Introducing Interview: Eddie Packard

Following their debut single ‘Microplastics‘ back in 2018, South London based artist Eddie Packard released their latest offering ‘CGI‘ this spring. A electro-inspired pop-punk soundscape reflecting on how the fantasy world of video games is so much more appealing than mundane reality, it’s an uplifting slice of escapism flowing with a lilting emotion.

We caught up with Eddie to find out more about the track, their inspirations and the industry at the moment… Have a read!

Hi Eddie, welcome to Get In Her Ears! Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
Hi! I’m Eddie Packard and I’m an independent artist from South East London. I love writing songs, it’s my passion. Writing down lyrics onto paper (or more often a notepad application on my computer) really resonates with me in ways I can’t explain. 

What initially inspired you to start creating music?
It was May/June 2012 and I was listening to ‘Love Story’ by Taylor Swift while watching the music video. Something clicked in my preadolescent brain. All the instrumentation and songwriting really just ignited something within me. I then swiftly (haha, get it?) told my parents I would like a guitar. They were very impressed by my enthusiasm and so my mum and I went out to my local guitar shop and I was bought a lovely guitar. I then learnt a whole bunch of chords and I loved the way they sounded when put together. It wasn’t until a few years later though that I actually realised this is what I want to do as a career and started constructing songs.

You’ve recently released your vibrant single ‘CGI’ – can you tell us a bit about this? Is it focused on any particular themes?
‘CGI’ is a whimsical pop-rock song that is inspired by the concept of escapism which can be defined as “the tendency to seek distraction and relief from unpleasant realities, especially by seeking entertainment or engaging in fantasy...”  It really reminds me of the song I talked about earlier (‘Love Story’) thinking about it now, as they are both quite whimsical sounding and both have elements of escapism (‘Love Story’ was inspired by Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, my song ‘CGI’ is inspired by daydreaming and video games). I really wanted the listener to feel like they’re immersed in a different world when they are listening to the song, so I had this idea of implementing a lot of ambient atmospheric sounds, like rain for example, and I think it works really well.

We love your colourful alt-pop sounds, but who would you say are your main musical influences?
As you might have guessed – Miss Taylor Alison Swift is the main one! But also Katy Perry and Marina Diamandis. Katy Perry in particular is a huge inspiration to me – her hugely commercially successful album Teenage Dream really blew my mind when it came out. Songs like ‘Firework’ I remember singing at the top of my lungs while skiing down snowy Italian mountains on a school ski trip and really connecting with the message of the song. But also that ‘California Gurls’ music video! I honestly did not understand the appeal of a California girl… Daisy Dukes? Cool I guess? But the music video is one of my most favourite things in this world. The way she holds her hand out while singing “you could travel the world, but nothing comes close” really strikes a chord with me. Katy Perry had a very religious upbringing and I did as well going to Catholic schools nearly all my life. I always felt this horrible feeling of social exclusion and being left out. I remember leaving my catholic confirmation group and crying to one of my friends’ mother because I just felt so unwanted by my fellow peers. I feel connected to her in this way.

How do you feel the music industry is for new artists at the moment – would you say it’s difficult to get noticed?
I would say that it is quite good at the moment due to the power of social media. I think the power dynamic between record label corporations and artists was a little one sided fifteen years ago and artists probably needed a record label. But now you have completely independent successful musicians who don’t care about signing a record contract. However, for me, I would love to sign a record deal – I’ve been dreaming of it for years now.

Has there been anything/anyone specific that has been inspiring you, or helping to motivate you, throughout these strange times? 
I’ve been looking inwards since graduating from school and have been realising that I have a lot of shame based around my own character. I’m not a very masculine guy and I’ve always felt so much pressure to not be feminine. I’ve realised that shame is blocking me from achieving my own happiness. There’s an American show called Queer Eye that has really been a source of happiness and comfort for me; seeing five LGBT guys who are all so confident and portrayed in a good light, and not negatively as a joke, has really helped with my confidence. 

