Already known to us as one half of duo Party Fears, Berlin based artist Eilis Frawley has now got our attention with a stirring new solo release.
Combining poignant spoken word lyricism with throbbing beats and twinkling ethereal electro soundscapes, ‘illusions’ reflects on the pressures of modern day life and the effects it can have on our mental health.
We caught up with Eilis to find out more…
Hi Eilis, welcome to Get In Her Ears! Can you tell us a bit about what you do?
Hey! I’m a drummer, playing in Party Fears and I Drew Blank, and more recently as a solo performer working with spoken word, drums and samples.
We already know you as one half of art-pop duo Party Fears, but what inspired you to start this solo project, and how did it come about?
I had been thinking about it for a number of years but I can’t sing (or play a more ‘solo’ friendly instrument), and was unsure of what medium I could create something in. Last year I applied for a job in a circus (truth!) and they asked me to send a video of me playing/using electronics (tbh I probably wasn’t qualified for the job), which was the birth of the ‘Intellectual Men’ video I put out last year; much to my surprise it got a lot of attention, and I started to think maybe the world is big enough for exactly that, a solo drummer with spoken word.
Your stirring new single ‘illusions’ is out now – can you tell us a bit about it?
I’m fascinated by the various masks people wear to function in society. We show ourselves so differently on social media, towards people we love and towards strangers. We’re living in a time of extreme busy-ness and I think it takes a real toll on peoples mental health, so wanted to touch on that.
Your music is pretty unique and I wouldn’t ever try to pigeon hole it into one genre, but who or what would you consider to be your main inspirations for this new project?
I’ve been fan girl-ing Tune-yards for years, I love the layers she uses and how unapologetic she is in her style. Holy Fuck and Battles are also huge inspirations for pad/synth/soundscapes.
How is your local music scene? Do you go to see lots of live music?
The music scene in Berlin is large and diverse. We’re extremely lucky to get so many bands coming through on tour. Any night of the week there’s a possibility to see a show. I try to go to a gig every week – sometimes it doesn’t happen, but other weeks I go to three!
And what can we expect from your solo live show?
You can expect it to be loud, and hopefully reflective. I hope people can relate to my stories of feminism, growing up, living abroad, mental health and the general feeling of being an ‘outsider’.
As we’re a new music focused site, are there any new/upcoming bands or artists you’d recommend we check out?
So many! I made a tour playlist full of new releases (mostly) by upcoming artists. Have a listen here. For Berlin Bands: People Club, SchnickSchnack, Aporia, Jaguwar, Shybits, Gym Tonic.
And how do you feel the music industry is for new artists at the moment – would you say it’s difficult to get noticed?
I hands down don’t understand the industry. There seems to be a lot going on and there are plenty of blogs/promoters/playlists, but be dammed if I understand anything about algorithms. At the moment I’m trying to just work with people who are decent and genuinely interested in my music. If the industry is a deep sea, everyone is trying to be in the reef!
Finally, what does the rest of 2019 have in store for you and your solo work?
I have plans to go back into the recording studio at the end of November, and another single to come out by the end of the year. In December/January I will be soaking up the sun in Australia, spending some time with my family and also playing a few shows.
Massive thanks to Eilis for answering our questions!
‘illusions’ is out now, via Reckless Yes. Buy on Bandcamp. And catch Eilis live on tour:
30th October – Earth, London
31st October – Hatch, Sheffield
1st November – The Old Abbey, Manchester
2nd November – The Gallery, Leicester (w/ Amateur Pop)
Photo Credit: Nina Hynes