Pearse McGloughlin creates beautifully haunting songs of forgotten moments and quiet reflection. Dreamy and atmospheric, his work has an organic aesthetic reminiscent of Mazzy Star or Grand Salvo. His debut ‘BUSY WHISPER’ is out now. . .
I’m Pearse. I go under the artist name of ‘walkperson’ sometimes and sometimes my real name. Pearse. I write songs and poems.
Lyrics are important to me and my songs are full of imagery. ‘Busy Whisper’ has a lot of ghostly references – this wasn’t a conscious effort as much as it was a coincidence. From the outset, I wanted to create a ‘haunting’ album and subsequently some of the songs I ended up writing for it used well known motifs – ‘Werewolf’ or ‘Haunting Room’ for example. This was playful really – but there’s a quiet darkness there too.
I’ve always been in bands – in my early years I loved Michael Jackson, The Beatles, Abba and Ennio Morricone’s Mission soundtrack! I listened to Smashing Pumpkins, Radiohead, Placebo, The Frames – guitar music through my teens. In the writing of ‘Busy Whisper’ I guess I listened to artists who sounded like the album I wanted to make – or who were in a similar vein, so – Iron and Wine, Sigur Ros, Mogwai, Bon Iver, Grand Salvo, Andrew Bird, Radical Face, Ryan Adams, Beth Gibbons – but one’s early influences always come into play – a song like ‘Changeling’ probably has hints of mellow Placebo or Smashing Pumpkins.
Growing up, my family wasn’t particularly ‘musicy’ but there’s a strong creative drive. My uncle Eoin Mac Lochlainn is a well regarded painter and my brothers Paraic and Kevin are also excellent visual artists. On my Dad’s side there are a few writers too, who wrote plays for the Abbey… so, yeh, creativity was always encouraged by my parents.
I draw alot of influence from books, poems and films, not necessarily songs alone – that’s one thing about Mutant Space, actually, it acknowledges cultural overlap. I might take an idea from a poem or book and weave a song around it but the end product will usually be quite far removed from the intial concept. ..
I try to not be a fraud! Artistic integrity is paramount – people know if you don’t mean it. That doesn’t necessarily mean being a deadly serious, po-faced type but for me it means asking yourself if your output is your own. Or if you borrow from others – what are you doing with it that means it’s not purely imitation…
Still, as a musician you have to entertain at some level…
Pearse McGloughlin plays the Slate in Cork July 10th. More songs, gigs and images at www.myspace.com/walkperson
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