State Facesstate.ie names its artists to look out for in the 12 months flowing from January each year, and accompanied by original photoshoots from our team of photographers.
Solo project of Dundalk native and familiar face Tim Shearwood.
Nope. If you’d told 13 year old me that I’d end up making songs with synthesisers and a laptop he’d have laughed his head off. Growing up, my siblings (two sisters, one brother) used to have a friendly rivalry over swaying my interest and encouraging me to perform. One moment that impacted me significantly was when my brother purchased a Discman and some noise cancelling headphones and played me The Mercy Seat by Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds. Sitting there, cocooned from the outside world, listening to that song was nothing short of an awakening. Until then, the songs I’d heard were mainly uplifting pop songs. This was aggressive and frightening. I wanted to make music that would provoke a variety of emotions. I subscribe to the opinion that any good song can be performed with a voice and a single instrument. So, that’s how I started – singing with my guitar. That’s still the core of Hunting Hall. There has to be a solid melody and a message. There’s a temptation with electronic music to push all the buttons and use every instrument. I’m not interested in that. I try to write songs that are simple, raw and free of gimmicks.
There are pros and cons. For a long time my songs sat on my laptop, gathering dust and doubt. Without anyone to bounce ideas off it’s difficult to know if what you’re doing is any good. I eventually summoned the help of Micheal Heffernan, a producer from Portabello, Dublin. Working with him vitally introduced deadlines. It was also a bonus that he’s sound and stupidly talented. The days I’ve spent in his tiny studio have been incredibly rewarding and therapeutic. The lads in Third Smoke are still very close friends. Some of the most memorable moments of my life occurred while I was a member of that band. It’s tough not seeing them as much but a small price to pay to not to have to carry a drum kit.
My setup is fairly simple. I launch backing tracks featuring drums, bass, synth and ambient samples on my laptop, play guitar and sing. I’m using in-ear monitors which is taking a bit of getting used to but has opened up many opportunities I’m excited to explore. I’d like to recruit other band members eventually. I’d also like to introduce a video / lighting element at some stage.