Finally, what does the rest of 2021 have in store for Eddie Packard?
I want to keep releasing music and make a name for myself. I have big dreams and I’m not going to stop until I make them come true!

Massive thanks to Eddie for answering our questions! Watch the video for their single ‘CGI’ here:

WATCH: Fortitude Valley – ‘Baby, I’m Afraid’

‘Baby, I’m afraid’ might be the soundtrack to the rest of my summer. Following previous single ‘Cassini‘, it’s the latest offering from the wonderful Durham band Fortitude Valley and, once again, they’ve given us another perfect pop banger.

As far as break-up songs go, ‘Baby, I’m Afraid’ is anything but a weepie. It’s as bouncy as it is bittersweet, reminiscent of Weezer at their very best (and by that, I am, of course, talking Pinkerton). While the lyrics, about the last days of a relationship, are tinged with sadness, they’re lifted by the spiky guitar riffs and pure punk drums, which collide brilliantly with front-person Laura Kovic’s shoegaze-inspired, bubblegum vocals. The result is truly euphoric.

Of the track, Kovic explains:

This is a break up song. It’s two people feeling that the vibe is off, but not communicating. It’s about feeling insecure, over analysing little things and assuming the worst rather than actually speaking to the other person.”

Like Fortitude Valley’s earlier singles, ‘Baby, I’m Afraid’ is a total earworm too. Just what is this witchcraft?! After only a few listens, it’s wedged itself firmly into my brain and into my heart, but, you know what? I’m fine with that.

Watch the new video for ‘Baby, I’m Afraid’ here:

The debut album from Fortitude Valley is set for release on 29th October via Fika Recordings. Pre-order here.

Vic Conway
@thepicsofvic

Introducing Interview: 45ACIDBABIES

Having blasted into our ears with the quirky, fizzing sounds of ‘Mommy’s Favorite 1‘ and recent single ‘Only Class6 From Now On’, Dutch garage pop-punks 45ACIDBABIES have previously wowed crowds sharing stages with the likes of Sleigh Bells and Blood Red Shoes. And today they share brand new release ‘Don’t 4get To Smile‘ – a wonderfully obscure cacophony propelled by a swirling energy and vibrant, honey-sweet allure.

We caught up with the band to find out more…

Hi 45ACIDBABIES, welcome to Get In Her Ears! Can you tell us a bit about yourselves?
Thanks! So happy to be a part of this! We’re a four-piece. We make pop songs with a raw edge. We love to look for that thin line between sweetness and creepy, and try to follow that line with everything we make. The colour pink is our star of Bethlehem and one day we would love to paint this world pink. We want to create an environment to make you forget about the normal standards for a second so you can look at the world with the eyes of a newborn and be who you want to be!

How did you initially all get together and start creating music?
We went to a pop music school together. Herman Brood Academy it’s called. One of the subjects gave us space and time to create a set and perform it on stage at the end of a term. The teachers thought of the four of us as an interesting combination and they weren’t wrong. We stood out and that resulted in us joining the school tour where we played various venues with some of our schoolmates’ bands. At the last show of that tour we said yes to this rollercoaster of creative excesses and we were born.

You’re about to release your quirky new single ‘Don’t 4get To Smile’ – can you tell us a bit about this? Is it focused on any particular themes? 
With ‘Don’t 4get To Smile’ we enter a Black Mirror kind of world, where happiness and validation can only be found on the internet. Everyone shows their best side on social media, while in real life, no one is special and we’re all glued to our phone screens 24/7. We know something is grim about this way of living. We could do something about it, but we choose to be ignorant and go with the flow, because we’re way too small to turn things around. We can’t all be Neo, the one from the Matrix, right? EVERYTHING IS FINE.

We love your vibrant, fizzing obscure pop sounds, but who would you say are your main musical influences?
It’s different for every band member. That makes us the interesting match we are today! I think I can safely say that the movie Scott Pilgrim vs. The World is a good overall influence. For the visuals, as well as the music.

