The singer-songwriter talks his musical journey and tackling themes of loneliness and re-gaining his confidence on his self-titled EP.
During this past year, self-reflection and regaining confidence has been a must. With lockdown affecting people’s mental health more so than ever, singer-songwriter Tim Chadwick decided to explore these conflicting emotions and feelings of loneliness in his new self-titled EP. Out today, the singer delivers five honest tracks that dive into his experience of feeling uncomfortable in yourself and finding what it means to be beautiful. Through the indie-pop synth-tinged soundscape on “Favourite Song” to slow piano-led ballad “In Another Life”, the singer lays it all bare and offers us an insight into his own personal healing.
“I hope it reaches people who had similar experiences to me,” Chadwick muses. “I can confirm that being newly single during a global pandemic is absolute anti-craic and a whole rollercoaster of emotions that I didn’t know existed. I hope it makes people feel less alone. I had to learn how to find comfort and solace in the discomfort. It was ugly but also beautiful at the same time. I hope it gives people the same comfort.”
Having come into his own during recent years in the Dublin live music scene, the singer has been supporting the likes of BRIT Award winner Mabel and Rufus Wainwright, while selling out his own headline shows. With 2021 set to be a new start for the singer with him already being back in the studio, we caught up with the star talking his journey through lockdown, tackling themes of loneliness and re-gaining his confidence.
Check out the interview below…
Hi Tim – how have you been during this uncertain time? How has it impacted your music and creativity?
Hello! I’m well, thanks for asking. I’m doing so much better now than I was at the beginning of all this. I took the first three months of the pandemic pretty hard and unnecessarily personal. I was meant to be moving to LA for some writing just as it hit, so as an act of sort of rebellion, I didn’t create anything for a while. I didn’t know what to talk about and I didn’t think going on Instagram live would help that. I think I needed to just sit with myself for those few months. The EP came out of that settled dust and alone time.
How did growing up in Dublin influence you sonically? Who are your musical heroes?
Irish songwriters and musicians are legendary at telling stories and creating worlds. But something that has always been preached here is that it’s important to tell your own story, not the one you think people want you to tell. Authenticity has never been more important. That’s why artists from the likes of Enya to The Cranberries to Róisín Murphy have such a gravitational pull. They are unapologetically themselves and they tell their stories, no one else’s. That’s something I’ve tried to keep close to me when navigating the industry.
How would you describe your genre?
I can’t take credit for this, but my songs have been coined ‘sad bangers’. I’ve sort of run with it (I even went as far as to create my merch around that description) because it seems very apt. I like to create a sonically light atmosphere with my music, while embedding harder hitting lyrics within. It makes everything that much easier to swallow when I’m performing them. I find it easier to move through my emotions rather than laying stagnant in them.
Congratulations on your new EP “Timothy” – you tackle themes such as loneliness, self-reflection and re-gaining confidence – how long has it been in the making?
Thank you very much. The reason it’s called ‘Timothy’ is because I feel like I have been leading up to creating this my whole life. Normally people say that about their first album, but it feels like this has been coming for sometime. Somewhere between my teens and early twenties I went from being called Timothy, to Timmy, to Tim and I suddenly/frightfully found myself as an adult and I didn’t quite know what to do with that or as to when that even happened. ‘Timothy’ is sort of a reintroduction for both myself and the listener. Being called ‘Timothy’ felt like this time in my life where nothing needed explaining and everything felt concrete. Somewhere between the lines of growing up and broken relationships I lost myself, so I had an urge to reconnect with myself.
The album’s themes are apt at a time like this – what do you hope your music will bring to the world?
I hope it reaches people who had similar experiences to me. I can confirm that being newly single during a global pandemic is absolute anti-craic and a whole rollercoaster of emotions that I didn’t know existed. I hope it makes people feel less alone. I had to learn how to find comfort and solace in the discomfort. It was ugly but also beautiful at the same time. I hope it gives people the same comfort.
How does it feel releasing something so personal and raw into the world?
It feels liberating. I used to be terrified of being so open and honest in my songs. I thought that wasn’t the appropriate avenue to express myself, but now I know it’s the only way I should. It’s my job to feel everything and present it to the world as a songwriter. These days, I’ve found strength in approaching the world and my art with a softness and vulnerability.
Do you have a favourite song or lyric from the EP?
The entire bridge in ‘Only Me’ still chokes me up. It was the easiest song to write lyrically, but in terms of the emotion and the weight of the words, it’s very hard to sing. “I’m sweating out the years I’ve spent, Trying to make you happy when You pulled me into your deep waters, Can’t hold my breath for any longer. And a part of me will always love you, But it’s not enough to lose me for you. So when I try to dive back in I hope to God I’ve learned to swim.” On a lighter note, there’s also an Arrested Development easter egg in the second verse of Favourite Song. The mother Lucille says in one episode “Look at what the homosexuals have done to me! Everything they do is so dramatic. They make me want to set myself on fire!” The line is “I had to burn you off, light up the Molotov”. I went as far as saying I want to light myself on fire with a petrol bomb, all because I was going through a breakup. The drama!
You’ve really come into your own in the live scene in Dublin – how was it for everything to come to a standstill for you? Did you find creative ways to still perform and put out your music into the world?
It really was heartbreaking. Our national lockdown came into place on the morning of my biggest headline show to date and it had just sold out. Again, I took it all very personally. I really took my foot off the pedal for the first few months. Turns out I needed to stop for a while. It’s so easy to ignore the hard work (in this case, being comfortable with myself again) when there’s a world full of distractions. The EP wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for the standstill, so I’m actually very thankful for it now.
You’ve supported the likes of Mabel, Hudson Taylor and Billy Lockett – what’s been your biggest pinch-me moment so far?
The Mabel show was a big pinch me moment, as well as supporting Rufus Wainwright in my earlier folky singer-songwriter days. I don’t know if it’s the imposter syndrome talking, but I felt like I didn’t deserve to be there. When my last show (to be rescheduled) sold out I was really taken aback. I can’t wait to get the ball rolling again and for these new songs to come to life on stage.
What’s next for you? What are you looking forward to in 2021?
If 2020 has taught me anything it’s to not get my hopes up. I’m going to keep my head down and chin up for the next coming months and cross my fingers that things ease up and we can get back to some sort of normality. I am sweating for a show, but I only want to have one on the cards for when everything is safe and I can give the show I want to give. I don’t want this EP’s first outing to be one of restricted fun and limited connection, so I’ll remain patient. I haven’t stopped writing either and I already have a lot more songs in the bag, so I look forward to getting back in the studio and starting the next chapter.