The delightful Party Fears (of Berlin via Northern Ireland) releases lush new single ‘Time in Space’ today – a dreamy pop shuffle, showcasing Maggie Devlin’s honey vocals, and space age retro effects. She says:
“It’s a song about prioritising security over authenticity; not necessarily bad, but sometimes hard. This year has forced us to cling to whatever security we can find; sometimes against our deepest instincts. For this song, I did a bit of projecting, imagining selves beyond this self; maybe some of them more authentic than the me imagining them. It’s a weird year that calls for some light astral projection.”
We loved it so much we pinned the lovely Maggie down for a 5 question interview …
1. For anyone who doesn’t know already (fools!) tell us in your own words about Party Fears?
Party Fears is me making music mostly out of some weird compulsion I can’t control. Sometimes it’s happy and sometimes it’s sad and sometimes it’s angry and sometimes it’s joyous but most often it’s all of these smooshed together.
2. Tell us about Time in Space…
I first started Time in Space last year when I was daydreaming about how much I used to obsess with space as a kid. Then I sat with the song for ages cos I couldn’t quite work my way to a chorus that fit the song. Eventually, I arrived at something and then the song finally came together. But it took a lot of going down wrong paths first! I recorded it in my bedroom at the end of summer through a wee Steinberg interface and a c606 microphone, and it was mixed by the amazing lmtlase studios who also worked on the previous single, All Is Good.
3. What artists are you most excited about/inspired by at the moment?
Great question! I really like what HAVVK have been getting up to, especially with their team-ups. Also from the South (of Ireland), I’ve been enjoying Denise Chaila and Fears. Lisa O’Neill is also amazing: my God, her voice and this, like, aggressive authenticity. Cherym is one of the most exciting bands on the go, writing absolute pop bangers. I love Careerist too. Under their former name, Hot Cops, they released this song Dumbbo that I obsessed over for about two years. Problem Patterns and Charmpit are great bands to have a bop around the house to, and Beauty Sleep remain one of my biggest loves. They are such a genuine joy and have a very special and abundant relationship with music that’s really contagious. I’m forgetting loads!
In terms of inspiration, I find that really hard to talk about as I usually don’t know! Like, for Time in Space, Babywoman’s Charlotte asked me for bands the song sounds like and I literally spent an evening going through my playlists trying to unearth some influences (landed on the Delgados and Judy Garland?). I think there’s always this kind of subterranean river of all kinds of stuff that sometimes overflows and that’s what ends up being a song. A big soup of piles of stuff!
4. What are your top 3 lockdown tips?
Oh, man. In the early days of lockdown I started eating like a queen. I have loved making big extravagant lunches! So cooking is one for sure. I can very recommend Rukmini Iyer’s Quick Roasting Tin cookbook! I’ve also rediscovered writing, which has been really nice. I mean music and text. I had horrible writer’s block for ages, which made me miserable, so it feels brilliant to be creative again! And then my ultimate tip is birds. Love me some birds. Birdsong is known to reduce stress, and in general, observing things in the natural world helps bring us outside ourselves and regain some perspective. I recommend just getting out there and trying to spot some wee fluffters bopping about the trees, living their lives and having their own wee wins and losses. I hear the sparrows come to my garden every morning and I always leap out of bed and run to the window, tear the curtain open and go, “Baybaysss!” which is a completely normal thing to do.
5. What kind of a party do you most fear?