Can you talk to us more about your latest single “I Can See Totterdown”?
I’m mad excited for it, this is my first release as a solo artist and I spent a long time on it, which makes it scarier. It’s tricky to capture that when you do it by yourself, because it’s just you making all the decisions so you have to consciously leave in those things you want to polish away. I’m really happy with the finished track and it’s getting a great response from people I have massive respect for so I’m kind of overwhelmed!
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
I wrote this song while studying maths at Oxford, and at the time my best friend was living in Brazil. The song hallucinates a future for us, starting a family together in Bristol. It compares the interwoven branches of winter trees to our families and to fractals. We are now married, and as the song anticipates, moving to Totterdown, a suburb of Bristol.
Any plans to release a video for the single?
Yes! So I have just seen the first cut and it’s beyond anything I could have hoped for. It’s out very soon but I don’t want to give too much away. I can say it’s very, very strange!
The single comes off your EP Worn Through – what’s the story behind the title?
The whole EP is coming out at a later date – probably Spring 2018. As a whole, the EP is about mutual support and families and when support fails. In particular, it was written and recorded when I was suffering with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and it really prevented me from being there for the people I love when I needed to be, hence the title ‘Worn Through’. It’s a terrible disease and massively underdiagnosed and misunderstood.
How was the recording and writing process?
I returned to Bristol two years ago after being diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and struggling through my final university exams. As part of my recovery process, I redecorated my old bedroom at my parents’ house, where I recorded the guitar, experimenting with the unusual and haunting open G minor tuning, and overdubbed vocals. Annalise Lam recorded a violin part and Anna Bailward sang backing vocals. After I started to recover, the raw recordings were embellished by a fantastic cello arrangement by George Cooke. I then worked with producers Jed Taylor and Oscar Denyer to bring the track to its finished state.
What role does Bristol play in your writing?
It massively informs my writing, in that all my favourite bands are from Bristol, and also that it’s impossible to be uninspired here. I’ve lived here almost my whole life and I’m still exploring it.
What aspect of your life did you get to explore on this record?
It got me out of a really crap place with my health and also piecing it together made me think a lot about the connections between maths and music and family and nature.
Any plans to hit the road?
Yes! I’m in London supporting the great alternative folk pioneers that are The Medlars at The Harrison on 7th Nov and back playing a tiny headline show at the Bristol Cider Shop with two of my songwriters Kate Stapley and Emily Isherwood 11th Nov.
What else is happening next in Jamie Cruickshank’s world?
This music video! But then round the corner in December is my next single off the EP, ‘Loserville’. That’s very different and I debuted the song live at a Sofar session recently so you can check that out!