Emerging Scottish multi-instrumentalist Faodail brings his deftness in producing expansive, affective sounds to a new EP via Enhanced Chill. Already racking up over eight million streams on Spotify and earning high praise across the BBC and US radio giant Sirius XM, his new collection of works is set to bolster his rising status as one of the most interesting new artists in the ambient world. Faodail spoke with The Fountain about the new music as well as how he got into it in the first place.
TF: When did you first start writing/producing music?
I’ve really always had an interest in music as far back as I can remember. I had this abstract idea of wanting to be a musician from a young age without really knowing what it involved or how to begin doing it. I think it stemmed from being taken to my first ever concert when I was about six or seven, seeing the artists on stage and thinking, ‘I want to do that.”
When I went to high school I got the opportunity to take up drum lessons and that got me started playing in bands. I spent a lot of my teens and early twenties playing in a bunch of grunge, screamo and pop punk bands, gigging around Glasgow. I really loved the experience of playing music with friends, but I began to realise that what I really loved was the writing side which you don’t have a whole lot of control over as a drummer.
That was a period when electronic music was really starting to break into the mainstream and production was becoming more accessible, and I just found myself focusing more and more time on writing, producing and less time playing in bands. It was really freeing being able to work on music myself without having to worry about other people’s schedules.
TF: What is about ambient electronica that drew you to it?
It was hearing Kiasmos for the first time that introduced me to the more ambient side of electronic music. I was absolutely blown away by what they were creating and it opened up this this whole world of mixing more traditional instrumentation with music production. There’s a freedom of expression to it where the musicality and emotion are front and centre, and a more technical aspect like sound design and mixing are really just there to facilitate that.
The reliance on textures and ambience is also something that really appeals to me because it feels like you can paint in really broad strokes with these types of sounds before going in and working more deliberately with melody and harmony. That sort of songwriting feels really natural to me.
TF: You’ve had three singles out since January from your upcoming EP release Madainn, what’s the reception been like?
The response has been absolutely incredible. It’s always hard to gauge how people will react to music when you release it, and it’s not something the artists have much control over so I try not to think about it too much, but the response to the EP so far has been overwhelming.
TF: Most of the tracks on the EP were made during lockdown. How would you describe the individual tracks and the mood you’re looking to create with the music?
Bloom was the first track I wrote for the EP. It came after a really long period of writers block brought on by a lot of changing personal circumstances, so it really felt like a new start when I wrote it and I hope that comes across in the song.
It was really that track that kicked off the whole writing process that led to me writing Gloss and Changing, which Hildur Hildur Höglind really took to the next level with her vocal performance. By the time I was deep into writing the EP, I felt like I needed to take a step back from the computer and just get my hands on an instrument, and that’s where Something More came from. I was feeling quite frustrated and lost, which is something I think a lot of people can empathise with when they’re in the middle of a big project, and stripping everything back to just a piano really let me focus on the music itself.
Around the time I was finalising the EP, I was going through some old projects and came across Painting In Shades. I wrote it about three years ago and just totally forgot about it for some reason but it perfectly fit in with the other songs that I had already written. Kakadu really finished it off with their incredible work on the vocals.
TF: What is your plan for the remainder of the year, another EP?
The full Madainn EP has recently been released and that’s been my main focus for the past year so now that’s out I’m just looking to getting back to writing without the pressure of releasing anything and seeing what happens. I’ve got a couple of remixes to do for some really incredible artists and I’ll be working on my live set in anticipation of some shows in October, and hopefully doing more gigs next year as things start to open back up again.
TF: Where would be your favourite venue in Glasgow for playing live, where is the next place you look most forward to gigging?
From my time playing in bands it definitely has to be King Tuts. It’s like a right of passage for any young Glasgow artists to get their first King Tuts gig. I grew up seeing so many of my favourite bands play in there so getting the opportunity to do it myself was a really affirming experience.
In terms of places I’m looking forward to playing, I’m going to be doing my first Faodail live show in October supporting the Ninth Wave in the Oran Mor, which is really exciting. They’re an incredible band and I think the atmosphere of the venue really lends itself to the type of music that I make.