You’ve previously shared stages with the likes of Sleigh Bells and Blood Red Shoes, but has there been a particular gig you’ve played that stands out as a highlight for you? 
We loved playing with Sleigh Bells and the Blood Red Shoes. We also have very good memories of our tour with the Staat, one of the most important presences in the Dutch music landscape, our first real tour abroad. But I think our favourite gig ever was this very unexpected gig in the middle of nowhere. In a tiny DIY coliseum made out of pallets. It was filled with wasted people who were dancing like crazy and flinging with branches and making the coliseum quake by stomping on the beat. It was awesome. Big shout out to Piet Naus Memorial Festival. Always.

Being based in Holland, how do you find the scene is for new bands and artists there? Would you say it’s difficult to get noticed? 
We have this really cool event called Popronde. It’s a tour where 45 towns anticipate to give young bands a stage. Stages vary from real venues to the pub around the corner. We did Popronde at the beginning of our career. Performed a lot. Drove a lot. Slept very little. Shook a lot of glasses out of the pub’s cutlery cabinets by playing very loud. It’s not very difficult to get noticed, but it is difficult to hold on to the buzz. People’s concentration span is quite short and there are loads of cool bands running around in the Netherlands. Perseverance is key.

How have you been connecting with your audience and other musicians during the pandemic?
In the beginning I started riding my bike to deliver merchandise contactless to fans. Bands started playlists to support one another. Venues and organisations came up with live stream plans and creative ways to give artists a stage and the people at home gigs. We all became very creative with it. But I must say it has been exhausting. I really hope there will come an end to this soon because people are starting to lose hope and fun in what they do; you have no idea what a live audience and some interaction can do – it’s so so so important to do this together.

And has there been anything/anyone specific that has been inspiring you, or helping to motivate you, throughout these strange times? 
The time we had on our hands by not performing gave us space to develop as a concept and as individuals. Our concept is a lot stronger now than it was before.

As we’re a new music focused site, are there any other upcoming bands that you’d recommend we check out?
There’s this new Dutch band from Nijmegen called 4B2M – short for 4 brothers 2 mothers (you guessed it, the foursome consist of brothers from two different families). They all played or are playing in other Dutch bands and last summer they stormed the scene with this new collective and a couple of great singles like ‘This Is Happening’ and ‘Get It Done’. GO check ‘em out!  

Finally, what does the rest of 2021 have in store for 45ACIDBABIES?
We have two more singles coming up and the latest single release will be all the singles of 2021 bundled in an EP with some more goodies included, which we’ll keep a secret for now. Keep in touch and you’ll find out soon enough!

Massive thanks to 45ACIDBABIES for answering our questions!


‘Don’t 4get To Smile’ is out now. Listen on Spotify.

Track Of The Day: Taylor Blackwell – ‘B.S. poetry’

Having previously captured our attention as part of LA based the tenth (a band she co-founded with actor Harley Quinn Smith), singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Taylor Blackwell has now announced her debut solo album – In Memory of Haroldine –, set for release in September.

The first taster of the upcoming album, new single ‘B.S. Poetry’ is inspired by a guy who wrote “shitty poems” about Blackwell. Propelled by lilting folk-strewn melodies and a quirky energy, it juxtaposes an uptempo shimmering musicality with an angsty lyrical reflection on the broken promises of early romance. Oozing twinkling accordion refrains alongside Blackwell’s honeyed vocals, it offers a playful, tongue-in-cheek commentary on patronising, full-of-BS men and the lies they spin to get what they want; a subtly empowering ‘FU’ to them and their meaningless words. A perfectly catchy, saccharine sweet sonic delight interwoven with the gritty, bitter angst of heartbreak.

‘B.S. Poetry’ is accompanied by an entertaining new video, depicting the story behind the song. Directed by Blackwell and Chase Cope, it also stars actors Dempsey Bryk, Bebe Wood, Nolan Gould, Brady Reiter and August Aiden Black. Watch it now:

In Memory of Haroldine, the upcoming debut solo album from Taylor Blackwell, is set for release in September, and is produced by Sharp/Shock’s Davey Warsop.

Mari Lane
@marimindles