(Make Me a) TRISTE© Mixtape Episode 21: John Myrtle

John Myrtle

John Myrtle, originally from Birmingham but now London-based, had his debut EP out back in 2019: “Here’s John Myrtle” is a journey across love, heartbreak and loneliness, made of jangly acoustic pop at its best. Influenced by “’90s Liverpool music scene, ’70s Jazz, C86 bands and Sarah Records”, John signed for Sad Club Records and his debut album, Myrtle Soup – “an exploration of love and identity, diffused within the difficult and lonely period of writing during lockdown, packaged together as a homely bowl of soup” – is due in early June.
There are a couple of singles out yet, both exciting! “Get Her Off My Mind” is 60’s inspired and warm, filled with the upbeat hope and optimism of new love, while the new “How Can You Tell If You Love Her?”, is an infectious indie-pop anthem embracing his own anxieties surrounding love.

What He Says: “I guess the song is about being sure of the relationship you’re in – you can never really be certain you’re doing the right thing, you’ve just got to trust yourself. It’s not like you can get a tape measure or complete a questionnaire to tell you if what you’re doing is right This was the first song I had written since I had moved to London. I remember feeling quite alone when writing it, and just really unsure about all the decisions I had made up until that point. I had just broken up with a long term girlfriend who I had partly moved to London to be with, and I had just begun seeing someone who told me she only wanted a casual type of thing going. I remember feeling like everyone I had known always seemed to doubt love in some way, and I wrote the lyrics to this song with that in mind. I was unsure of what the future held for me, and I felt like singing this song was quite cathartic, at least it screamed out that I wanted certainty in my life and answers!”

“The video was done by the Bristol-based power duo Marie Dutton and Benjamin Saunders. It was shot near where I grew up in the model village of Bournville in Birmingham which was originally designed for Cadbury’s workers We thought it’d be sweet to do it there, quite literally, as I grew up nearby and so it felt very much like I was ‘coming home’ in a way. We could smell chocolate whilst we filmed as the Cadbury factory is directly opposite, so it was a pleasure for the senses making this video – and I hope it’s a pleasure for yours too!”

His Mixtape:

The Field Mice – Five Moments

Me and my good mate used to play this at house parties when we were growing up…kind of hilarious.  This track is absolutely magical and I think is one of my favourite productions on a record ever…listen to the acoustic guitar – it’s sparkling!!!

The Servants – It Takes No Gentleman 

David Westlake is a truly great songwriter in that eccentric English tradition. His lyrics and sound had a real profound effect on me growing up. I used to dream about meeting him and collaborating…still do!

 

Purple Mountains – I Loved Being My Mothers Son

My good mate Sean showed me this tune when we were coming back from playing a show together in Manchester. I’d never really delved into the world of David Berman before that…it didn’t stop me secretly crying in the front of the car whilst this was playing. Absolutely beautiful. 

Katy J Pearson – Tonight

When I heard this track for the first time I was blown away, great track, great recording and… GREAT VOICE!!!!

 Cocteau Twins – Carolyn’s Fingers

The Cocteau Twins are untouchable and one of the reasons I wanted to be in bands originally, though I’ve ended up sounding completely different! I found their sound so mysterious and something you can get lost in. When I was 15 I downloaded a huge torrent of 80s albums and the album this track features on was one of them. I used to play this on repeat. 

Emitt Rhodes – Promises I’ve Made

Emitt was who inspired me to start doing my home recordings all on my own. He is a true pioneer and the songs speak for themselves. It was a sad day when he passed last year, but nice to know he got back to recording as a solo artist just before.

“How Can You Tell If You Love Her” is out now and “Myrtle Soup” will be out on Sad Club Records in June.
Look HERE for more information on John Myrtle.

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  1. Pingback: John Myrtle – Myrtle Soup | Indie Sunset in Rome

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