Tide Lines FAULT Magazine Coverstory and Interview

Tide Lines x FAULT Magazine

With the release of their new album ‘An Ocean Full of Islands’, Tide Lines is setting the stage for an incredible year ahead. Known for their indie-folk style and rousing hooks, the band has established a loyal following and has recently been making waves in the UK music scene. We caught up with Tide Lines to discuss their new music, upcoming tour and of course, their FAULTs.

What inspired you to retreat to an Isle of Mull church to record your new album “An Ocean Full Of Islands”?

We’re all originally from rural parts of Scotland so we feel at home in that landscape but there’s also a sense of calmness and focus there that we find difficult to achieve somewhere like Glasgow. You feel like you have all the time in the world to explore ideas as you go along which I think really helps the creative process. It’s also just a really beautiful (and at times spectacular) place to find inspiration. 

How did you approach the production process for the new album compared to your previous releases?

The album was self-produced just like both the albums before it; however, our approach was slightly different in a number of ways. At the beginning, each song was kind of recorded individually on a song by song basis over time rather than as an album. A number of them were started just at the tail end of lockdown so were initially recorded at home and then re-recorded later in the former church we use as a studio up on Mull. So, in a sense, they morphed from demos into album tracks over a period of time. This process really allowed us to adjust things and hone them down to try and make them the best versions they could be.

Your single “Written In The Scars’ is about the passage of time, what message do you hope to convey to your listeners through the song? And what can you tell us about your new single ‘These Days’?

These Days
is a love story that speaks of any moment when you realise you’re experiencing something you’ll remember fondly in the future. The second verse was inspired by Scottish artist Jack Vettriano’s painting, In Thoughts of You, which I’ve often looked at and imagined the story behind the image.

Written in the Scars was released last Autumn. I wrote it during a wee quiet moment when I was lamenting how quickly life seems to move (particularly nowadays, I think) and wishing we all had more time to live each experience more fully. It just seems to me like we seldom get an opportunity in today’s world to lose ourselves in any particular moment.

You mention that the new album is bigger in sound compared to your previous releases, can you elaborate on that?

We really envisaged each song on its own terms from the very beginning of writing them right up to the final takes. Most of them were initially imagined as potential singles or at least as songs we would play live and get audiences singing along to. So, for the majority of them, our motivation was really to make them big, chorussy, and anthemic.

The album features a synthesis of three sounds: rock, folk, and alt-pop, what was the motivation behind bringing these sounds together?

There wasn’t really any conscious motivation – it’s just a blend of our influences which have shaped how we sound today. Probably a mix of what we were listening to growing up, what we listen to currently, and the Scottish folk tradition we were largely brought up around.

What was the most challenging aspect of recording the new album?

I touched on this a bit in my answers about the sound of the record but, when we started putting the songs together, there were all sorts of logistical challenges because restrictions caused by the global pandemic were still a factor. But we kind of made that work for us because it allowed us more time than usual to consider and develop the tracks. Since then it’s been a pretty positive and exciting experience throughout. 

Your new album features more highs than lows, what was your mindset when writing the songs for “An Ocean Full of Islands”?

The title itself has a lot to do with our mindset during the writing process. The studio looks over Bunessan Bay in the south of the island so we’re literally looking at “an ocean full of islands” and this has a really positive effect on us as we write. We really wanted this album to be a positive record for people to listen to – especially after everything the last few years has thrown at everyone. There are references to adversity in the songs, but the message is always optimistic and about moving onwards – even when the lyrics are nostalgic and looking back. I think the energy in the instrumentation and arrangements reflects that too.

You recently completed the National Lottery’s Revive Live Tour of England, how did that experience influence the new album?

It was a great chance to take a couple of the new songs and play them live to audiences in quite small, intimate venues throughout England. We did a similar thing in Scotland with “The Town Hall Tour” where we actually filmed a live version of one of the singles, Written in the Scars, at our St Andrews gig. It’s always good to get a feel for what your fans think about new material and, thankfully, the reactions were all positive!

You’re embarking on a major UK tour set for March 2023, how do you prepare for a tour and what are you most excited about?

For this tour, our preparations will be largely based around the album release the week just before we set off. We’ve got a lot of exciting things planned around that but, of course, the most exciting of all is the amazing feeling when you’re finally on the road and touring the songs you’ve lived with for a while. I think the size of the shows makes this tour particularly exciting for us. The likes of the Usher Hall in Edinburgh and the Music Hall in Aberdeen, which are both sold out, are going to be real highlights. As well as the Electric Ballroom in Camden because we always enjoy a London show. Then, in the summer, once the tour is over, we’re topping it all off with our biggest ever show in a 6,000 cap Big Top Tent in Queen’s Park, Glasgow. So it’s an exciting few months, for sure. 

What is your FAULT?

You would need to ask the boys but I suspect they might say I talk too much – particularly on long van journeys!