We can be so overwhelmed with new music at times with the invention of technology such as last.fm previously and more modernly Spotify that no longer does it take a long time, money or effort to sink your teeth into your next new favourite band.
It’s a common story – hear a song you like, you follow the artist. Follow the artist, you see them live. See them live and you’ll see their personality. Then you might like to know their history and how certain music came to be.
Welcome to Behind the Music with our first guest, Belfast’s alternative-pop songstress Rebekah Fitch.
We ask the artists how certain songs came to be, the thought process behind the music videos and share their favourite moments within the tracks.
The song: This whole song is an expression of amazement at the wonder of an unconditional love. It was sparked one morning in church when I was completely struck by a sudden realization of the incredible and inexplicable love God has for us. If we are brought up hearing about this we can become overly used to it, but one morning it hit me afresh and totally blew my mind. What else to do then but put this pure euphoria into song? My faith is the most important thing in my life and so I often write about how it affects me, about my thoughts and experiences, and seeing the world through that lens.
Music video: I knew the most important thing I wanted to express in the video was the ecstatic feeling of being overcome by pure joy. I absolutely adore creating the visual expression of my music as it allows to you capture the artistry and mood of the music in a whole new dimension, enhancing and developing it so others can see how it lives in your mind.
I wanted to capture this excitement by shooting as the sun went down, and into the night, as I felt it translated the freedom and exhilarated rush of the song. My friend, Morag, is an incredible dancer and someone truly after God’s own heart, so she was able to capture the meaning of the song so genuinely in her movement. Her dancing was so free and spontaneous which really contributed to the feeling of the music.
Favourite moment: I love when it breaks into the chorus, as it’s so heightened with energy and you don’t have to hold anything back.
The song: I’ve written a few songs about mental health struggles, and this was one that was less about the façade we put on and more about the confusion and the struggle that really happens behind it all. I guess I was writing about it sort of like a nightmarish fantasy, being in a new place that is dark, chaotic, and very lonely, yet over time it becomes harder to leave as we grow into it.
Music video: I had so many ideas for this one as it was super visual in my mind, and it already felt like it had its own world where you could step right in. When I was producing it, I had pictured floating in a great, dark chasm, with strange sounds echoing from every direction. Very eerie and unsettling. I can’t believe we actually managed to shoot the video underwater!
Favourite moment: I play the flute in this one, and I love building up the different looped layers with pitch bends to create the song’s atmosphere in the beginning.
The song: Another Show was about a similar subject matter, voicing the inner thoughts of a broken mind, yet more about how we present ourselves to the world: the fake smile that society wants to see, the mask we wear, the façade we create, the show we put on to stop the people we care about from worrying. We are desperate to feel something, to break through the hazy numbness of our reality, yet all we can do is gear ourselves up for another day of the “show”.
Music video: I wanted it to be focused on the face as the main image, as this is how we convey our emotions, whether honest or acted. I had the idea of the hands coming in as the internal forces of our contradicting thoughts, reassuring us or ripping us apart. The glitching effects portrayed cracks in the mask we wear, exposing what’s really there.
Favourite moment: I often start my live set with this one, and so it sets the tone for my performance. Having an extended intro allows me to build up the layers and play around with my voice to set the mood.
The song: As with many teenage girls, there is constant pressure to be thin, to lose weight, to look perfect, and this song was born out of the relentlessness of those thoughts. I wrote this song when I was 15 or 16, which seems like a long time ago, but I guess it shows how I’ve always written about the unspoken anxieties within my own mind. I very rarely let myself be vulnerable by talking about these things in conversations with people, so I guess writing about them in a more cryptic way is my method of letting it out.
Music video: This was the first proper music video that I’d ever done, so a lot of it was just experimenting with what we found. We ended up having a performance section which looked great, but my only idea going into it was having different brightly coloured walls as the backdrop to reflect the brightness of the song’s sound. It was the first time I worked with Tommy (Dog Kennel Productions) and it worked so well that he’s done all of my music videos ever since!
Favourite moment: When we play this with the full band, Connor (who plays guitar), takes a solo just before the bridge and it’s always super smooth. It has a real jazzy vibe.
The song: It is based on an idea that kept cropping up, both in conversations with people, and in a lot of literature. Many people are comfortable living their own life without asking big questions or looking into anything deeper. Often we don’t want to step out of our comfort zone or challenge ourselves. We are content with how things are, why change it? We would rather go on living in the “dark”, where it is safe and no big questions are asked. ‘Afraid of the Light’ is an encouragement, daring people to take the risk, to ask questions and have a look for themselves – what is life really about? You could find something so much greater than you ever imagined.
Music video: I loved the idea of playing around with light: with shadows, silhouettes and contours. Having the video in black and white allowed this to be the focus of the video. I was lucky to have my friend, Sarah, as the dancer. She was so graceful, and it was almost as if she turned the dance into a duet between her and the light itself, reflecting the song’s subject matter and toying with the idea of stepping into the light.
Favourite moment: I’ve taken to often playing this one solo on piano, pretty stripped back compared to the rest of the set. Because I’m not restricted by the set looping tempo, it means it’s a lot freer and I can really play around with it, slowing bits down and speeding other bits up. It’s great as you can really emphasize the lyrics when everything else is pared down.
Rebekah Fitch will play at McHugh’s Basement in Belfast on Friday 6th April – buy tickets here.