“I break my influences down into categories because I want a grasp on a bit of everything. Folk is the main one, but ‘folk’ is a broad term. Singer-songwriter folk is definitely where my heart is.”
It’s not everyday you meet an upcoming artist is so willingly wearing his heart on his sleeve and delving into what his music means to him. I’m talking about Melbourne born and bred singer-songwriter Scott Candlish.
The 25 year old has been playing guitar since he was 14, but he admits it wasn’t until his later years of high school that he realised that music was all he wanted to do.
“I’ve always loved music, but I guess I started [taking it seriously] a bit later- not at a ripe age or anything. I was working with a singing teacher during my late high school years and there were a few defining moments where I was like ‘yeah this is enjoyable,’ and thought about doing it professionally.”
For Scott, it was moments like these that gave him the confidence to keep going. One memory in particular that he recalls was his first gig at the Hawthorn Hotel. Despite being nervous, he confesses that there wasn’t a lot of pressure going in.
“It’s like anything once you get the hang of it and get into it. It’s definitely good fun though. I was dreading it leading up to it, but once I was on stage there wasn’t too much pressure to do my thing.”
Not only has Scott’s confidence increased since this very first gig, he has established himself as a songwriter. Admitting he’s complacent with the musical instruments he knows, his music goals include progressing his songwriting.
“I don’t have the drive to learn every single instrument out there. I am learning the piano, but I’ve got to lift my game with that. I really just want to get better as a musician. I love writing and I want to keep writing. I try to keep pushing my writing because I fear I might run out of things to write about. It’s so satisfying writing something you’re happy with.”
Describing himself as a ‘self-indulgent’ writer, he bases his music on his own experiences. Often reflecting on negative experiences in his writing, he uses it as a form of therapy. It hasn’t always come easy for him; however, in the beginning he felt incapable of writing lyrics.
“I used to be scared of sharing my experiences, and what other people would think about them. How they would come across, as well. I used to play a lot of covers, and I still love playing the things I listen to. Even now, I feel like I often rewrite the same kind of songs.”
Songwriting seems to be a complicated process and every artist I’ve spoken to has their own method of doing it. Scott on the other hand, doesn’t really have one particular method. It generally begins with a chord progression on the guitar and then placing it together.
“It kind of snowballs. I’ll start with the chords, then force a line over it. Sometimes that one line dictate the basis of the song. I’ve tried writing lyrics first, but it’s harder to match them up to a melody. I find it more efficient to have the melody first, because then you have the sound of the song.”
Much like any other songwriter, Scott has his fair share of influences that affect his writing and his music. Unlike many other songwriters, he has influences across all genres. He is heavily influenced by folk music, as this is where he hones in specifically. His Scottish background means he is also influenced by Celtic folk.
“Folk is the main one, but ‘folk’ is a broad term. Singer-songwriter folk is definitely where my heart is- artists such as Ryan Adams, Damien Rice and Ben Howard. There are other peripherals as well. I’d consider myself primarily folk-rock. So there are rock influences in there: The Beatles, 90s/early 2000s Silverchair, Dave Matthews and his band Incubus, Radiohead.
“I get little bits of my Dad’s music and I hear direct influences of the Celtic-folk. I just want to hear more and more of that music. He used to play at folk clubs and places like that. It’s the traditional folk music, and different to the strand of folk you get today. It’s organically the root of all my folk. He’s shown me a whole bunch of records of local folk music from Scotland. It’s stuff I’d want to write.”
Scott’s Scottish roots merge with his own travels on his latest EP Home Away From Home. Situating itself within the one major theme, he explains his struggles of finding the place he was most comfortable whilst being away from home and travelling. The EP explores his journey to find that place. While each song depicts a slightly different story, they filter within the idea of finding a sense of comfort when you’re in a foreign or unusual position.
“Travelling has so much to do with the EP as well. When I’ve been in a bad way, the experience of travelling has allowed me to shape things back together- to feel comfortable in an environment that becomes my home away from home. One country in particular that helped this was Barcelona, which happens to be the front cover of the EP [a picture overlooking the city]. I fell in love with it.”
His highlights from the EP include writing and recording Two Feet and Monsters. He also loved getting a banjo involved, having adored the sound and the timbre.
Scott will be debuting the EP at The Workers Club on February 23rd. It’ll be the second show he’s played with a band in the past two years. “It’s a new experience for me, but I will be reflecting on that. The priority is for the band to come together and sound good.”
“I put everything into my music when I’m making it, especially if it’s sounding good and working out.”
Scott will be debuting Home Away From Home at The Workers Club on February 23rd. You can purchase tickets here.
You can check out Scott at the following:
Written by Jordyn Hoekstra