Hi! What inspired you to write “Water, Water”?

A: Hi! Thanks for having me. ‘Water, Water’ is a song inspired by the transition of letting go of good times from the past and moving on towards the future. I wrote it around the time the pandemic was kicking off (March 2020) and I felt like a lot of positive things in my life were either unable to continue or were just slipping away entirely. Sometimes we tend to hold on to the negative things that have impacted us from our past, but other times it can strangely be just as bad to dwell on the good times as well. Doing that can distract you from the opportunities that lie in the present. The lyrics are sort of a metaphoric story, but that’s the overarching theme the song was inspired by.

How would you describe the overall theme and message of the song?

A: I like figurative language – ‘Water, Water’ is a relaxing, acoustic-style ballad that gently picks up the listener off a hard floor and places them down warmly on fresh bed sheets. For me, it’s a nostalgic song, but it doesn’t want to be. It’s about someone trying to pull themselves out of a melancholic nostalgia. So, the message is basically to be mindful not to dwell too much in the good memories. Don’t get me wrong – please don’t forget your happy, meaningful experiences – just don’t wish yourself back there, because it can distract you from the beauty (and opportunity) of the present, and the excitement of looking to the future. ‘Water’ is a representation I used in the song of the simple and beautiful things we might be overlooking now, and things we can be more grateful for in the present, instead of dwelling unhappily in the past. 

Can you talk about the songwriting process for “Water, Water”? How did the lyrics and melody come together?

A: It’s hard to talk about the songwriting process of “Water, Water” without talking about another one of my songs called “The Finest Day”. I wrote both songs practically simultaneously – in March of 2020. I’d never done that before and it hasn’t happened since. I guess I was feeling particularly creative that day! Both songs are largely inspired by the same idea, it’s just that the idea spilled out into two different versions. The songs are like twins. The guitar riffs came first in ‘Water, Water’ – and as they tend to do, the lyrics slowly spilled out onto the page. I remember chopping and changing between the writing of ‘The Finest Day’s lyrics and ‘Water, Water’s, because lyrical ideas for both songs were just flying at me at the same time.  


The song has a very soothing and refreshing sound. What influenced your choice of instruments and arrangement for this track?

A: Thank you for the compliment! Every time I head to the studio to record a new song, I try to have a ‘reference track’ which helps me (and the producer at the studio) visualize (instrumentally and atmospherically) what I am going for. I was listening to a lot of Harry Styles’ first album as I was thinking of ideas for the recording, and the song “Ever Since New York” was a big reference track for “Water, Water”. I always knew full-blown drums weren’t going to fit the ideas I had for the song, but I also knew that there was a strong beat there that still deserved to be the backbone for the sound. The bongo-esque drums felt just right. I also wanted the song to pick up and drop down in energy as the listener travels through it. Hence why we start off with strumming and drumming, and in the second verse and bridge the soft guitar picking takes centre stage. I like when a song offers diversity in its energy – it picks up and drops down. I tried to do that with “Water, Water” as best I could. 

How do you think “Water, Water” reflects your growth as an artist since your debut EP, “Japan Town”?

A: It’s interesting, when I think of and play the songs from the “Japan Town” EP and compare them with songs like “Water, Water” and “The Finest Day” they are in completely different baskets. I wrote the songs that ended up on the Japan Town EP back in 2015/16, and “Water, Water” was about five years later. Different stages of life, different mindsets, different inspirations. I had grown up a lot from 2015 by the time 2020 came around. I think my basic songwriting processes stayed the same, but the themes and meaning in ‘Water, Water’ come from a different place. I still love playing the songs on the EP, but I was a lot younger when I wrote them. They come from an individualistic mindset. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but the ‘Water, Water’ comes from a broader place – the world was changing when I wrote it (the pandemic, etc.). So, there are elements of a more collective mindset in it, because it felt like the world was changing to everyone else as well, not just me. 

The song has been described as having a nostalgic and reminiscent theme. Can you share any personal experiences or memories that influenced the lyrics?

A: There were a few I was thinking of as the lyrics were coming. Past relationships, people I missed at the time. I did volunteer camps back then, and when the pandemic started camps couldn’t go ahead anymore. So, I was really missing that. As much as specific memories and experiences shape my music, I like to leave as much up for the listener’s own interpretation as possible. One verse or one line or a chorus can mean one thing to me, the writer, but can mean something completely different to a listener. That’s one of the beauties of music, and poetry/art in general. 

What do you hope listeners take away from the song, especially in the context of the pandemic and the changes it has brought to people’s lives?

A: Be happy that good times have already happened, but don’t dwell in them. Use them to motivate you for the future rather than wishing you had a time machine to go back – because you can’t. For a long time, we wished we could go back to the way things were before the pandemic, but we can’t. All we can do is focus on the present and look to the future. That’s what I hope is the takeaway (through a metaphoric story) from both ‘Water, Water’ and ‘The Finest Day’ is.

How has the reception been for “Water, Water” during your live performances?

A: Pretty positive! That’s what got me thinking of recording and releasing it in the first place. I always try and suss out which songs hit an audience well, especially when I’m debuting new songs in my setlists, and the ones that people react particularly positively too are usually ones I wanna take to the studio. 

Are there any plans to release a music video for “Water, Water”? If so, what can fans expect from the visual aspect of the song?

A: Eventually, yes. But we have a few sleeps to go before that time arrives! I’m thinking of some style of animation. I like the idea of having clay figurines and having a story play out on screen by taking lots of photos of them in different positions – kinda like how Wallace and Gromit was made. The story in the clip will probably reflect a community where some change beyond control happens – mirroring the pandemic. It’s definitely more of an idea rather than a plan at the moment though! Thanks for having me!