Words by David C. Obenour
A prolonged break from touring found Stina Tweeddale away from her bandmate in Honeyblood and back writing and recording alone again. This period produced over 30 new demos and also answered any uncertainty of how she wanted the band to proceed. Having started as a solo project, Stina Tweeddale is back on her own for the third album and first for Marathon Artists, In Plain Sight.
Traveling to L.A. to record In Plain Sight with producer John Congleton, she found a perfect match for the songs created alone in her hometown of Glasgow. Mixing pop sensibilities recorded with an ear for depth of sounds, the new album is a launching point for this next chapter of Honeyblood.
Off Shelf: Throughout recording the demos on your own for In Plain Sight, when did it become apparent that you’d want to continue Honeyblood as a solo venture? Was it a hard decision to come to?
Stina Tweeddale: It was a very hard decision – I’d been writing with a lot of uncertainty. It’s hard to pin down the exact moment but I think subconsciously it’s something I needed to do for a while.
OS: How did you end up working with John Congleton on the new record?
ST: [laughs] I asked him and he said yes! Lucky how things work out like that isn’t it?
OS: I was just curious about what made you decide to work with him. As your first solo album, it feels like the decision on producer would be a very meaningful one.
ST: It was! I am a big fan of his work with various artists. The ones that really struck me were St.Vincent, Sharon Van Etten and Angel Olsen. It’s about capturing a pop song without compromising interesting sound dimensions.
OS: I read that this was your first album where you wrote a song on piano – how do you think what instrument you play shapes a song?
ST: It’s actually not. There’s a piano song on the first record. I did try to branch out into more synth defined songs which was new and exciting territory for me.
OS: How do you think expanding more into your work with synths has evolved your music on In Plain Sight?
ST: I started working with synths on Babes Never Die, although it was less than I had initially wanted. This time I really wanted to delve into that world. The synths on In Plain Sight are very scenic. They aren’t telling the story of the song but they’re definitely setting the scene!
OS: Aside from personnel changes, your music has evolved a good deal with each new release. How has your connection to the early songs changed?
ST: I write all my own songs so they come from a very personal place and so they are my children. I love them all equally.
OS: Now that you’ve made your first album alone as Honeyblood, are there any new directions you’d like to see your music evolve in?
ST: The freedom from officially becoming a solo artist has been a great creative step forward. I hope to keep evolving – who knows where next!