This month, Nancy Buckland Kirk has been catching up with new musical talent, Niamh Turley Moon, to give us all some much needed inspiration for our summer playlists.
The Zutons, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds
One thing we are all doing at this moment in time is playing music. And whilst there are so many cancelled gigs we are having to create a new type of experience. Watching The Rolling Stones perform live from their own lounges is something I thought I would never see. While there is something so comforting and enjoyable about much-loved artists and tracks, is there any greater joy than discovering a new artist? It’s like the new nirvana, if you will pardon the pun.
Just at the moment I was searching for some brand new summer tracks, in walked Niamh Turley Moon. Niamh already had her summer planned. After recording her recent tracks This Ain’t No Party and Hopeless Wonderer, she had been busy doing radio interviews whilst finishing off her college course. And then the world, and her summer plans, simply stopped.
One thing is for certain though: talent will always out. Niamh, who has just turned nineteen, and is based in the Midlands, has just been accepted at the world-renowned LIPA, and is using this time to keep being creative. If you are expecting me to say she sounds like a ‘new’ version of another artist, then think again. She has her own unique sound and I’m sure she won’t mind me saying, the kind of look that stops traffic. If there were traffic around to stop, that is.
Based in Shropshire, Niamh’s parents are originally from Liverpool, and she already has a huge appreciation of the city and it’s musical heritage. But she is ready to listen, learn and create her own future musical blueprint. This Ain’t No Party was recorded well before our current near-lockdown, but feels completely in sync with what’s happening right now.
I caught up with Niamh via Zoom to talk music, being a young woman in the industry and just what the future holds for her. Plans and dreams are two of my favourite topics of conversation, and Niamh is certainly full of both.
You are really taking off, how is social media and word-of-mouth helping a new artist like yourself?
Technology is brilliant in terms of reaching out to others, and finding other artists to collaborate with. In general, I find socials have really been supportive so far. You get to experiment and really control what you are presenting in terms of both your sound and your appearance, and I try to make mine as professional as I can. I worked with guitarist Joshua Wood on Ain’t No Party – it’s always great to record with others when you usually work solo. I think word-of-mouth has become more popular. Back in the day, it was the way forward and it’s still how we all find new, groundbreaking artists: there is something exciting about uncovering original talent. I also really love radio. It’s still a fantastic format whether it’s solely commercial or a little more underground. The first time I heard my own music on the radio was a big moment for me!
You have a really distinctive sound, do you have any of your own personal favourite artists and influences on your music?
Of course, I love female artists for starters. From Aretha to Amy, there is so much to love in terms of inspiration. And it’s not just their music but their own individual stories. The very best artists have often really struggled and gone through both heartache and joy. Singing about those experiences connects them to us. I also really love Jack Buckley. He is simply a brilliant and direct musician and his work remains both timeless and breathtaking. Personally, it was my dad who got me into music. He writes his own music, sings and plays the guitar and so I grew up listening to him. He’s my musical hero, and a great support to me. He encourages my love of music and also my guitar playing – it’s something I’m really working on during lockdown! And he also pushes me to write my own stuff, which is really important to me. In terms of contemporary music I’m really loving Pip Millett right now: she is so distinctive and forward-looking.
Your family have links with Liverpool, did you grow up listening to bands from the city?
Absolutely. If any of your family are from Liverpool, then it’s pretty standard that music is always on the cultural agenda at home. Both of my parents love their music, and if you didn’t know all about the Beatles, then something would be amiss. The city has created so many brilliant artists and bands since then from Echo and the Bunnymen to The La’s, The Coral and The Zutons and they are all on my musical radar. If I could go back in time I’d have loved to have gone to the legendary Eric’s. The late 70’s and early 80’s must have been a great time to see so many noted bands play there.
You are off to study at LIPA this Autumn, what are you looking forward to?
I’ve already found somewhere to stay and as I know the city well, I can’t wait to lay down some new roots. I’m lucky to have family nearby and my parents are often in the city, so I will have plenty of support. It is such a vibrant place and I am so privileged to be able to attend LIPA. The music scene in Liverpool is absolutely on fire at the moment. It’s just having a temporary rest. I’m really lucky that my cousin is in a great band called Monks, and I love other local bands like the Kairos. I’d love to be able to play live in Liverpool and seriously, there needs to be more girls on stage. I’m hoping that’s where opportunities will lie for me in the future. I’m most looking forward to learning so much more, picking up new instruments and working with other artists.
Please do you have any tips for us for staying creative during a lock-down?
I think we are getting used to it a bit more now, but I still think routine is important. If you love doing anything creative, now is the time to hone your skills. There are so many online resources and free courses right now. When you think about it, we really are living during an extraordinary time in history so if you can personally document it in any way – go for it!
What do you love most about writing and recording your own music?
I love collaborating but it still remains really important to me to write and record my own stuff. It’s simply a way of expressing how I feel, and I think for any creative, you feel honoured to share your work. You don’t want to just record it and leave it. I know more manufactured styles of music will always have their place, but from a young age I have always been determined to go my own way. And I think my parents and my brother would definitely agree with me on that!
I so much enjoyed catching up with Niamh. There’s something so vital and inspiring about observing the beginning of someone’s blossoming career. Niamh has promised me when she does her first gig I can come along and watch.
I’m not sure if Jimmy’s, one of Liverpool’s best new venues, allow fans to sit at the back on a folding chair with a flask and their own snacks, but I could start a trend there. I’ll ask Stevie Nicks what she’d do, and go from there.
To listen to Niamh on Spotify go to https://open.spotify.com/artist/1DJ4CkogfSfOrg8lJ1NrJL
To check out Niamh on You Tube go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYMJtFDqw50
To follow Niamh on Insta go to @niamhturleymoonmusic
About the author: Nancy Buckland Kirk is a writer with a keen interest in fashion and beauty and a career which has spanned modelling, teaching and spreading the word about leading beauty brands.