Of all the formative experiences Stonehaven-based musician Fair Mothers, AKA Kevin Allan, had while growing up, reading The Stranger stands out. “It was Camus that did for me,” he says. “After I finished that book and experiencing insomnia and hallucinations, I reached this total clarity where I knew that I was a separate entity from my body and this immediately blew quite a few fuses in me. I disappeared…and when I came back I knew that everything was connected, was really one thing, but at the same time was nothing and didn’t really exist separate from me. I didn’t know how this could be, or what I was, and above all, how could a boy from Fife possibly have this Zen experience?” With a new single and album out, Kevin spoke with The Fountain about the music in more detail.
TF: You have a new single out, what has the reception been like to Harpy?
Positive, I’ve enjoyed hearing it screeching quietly out the radio, and particularly the mellow harp melody that Esther (Swift) finishes with. It sounds very out of place, which I like. A US music blog called it Gothic Folk. Perfect.
TF: How would you sum it up in one sentence?
It’s a 15-hour acid trip compressed into 2 min 34 sec that Adam Stafford, without getting any signal from me or the song, somehow expressed very explicitly in his video.
TF: Such a great track, where did you get your influences from for this one?
At the end of a documentary about the Band called The Last Waltz there’s this fairground polka waltz. It’s a creepy but beautiful instrumental. It reminded me of a scene from an episode of The Waltons where you see a music teacher having a cerebral stroke as a waltz plays along in the background. It really creeped me out. I remember the feeling of weird horror: right in front of you, the link between this poor lady’s brain and body broke while this old, formal and very definite rhythm of the waltz kept going perfectly in time. I was very definitely going for that feeling.
TF: What is your plan for the remainder of the year, did I see something about an LP release?
We are releasing one more single in a couple of weeks – mid July – which I’m not nervous about, but i think it’s the best Fair Mothers’ song I’ve heard. I’m curious, I guess, about how far away from reality I am with that. In early August we have the 2nd LP that Matthew Young recorded for Song, by Toad, which is a big box of chocolates of a record. Something for everybody. After that, we will see. I have to find a way to play the songs live, with Faith and Pete. We had begun to discuss this prior to COVID, maybe we will pick that discussion back up again.