … within my work, the painting is almost a way to encapsulate that, and close that gap.”

'Ewa' (2015), by Kurtiss Lloyd for FAULT Magazine

‘Ewa’ (2015), by Kurtiss Lloyd for FAULT Magazine

Ewa has said that her next body of paintings will be different in aesthetic, and THROES is the supreme example of just how quickly styles and motifs emerge across her work. She has shown that her creativity and imagination are remarkably intense, matching her determination and work ethic (in recent months she has also collaborated on projects with Lulu Guinness and spent time with David LaChapelle in Los Angeles.) Having drawn so much attention and praise for THROES, we know we are not the only ones waiting with bated breath for her next offering.

 

www.ewawilczynski.co.uk

All photographs by Kurtiss Lloyd

‘Studio to Stereo’, a collaboration between Proud Camden and Sony

Last week we made our way to Proud Camden for the launch of their collaboration with Sony on an exhibition called ‘Studio to Stereo’. This is a show that brings together iconic music photography and Sony’s innovative hi-res audio technology, to bring to life some pivotal moments of recording history. Curated by Alex Proud and presented by DJ Tom Ravenscroft (BBC 6 Music), each of Proud’s infamous stables plays host to a different music icon, from Coldplay and Bob Dylan, to The Doors and Tame Impala, by way of Paul McCartney, Black Sabbath and Pink Floyd.

Alongside intimate and unseen photos of each act in the studio, Sony has laid on various devices playing re-mastered tracks from the associated albums- music landmarks such as The Doors’ LA Woman and Coldplay’s X&Y. The idea is that the Hi-Res Audio technology allows for the music to sound as if it’s fresh from the studio, showcasing subtleties apparently missed the first time round (one label noted that when recordings are converted for CD, only 3% of the original sound quality remains.)

Recapturing this ‘lost magic’ is a bold ambition, and on some tracks it was definitely more successful than others. However, no-one can argue that this show isn’t an exciting sensory experience. Alex Proud writes that he wanted to showcase “the different and unique ways that artists set themselves up in the studio […] the rooms they choose, the way they set up the instruments and spread themselves across the space, the clothes they wear and the look they project while they’re recording, it all has an effect on the end sound”. Seeing these historic photos on display, with the songs playing full-blast and the moody red lighting of Proud Camden overhead (a venue with so much musical history of its own), the exhibition came together to brilliant effect, doing real justice to the legends on the gallery walls.

Here are FAULT‘s exclusive highlights from the show.

McCartney, Lennon and Harrison tune up, Ernst Merck Halle, 1966. Photo by Robert Whitaker

McCartney, Lennon and Harrison tune up, Ernst Merck Halle, 1966. Photo by Robert Whitaker

Black Sabbath, 1972. Photo by Chris Walter

Black Sabbath, 1972. Photo by Chris Walter

Chris Martin while recording X&Y, 2004. Photo by Kevin Westernberg

Chris Martin while recording X&Y, 2004. Photo by Kevin Westernberg

The Doors' Ray Manzarek & John Densmore, 1970. Photo by Frank Lisciandro

The Doors’ Ray Manzarek & John Densmore, 1970. Photo by Frank Lisciandro

 

FAULT Focus: Joe Webb, Contemporary Artist

Joe Webb is a contemporary artist who uses images from vintage magazines and posters to conjure surreal narratives that express both a comical and cynical take on the modern world. His bold collages are hand-made, with Photoshop strictly off-limits and a decidedly ‘anti-technology’ approach to his art. Ironically, his work has taken the Internet world by storm, going viral on multiple online platforms and being shared by hundreds of thousands of people. Joe is based in the UK and has original collages and prints in the Saatchi Gallery in London. He is exhibiting at the Saatchi and at Hang Up Gallery later this year.

Hot Tub - 2014

Hot Tub – 2014

When did you first begin making art?

From childhood…I was one of those weird kids who drew all the time, made spaceships from washing up bottles, that sort of thing – I just didn’t stop.

What were your original influences?

I’m really into painting, seeing a Peter Doig exhibition about 10 years ago made me interested in making artwork again after stopping for a while. Also Neo Rauch, Gerhard Richter, Sigmar Polke, Fred Tomaseli. I only like pictures on walls really- the kinetic, conceptual, 3d neon art installations can do one. Matisse’s cut-out exhibition currently at the Tate Modern is outstanding.

How has your art practice and approach to collage changed over the course of your life so far?

Over the years, narratives and ideas have crept into the pieces. I’ve always tried to inject some dark humour into the work, which seems to be getting darker. I know really ‘real’ art is supposed to be ambiguous but I like to tell a story through my art that can be deciphered.

At The Gallery  - 2014

At The Gallery – 2014

You have described your art practice as ‘anti-technology’- how does this combine with the nature of the modern art world in regards to social media, networking, self-promotion etc.?

It’s a dichotomy; on one hand I want to get away from the screens we are all glued to nowadays…but then I can spend half the day posting collages on Facebook. I suppose I can’t deny that it’s been an essential tool for getting my work seen. A recent collage of mine was shared 100,000 times on Tumblr and those numbers would be hard to beat in a traditional gallery exhibition. The internet is fun- there are amusing cats, and you can find videos of obscure 1970’s jazz fusion bands…I suppose all that stuff is quite good but it’s easy to procrastinate too long and not achieve anything. I think I’m just aware of how addictive being online can be and doing my best to resist it, even if it seems futile.

It is interesting that, although your appropriation of magazines and posters shows an engagement with pop culture, it is has a decidedly retro focus. Do you feel a detachment from modern pop culture (reality TV/pop music etc.)?

I’ve found the idealistic imagery of the 1950’s compliments the modern day subjects I’m addressing. It’s kind of showing how the 50’s vision of the future went wrong.

You work by hand, and without the use of Photoshop or similar tools- however, your work is incredibly popular online. Do you find that what you do translates seamlessly onto the internet, or are there certain challenges that arise when something so hands-on goes into digital format?

I think the simplicity of the work translates well on a screen funnily enough. I try to keep a rule of only using a couple of different images in the pieces, which gives the work impact and makes it easy to see even as a thumbnail image.

Thirst - 2012

Thirst – 2012

You have described the way in which collage allows you to comment on social issues and human nature. What issues and themes are central to your work?

Just the usual cheery day to day stuff…global warming, consumerism, war, drought, famine, etc….It seems half the world is killing each other while the other half are watching singing competitions on TV, which I find an odd juxtaposition. My artwork is just my way of mirroring this. It’s not meant to preach or take a standard liberal leftist view…but just tries to present my interpretation of what’s going on out there.

Is there a pressure, in the current art world, to shock? How do outside pressures impact your work, if at all?

Is anyone still doing shock art? Who actually gets shocked anymore? Some tabloid journalists or people like that I guess. I’m not into doing shocking work just for the sake of it. Shock art is really 1990’s anyway.

Stirring Up A Storm - 2014, ©Joe Webb

Stirring Up A Storm – 2014

How do you see your artwork and your practice developing – or rather, evolving- over time?

I’m looking at ways of making the work larger, using silkscreening and painting with collage. The core of the work will always try to visually communicate ideas I think– I guess these evolve naturally and change as I work through different subjects.

What are you currently working on?

Lots of half finished collages which need finishing. And in my studio there’s a series of new paintings in progress. I’ve switched from oil to acrylic paint recently and have found this has made the paintings much more graphic looking. I’m looking forward to showing them, but holding off putting them online for now until my exhibitions with Hang Up Gallery and The Saatchi Gallery later in the year.

What is your FAULT?

Online way too much.

Joe Webb

Joe Webb