British folk-pop artist Mabes knows how to speak directly to our teenage selves. In her EP Keeping The Noise Down (released earlier this year) along with her latest single “Too Young To Love,” Mabes nails it crooning all the thoughts we’ve once had running through our minds.
At 15, Mabes grew fascinated with Laura Marling, which eventually motivated her to follow Laura’s footsteps. And that she did, flawlessly. While we all might be not going out as much, maybe stay in and stream Mabes music. You won’t regret it. Before you do that, check out our interview with her to learn about how she’s coping mid-pandemic and what she misses the most.
First off, new month, newly single, most of us are all still staying at home. How have you been mentally and emotionally?
It’s been a hell of a year (and we’re only halfway through), who would have thought that being locked in my flat and doing absolutely nothing would teach me so much about myself? I sometimes struggle mentally when I have nothing to do, so I knew I had to stay strong and focus on the ‘reflection’ part that isolation brings… Although I’ve been very bored, it’s geared me up for the next phase of my life personally and artistically because I now realise my priorities. But have I been writing during lockdown?… Not a pea.
As mentioned, you released your new single, “Too Young To Love,” congrats! I read in a previous interview this song was originally for your EP. Why did you decide this song needed to be let out on its own?
I felt confident that the song would speak for itself and not need context – I’m still pretty confident about that. I didn’t really want a video for it for that very reason, we came up with a lyric visual idea in the end, and it fit so perfectly. Simple; as to not take away from the song’s vision, but still thought-provoking.
Can you tell us a bit about how “Too Young To Love” came to be?
I was in the studio with Matt Newman and Riley Biederer. After spilling my beans about my personal relationship struggles, the song just flowed out of us. I was caught between a rock and a hard place, stuck in a rut, and suddenly found myself incredibly anxious about my relationship – Is it right? How will I know it’s right? How will I know if it’s love? I still haven’t got a clue! But I’ve got better at trusting my instincts and letting my heart feel what it must.
I love the style of all your music videos/lyrics videos that you’ve put out thus far. Can you explain a bit about the creative process, and what’s that like?
Rewind a year or so, and the whole visual thing was quite daunting and new for me. Fast forward to now, and it’s a passion! I find myself walking home from a studio session with a new demo. I’m already thinking about what the video would be! Imagination has no limits! I always knew I wanted to be clever with my imagery and visuals too. I want it to be part of my creations, not just an afterthought. The videos and visuals must add
“Keeping The Noise Down” is a song about me being at a party and feeling very out of place and uncomfortable, and it felt like the perfect setting for a story to evolve. You see, music videos where young people are partying and having the time of their lives – it’s almost shoved down our throats to drink dance and be happy!!!! But you don’t see the self-conscious or awkward people that don’t enjoy that environment. I wanted to open that conversation, and maybe bring some comfort to those people, to let them know you don’t have to be at the party to be cool – which is a message running through the last scene as I leave.
Going back to the beginning, when did you grow interested in pursuing a music career?
I’ve always loved the arts, and music is just part of who I am. I come from a family of music lovers, and my parents always took me to gigs… It was Laura Marling’s album ‘Alas I Cannot Swim’ that inspired me to put my words to songs. Before then, I had written poems, but Laura influenced me to pick up the guitar, which led to me playing my first open mic night when I was 15, and my confidence grew from there.
When was the moment you saw your career really take off and realize so many people all over the world are listening to your music?
That was when I released my song “America.” I landed lots of amazing playlists with support from Apple Music and Spotify, and my streams were going up and up! I couldn’t believe it – it’s still weird when I look at the streams!
What’s the thing you miss most when you aren’t stuck in the house? Doesn’t have to be music-related!
I miss gigging so terribly much. Just before lockdown was declared, I’d just been on tour with Billy Lockett and become totally hooked on-road life. Traveling my own country meeting fellow music lovers and playing my music to an audience – I miss the crowds. Drooling over the thought of my next soundcheck.