Interview: Ed CosensPosted by: Dale Maplethorpe
Dale Maplethorpe sits down with the Reverend and The Makers guitarist to talk about his first ever solo album “Fortunes Favour” that comes out on 9 April.
“It’s an album that’s kind of based on a lot of experiences through life,” Ed says, “growing up, getting older, experiencing those in and out of love situations, a lot of people kind of experience similar frustrations and it’s a journey and an album that deals with a lot of those things. I think it’s something a lot of people will be able to relate to, a lot of people can hopefully hear certain songs and identify with the situations. Also, it’s just a nice thing to listen to. I hope the melodies will resonate with people, musically it’s quite interesting and there’s a lot of light and shade in it. I’ve tried to make a really captivating and interesting record that’s not just throwaway and for the sake of it.”
After listening to the first few singles released for this album, it’s a project that I’m incredibly excited about. The tracks hold in them what is at the heart of all indie rock music, which is a desire to sing along, to listen with people and enjoy yourself. At the same time though, the songs have an edge to them, it’s one that isn’t present immediately but Ed uses distorted guitar solos where notes are dragged out, played over acoustic, clean strumming and sweet melodies, it gives the sound a really exciting appeal.
He says that the first single released from the album “If” was the song that helped him define this sound. “I wrote ‘if’ in its basic form probably about seven or eight years ago. The concept of the song has been with me for a while. Years ago I dabbled with solo stuff but never quite got it right, I wasn’t happy or confident with it but it was that song that stuck with me. I always knew the chorus was really strong and had a really interesting message… It was about two years ago when I really started putting the album together, that was the song that I kind of finally found, sonically, the direction for it. Once I’d done that, it kind of opened and unlocked a door.”
This is the first solo project that Ed has embarked on, a process he said comes with both pros and cons. “I guess it’s more freeing,” he says, “it’s certainly different. When you’re writing with people collaboratively, on one side you have people to bounce things off which is nice, but similarly, you’re always kind of compromising as well. On your own you can go a bit deeper.”
This is something Ed is clearly doing with the album. It’s obvious from the first three singles alone as he not only develops the unique sound that make up the tracks but also hones further in on the storytelling element of music. The first three singles, “If”, “The River” and “Madeleine” come with a three-part music video that depicts a struggling relationship from both sides point of view.
“The lyrical side is something that’s new to me… Once I’d started to think about it, it became quite an easy thing to delve into, those personal experiences, all of which were based around storytelling. That all lead to the album itself and the visual side with the videos. It made sense to try and capture that rather than just doing a three-minute throwaway video that didn’t mean anything. I wanted it all to mean the same thing and to be a part of the same thing.”
The album is coming after been pushed back on numerous occasions, the reason being so that there isn’t too drawn out a period of time between releasing the album and touring with it. “We’ve held back as long as we could with actually releasing it so there wasn’t too big a gap. If we’d have released it last year when it was originally supposed to come out, then having to wait like a year or 18 months to do a gig, it all gets a bit weird.”
Ed described not being able to do gigs as the thing he missed the most beyond anything else, this is probably best reflected in the music video to Lovers Blues where he performs the track on stage at Leadmill with multiple versions of himself. “It’s slightly self-indulgent,” he says, “but I love the Hey Ya video with Outkast, and a bit of the Talking Heads Stop Making Sense film, all that kind of stuff and the very sparse staging of it.” He also spoke about how much he missed gigging at Leadmill specifically, saying, “Leadmill is always a great gig because of the shape and size of it. Even though it’s about a thousand capacity, just because of the way it is, it feels intense.”
Fortune Favours comes out on 9 April, not only do the singles released so far sound brilliant but it’s going to make for a great gig to look forward to when we can eventually go to them again. Until then, if you watch the video to Lovers Blues and put your face really close to the screen, you can pretend for a moment you’re back in Leadmill.