Interview with Findlay Brown on second album Love Will Find You | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Thursday, November 26th, 2020  

Findlay Brown

Findlay Brown

Broken Bones and Hearts

Sep 01, 2009 Issue #26 Spring 2009 - Bat For Lashes Photography by Alex Lake Bookmark and Share


The saying that pain is inevitable but suffering is optional holds resonance for East London's Findlay Brown. The 29-year-old retro-pop singer/songwriter was lauded in the U.K. as a successor to Nick Drake with his heartrending 2007 debut, Separated by the Sea. Soon after, his soul-baring folk songs found their intended target and coaxed Brown's girlfriend, Marie Nielsen, back from Copenhagen. But Brown's banner 2007 turned sour in October when a cab driver reversed over his ankle, breaking it in two places and shattering his tibia.

Brown recalls his past travails with an indebted attitude. "I just had a physiological session today and the doctor said my leg will probably never be the same again, c'est la vie," he laughs. "All that stuff that happened in the past has made me better." We can thank Brown's broken bones and heart for the soulful music found in his sophomore album, Love Will Find You. While recovering from the accident, Brown rediscovered his love for Elvis, Roy Orbison, Motown, and Joe Meek.

The album's 10 songs, produced by ex-Suede guitarist Bernard Butler, amplify dark moments shared by lovers, and crackle with the kind of epically simple melodies afforded to '50s and '60s pop singers. Fans of Richard Hawley's soul-pop should take notice as well. Brown's song sketches were fleshed out in former Orange Juice frontman Edwyn Collins' West Heath Yard studio, which contained a stockpile of vintage BBC mics, analog compressors, and reverb units. "He's a bit of a retro freak," laughs Brown. As such, Love Will Find You's musical approach may be too straightforward for some. The album's subjects are equally nostalgic. The dark ballad "Teardrops in the Rain" references Brown's favorite line from Blade Runner, while "If I Could Do It Again (I'd Do It With You)" was created as part of a score to an imaginary David Lynch film.

Where Brown once made a habit of fleeing from his past, now the songwriter isn't afraid to be reflective. "When I write songs, it's sort of therapeutic," he admits. "There are definitely a few songs that are about trying to move forward and make peace with the past." Brown says "Nobody Cared" is about someone realizing the importance of what they have now. "I was thinking about my sister for that one because she was bullied as a kid," he reveals. "Now she's turned into a successful makeup artist." The siblings grew up in a Yorkshire council house, where their father passed away from alcohol poisoning. Brown would kill time by riding his bike, eating rabbits and snakes, and sniffing petrol. "There's more freedom in the countryside," the singer explains. "We traveled for miles and miles through the woods and did things that would be considered quite dangerous now. At the time it was just young lads having fun."

Memories of his youthful adventures synced up well with the pop gems he listened to during his recovery, especially those of Orbison. "He's one of my all-time favorite artists now," gushes Brown. "His voice has an incredible longing to it and there's a dark beauty to his music. I try to achieve just a small part of that with my own."



Comments

Submit your comment

Name Required

Email Required, will not be published

URL

Remember my personal information
Notify me of follow-up comments?

Please enter the word you see in the image below:

Katie larson
October 8th 2014
3:26pm

I know it’s been a long since you published it, but this is a really good article. I love Findlay Brown.