Spirited dreampop After enjoying the success of 2019’s releases, In Palms returns with a new track, Forest of Your Mind, which sees the Irish-born artist moving in a new creative direction. The track (which was produced/mixed/mastered entirely by frontman Ryan Gillian during 2020’s lockdown) is a sombre yet hopeful ode to minding your head when times are hard. The track is the first of new music to be released from In Palms, who has an upcoming EP due this summer.
- Who inspired you to make music?
I was inspired to start songwriting when I was young by singer-songwriters like John Mayer, Ed Sheeran etc. But when I was 17 or 18, I was really into recording myself on multiple instruments after listening to Tame Impala. I still hold Kevin Parker as a huge inspiration – I was obsessed with recreating the sound of their drums and synths!
- How would you describe the music that you typically create?
I always try to create spaces in music. When I started recording and producing myself, I wanted it to sound like a band in a room. Now it’s evolved to creating an atmosphere or ‘vibe’- I would say it usually has some sort of ’80s, warm LA summer vibe to it, mixed with organic sounds and processes. I guess to summarise, it’s warm alt-pop with dreamy production.
- What is your creative process like?
I’m constantly on Logic Pro X, the software I produce on, making sounds. I very rarely write acoustically with a guitar or piano; I prefer getting a standard sound like that and then making it sound spacier than it was to begin with. I usually have to put myself into a space like that to write something I really like. Most of the time I start with music, and then the lyrics come after. Then I’ll arrange it with drum machines, different parts etc, and keep working on the production until it sounds good!
- Who would you most like to collaborate with?
Bon Iver or Tame Impala.
- What would you be doing right now, if it wasn’t for your music career?
I was really into Philosophy and Psychology at school, so probably something along those lines. A philosophical psychologist who drinks too much coffee.
- How do you feel the Internet has impacted the music business?
It’s an interesting subject. I was born in the mid-’90s, so I suppose I’m one of the last generation to remember when the internet wasn’t such a vast commodity. I remember the days of music piracy, and the digital revolution of iTunes, and then Spotify. I suppose we take it all for granted, because that’s what we’re used to. However, I do feel it’s made an incredible impact; it’s changed the way artists operate, and their approach to things like distribution, marketing, etc. It’s really an amazing thing, when you think about it. Of course, there are issues that are still working themselves out. But I think it’s the right direction; music should be accessible to anyone, anywhere in the world.
- Which famous musicians do you admire?
I think Billie Eilish is really changing the game in pop music. Her and her brother, Finneas, are redefining what pop music is, and that’s made a massive impact. Of course, I also deeply love Bon Iver, and Kevin Parker of Tame Impala.
- What is the best advice you’ve been given?
When you’re performing live, the nature of it is that something could go wrong at any moment. When I started out quite young in a band at school, I would get nervous about that because I wanted everything to be perfect. But that doesn’t exist. Someone said to me once, “if you’re having the time of your life when performing, the audience will want to join in too”. It’s just about being passionate, and not being afraid to show that to people. That’s why they want to listen to you, and watch you as an artist – because you’re an artist. It’s easy to forget that sometimes, but passion is key.
- If you could change anything about the industry, what would it be?
I think the revenue per stream share to artists/songwriters needs to be increased. Many independent artists like myself will work endlessly to produce and create music, only for the return to be lower than you’d expect. Of course, it’s not all about money – we love doing it and we wouldn’t do anything else – but I don’t think that the current royalty rates from streaming and downloads reflect the work that goes into the music. If you’ve worked for months on a track, it’s not exactly fair to have 0.005p per stream or download. Again, streaming hasn’t been around that long, so it’s still early days to iron things out. But I think artists should be reimbursed more for their work.
I’m currently in the middle of moving cities to Cardiff, so I’m excited to see what lies ahead there. I just released an EP of music I made during the lockdown, and I’m looking to start getting into more writing, collaborating and production once everything is up and running again. I can’t wait for venues to open up again, both so I can play gigs and also attend them. Live music has taken a hard blow this year, and it’s such a precious thing. I’ll probably release some more music before the end of the year!