09 August 2010

Fresh Meat Monday - Calamateur

Would you care to introduce yourself?

My name is Andrew Howie, I live in a little village called Beauly near Inverness, and I make music under the moniker Calamateur.

How would you describe the music you make?

I've been writing and recording music for over ten years now and have covered a silly amount of genres so far - acoustic singer-songwriter, post-rock, lo-fi, noise pop, sampledelica and ambient. As I'm getting older the acoustic singer-songwriter thing seems to be winning out.

How did you start out making music?

I started writing songs on the acoustic guitar a long time ago, inspired by the likes of Sparklehorse, Buffalo Tom, Juliana Hatfield and Jeff Buckley. When I joined the Glasgow band Oldsolar I began to learn about samples, drum loops and found sounds. As a result of both these influences, I've learned to love the combination of both organic and electronic music. It's when I make music that has an equal measure of both that I'm most satisfied with what I've created.

What process goes into the way you write songs?

I always used to start them on the guitar, with me finding a melody or a lyrical phrase and building from there. But now as a day job I work as a postman near Loch Ness, and I find myself writing songs in my head to keep me company as I deliver my round. The challenge then is to remember them when I get home and get them to sound in reality like they do in my head!

What can people expect from your live shows?

Sometimes I play on my own, just simply acoustic, and sometimes I have my laptop and/or some other musicians with me. Either way, I hope people experience what I think everyone wants to experience at a gig - an honest connection, whether it be with the performer, the people around them or something bigger.

What are you listening to at the moment?

I've recently been catching up on some music that's passed me by over the years - some early Sonic Youth, Ryan Adams' first couple of albums and Stereolab. My friend, and fellow Highland musician, Iain Morrison's new album is amazing, but album of the year so far for me has to be The Unwinding Hours' self-titled debut. The band consists of two former members of the great Scottish band Aereogramme, and the new album is just incredible - deeply honest and beautiful, as the best music always is.

What can we expect to see/hear from you in 2010?

My new album, 'Each Dirty Letter', comes out in September, and the first single from it, 'Banoffee', is out in August. The single also features three b-sides - covers of Johnny Cash, Emmylou Harris and The Flaming Lips. I'll be playing plenty of dates throughout the year and am going to start playing house concerts up and down the country as well. This album is the first collection of songs I've put out that are all essentially acoustic songs, and therefore much easier to play live than electronic-based music, so I want to play as much as possible.

Calamateur - Banoffee


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