Art-pop pioneer Starling’s kaleidoscopic, glossy offerings have managed to sit her comfortably in the front row of emerging modern pop talent.
Over the last few years she’s mastered the art of writing music that does just about everything but fit the conventions of pop. From the striking minimalism of her initial EP The Heart to the arresting rhythms of second EP The Body, Starling consistently veers towards the left-field.
Now unveiling the third in her trinity of EPs, Starling has released The Soul, a mercilessly catchy record that shimmers with slick vocals and sparkling production, courtesy of electronica legend Henry Bins of Zero 7.
Proclaimed as the ‘pop princess who DGAF’ (doesn’t give a f*ck) by Wonderland Magazine, Starling has built up some impressive support thus far from the likes of BBC Radio 1 and 6 Music, The Line of Best Fit and CLASH, to name but a few.
We had a chat with Starling to learn what she does GAF about…
What was the first song you developed an obsession for?
I Am, I Feel by Alicia’s Attic – must have been about 10 years old and went mad for it. That video as well lol, it’s everything.
What’s the first gig you went to?
Oh my god this is terrible – Will Young.
What’s the first instrument you ever got hold of?
A recorder. My mum wanted to kill me.
What is your worst musical habit?
Oh it’s the worst (and annoyed my six(!!) siblings all childhood) – replacing very famous songs with lyrics I’ve made up, ie getting iconic lyrics wrong. Every. Time.
What’s the best piece of musical advice you’ve ever been given?
I had dinner recently with one of the Dire Straits and he said – ‘Starling make sure you put the essence of you in the record, that’s all you need to do and nothing more. Don’t worry about all the extras and the noise in the industry, worry that the record absolutely and totally represents you’.
Where do you discover new music?
I discover new music on Shazam, walking around streets, shops, TV and press to see who it is. And Spotify of course.
What’s your favourite venue?
Hard one as I love a lot for different reasons but saw Prophets Of Rage at Brixton Academy and loved that venue after years of meaning to go. Blacks Club is great for intimacy.
Who is your current favourite band/artist?
My favourite artist at the moment is Christine and the Queens, or Chris as she is now known – she deals with the big stuff and is cool and effortless with it. An icon.
What inspirations outside of music impact your songwriting?
Therapy and people. Or is that the same thing?! I love seeing and experiencing reactions, situations, events in my life and others. Really, I have realised the more I can understand my own character the more I can understand the human condition. We think our problems are unique and that we are alone but music makes me realise that we are all so similar.
What track of yours best represents your sound?
Profiteroles has the minimal storytelling light feeling, but then Pink Wallpaper has the dark soul, and I think I can’t be one thing so hence my songs are a bit various re dark and light. I’m not just one flavour, so the record isn’t either.
What’s next for you?
The debut album next year. I’ve made three EPs over three years. The heart. The body and now the soul. Next is the album, and I know what I want to say. Also a tour and maybe some more pudding named songs lol.