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Interview: 2020 Must-Know - ARTHUR

Interview: 2020 Must-Know - ARTHUR

"​I wanted to write a more positive song but it still came off as having everything and nothing at all,​" says Pennsylvania-based artist ARTHUR, about his feverish new song, 'No Tengo'. He further explains, "​Some kind of nightmarish internal exorcism, like being in the movie 'Alien' but in the comfort of the sparsely decorated room in the back of your small apartment. Love flicking on and off like a light switch, here for a moment and then gone​."

This frenetic energy flows all throughout the rest of ARTHUR's forthcoming album, 'Hair Of The Dog' (out May 15th), from the nursery rhyme-reminiscent opener '8 Melodies', to the blustery 'Feel Good', truth-talking 'Biz', and buoyant album closer 'You Are Mine', so it comes as no surprise that ARTHUR's manager advises that his answers for this email interview were typed by his sister as he answered in a stream of consciousness.

Having self-produced his 2018 debut album, 'Woof Woof​', as well as his upcoming record, the cut of ARTHUR's jib is entirely his own, naming the Nintendo game ​'Earthbound' as a catalyst for the beginnings of his interest in music, with the surreal influence of a childhood surrounded by his father's junkyard curiosities collection (broken farm equipment, factory machinery, and random artifacts) and his mother's time spent creating doll houses, reflected in his exploration of the theme of isolation in his work and signature off-kilter approach to music production.

MUST-LISTEN: 'No Tengo', 'I Don't Want To Talk To You', 'Sweet Memory', 'Woof Woof'.
YOU WILL LIKE, IF YOU LIKE: Vegyn, King Krule, (Sandy) Alex G... and the sound of a hundred adorable puppies stampeding towards you.

COUP DE MAIN: How does your music-making process work?
That's hard for me to say. Music-making process? The song exists.

CDM: Why was 'I Don't Want To Talk To You' the first song you wanted to share from your new album?
It's the oldest song on the album. I like music existing as a period piece, so I prefer for it to be available to the public as soon as possible.

CDM: Is your song 'Fatalist' hitting different for you now in this time of self-isolation?
Yes and no. It's a song about not coming home, not wanting to, and then ending up there anyway.

CDM: What is it about William Penn that made you want to name a song after him?
He's supposedly the founder of Pennsylvania - he's a dirty crook.

CDM: What was running through your mind while writing 'No Tengo'?
I had an idea for a bass-line, and when I felt it, I took out a beat so it's a weird time signature. I had been thinking about it for three months and then it finally came together.

CDM: Lyrically, what's your favourite song that you’ve written?
Something that won't come out for a long time!

CDM: What do you think is the difference between a good song and a great song?

CDM: At what age did you write your very first song ever, and what was it about?
I started writing songs when I was eleven or twelve, but I honestly can't remember what the first song was. The first song I can think of is 'Cowman Mailman'. There were no lyrics, it was just about that very literal idea.

CDM: What do you hope for people to take away from listening to your music?
I want everyone to have an interactive experience with the music without me dictating it - an experience they find on their own and that they enjoy... maybe.

CDM: If A.R.T.H.U.R. were an acronym, what would each letter stand for?


CDM: Both of your albums have references to dogs in the title. What is it about dogs that you feel so strongly about?
I think for some people, a dog is kind of like your consistency in the world because we take advantage of the dynamic aspects of our lives...

CDM: You've said, "The best version of your reality is the one you create, the best version of yourself is not the one that exists." What does the best version of yourself feel/look like to you?
It doesn't exist.

CDM: What’s on your bucket-list?
Smile a bunch more times.

CDM: What are your top five necessities for isolation/quarantine/lockdown?
Communication, nourishment, entertainment, friendship, healing.

CDM: You’re one of our 'must-know’ artist picks for 2020… who are yours?

Watch the 'No Tengo' music video below...

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