Introducing Scott Lloyd

I stumbled across the music of Scott Lloyd while checking out the free album from Scruff of the Neck Records. It was his track ‘The Northern Gate’ which caught my attention due its natural unplugged acoustic sound.

This Manchester based musician has previously released two EP’s which have been received to great reviews. His debut release ‘Long Live You EP’ is a little rough around the edges, but his talent is there for the world to hear, especially when you listen to the title track. He followed this up with the highly impressive release ‘The Northern Gate’. When you listen to this EP you instantly hear how much his music has grown which you can hear in the EP’s title track.

Scott has recently released his new EP ‘Give me Something’ which has continued the trend of a stronger selection of songs than its predecessor. It feels like Scott is more comfortable with his music and how he wants it to sound, as this release has a more focused Americana sound about it. It has that great feel of a singer and his six string friend delivering a stripped down natural and honest sound. Lyrically he is stronger than ever and I think this is where his song writing ability has improved the most. He now delivers lyrics with an improved story telling ability which includes observations and experiences from life.

The title track ‘Give me Something’ and ‘What have I gotta do’ are both highlights of this release which showcases Scott’s song writing ability. However, its is the song ‘Picture in my Mind’ that wins it for me. This song definitely has a Dylan feel about it and has some of my favourite lyrics as well as some cool harmonica playing. Love this song!

I strongly recommend that you add this EP to your music collection today which your can purchase from his website at ScottLloyd.com.

I got the chance to speak to Scott Lloyd about his music and to ask him a few questions. This is what he had to say:

Who or what inspired you to get into music?

I was always interested in music from a young age. But I didn’t really have any preferences as to what genres I was into. I remember being a kid and getting £2 pocket money from my nana on a Thursday, then watching Top Of The Pops on the Friday and then whatever was number one that week I’d go to Woolworths in Middlesbrough and buy it on the Saturday. I did that every week. I’m now left with a collection of singles some great, some terrible.

Other than that I was into stuff I heard at home, like Frank Sinatra and swing music. Which lead me to getting a saxophone when I started secondary school. I joined the local youth swing band, where we would play Glenn Miller covers etc. and I guess that was the start of it.

Then as I grew into my teens I got into rock music, learned other instruments like the drums and guitar, which I was self taught. Then I became obsessed with the Libertines and The Beatles, which then lead me to start a band of my own called ‘The Blends’ in which I wrote all the songs. After we broke up to go university, I continued to write and started as a solo artist. That’s pretty much how it all started.

Which musicians are your biggest influences when it comes to your music?

I’m massively obsessive about a handful of artists. Those being Neil Young, The Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and The Libertines. There’s plenty of other music I really love but those few are the big ones for me. I’m really into soul, funk and motown music aswell. Types of music that are really well constructed like some Stevie Wonder songs are incredible, same as Elton John and David Bowie.

I love how your music has this honest feel about it, is an important factor when it comes to writing new music?

I really enjoy music that has hints of imperfection that have purposefully been left in the recording. I think it gives the music character and depth. Neil Young has said many times that quite a lot of his songs are recordings that are done on the first take, because that take defines it. I like that, and I try to emulate that in my music as best I can.

I think as far as my song-writing style goes, it is all very personal. In nearly 100% of the time I’m singing about personal experiences or thoughts I’ve had. Usually when I’m writing it feels like I’m writing the songs for only me to listen to, which I guess comes across very personal for others when they hear them. It’s great really because that’s exactly the songs I enjoy the most, when I can connect with the song-writer and understand them.

What was your goal when you began writing the EP ‘Give me something’?

I wanted to write an EP that was like my version of the Springsteen album ‘Nebraska’, which is basically completely acoustic, but was meant to be full band until his label said they preferred the acoustic demos he recorded for it. They then made the album and it makes it really personal and introspective to the song-writer, which I really loved.

The first track on the EP, God I Say, was written in about 15 minutes one day about how so many people can be promised something from a young age from school or university and be told that we are special and/or the generation that would fly high and then when you start real life with a job it’s not what you expected, almost like they were kidding us and didn’t prepare anyone for what was to come. I know so many people who have had to put their talent on the back burner while they work a dead end job for some guy at the top who is fulfilling his dream while the people working for them are struggling to get by. It’s the age old story but it rings true now more than ever. So many people I know have wasted their incredible talent, whatever it may be. That’s what God I Say is about and it actually seems to be an unintentional theme running throughout the EP. The idea of wanting/needing/missing/loss, like there’s always something missing from your life, crops up in some shape or form in every song.

What is your favourite song from the EP and why?

I’m happy with them all really but Picture in my Mind really rings well with me. I wrote the lyrics on a coach going home from Manchester to Middlesbrough. There was mist over the Pennines and I just had this idea that it was a separator from my home in Middlesbrough and everything I have ahead of me in my life was in Manchester. That was the catalyst for the rest of the song instantly. The idea that you can’t have the best of everything, but you can have as much as you want of it, like it’s up to you what you focus on in your life but everything else will always be somewhere in your mind, as a picture in fact!

What does the near future have planned for you and your music?

I’m going to continue to write and release EPs as often as possible. Because EPs are only usually 5 or 6 tracks, you can release them more often and be a bit experimental with it on a lower budget to a full album. So I’m going to stick with that.

But the main thing is song-writing. I really just want to write the best songs I possibly can, that I’m happy with, and hopefully continue to improve and then have a selection of EP’s I can look back on and know I really worked hard on them and put my heart and soul into them. I sometimes think that songs can capture the writer’s identity and ideas at that time of writing and that it’d be a great way to log my life, if anything. I’d be pretty content with that.

Throughout Scott’s 3 EP’s its been great to hear the growth in his music and I’m already predicting that his next EP/album will be his best work to date (no pressure Scott if you are reading this). To keep up to date with his future releases and gigs then head over to his website at ScottLloyd.com or on his social media sites at Facebook and Twitter. If you are enjoying the music of Scott Lloyd as much as I do, then you too should help to support his music.