THE ELSEWHERE SONGWRITER QUESTIONNAIRE: APRA Silver Scroll nominee 2012 Lydia Cole

 |   |  2 min read

Lydia Cole: Hibernate
THE ELSEWHERE SONGWRITER QUESTIONNAIRE: APRA Silver Scroll nominee 2012 Lydia Cole

The annual APRA Silver Scroll award acknowledges excellence in songwriting, so at Elsewhere we modified our Famous Elsewhere Questionnaire and tailored it to be specifically about the craft of songwriting for this year's five finalists.

Here is Lydia Cole, nominated for her song Hibernate from her album Me and Moon.

The first song which really affected you was . . .

Probably something Mum used to sing at bed time. The Lonely Little Petunia In An Onion Patch, maybe.

Your first (possibly embarrassing) role models in music were . . .

The first band that made me think to engage with music was Zed. I learned Glorafilia on a nylon stringed guitar and got hooked. After that my major musical influence was Ryan Adams. I can relate to his tendency toward the depressive.

The one songwriter you will always listen to, even if they disappointed you previously, is?

Ryan Adams.

As songwriters: Lennon-McCartney or Jagger-Richards; kd lang or Katy Perry; Madonna or Michael Jackson; Prince or Pink?

I only know music from a couple of those people. Not educated enough to make a call, I'm afraid.

The three songs (yours, or by others) you would love everyone to hear because they are well crafted are . . .

The sentiment of a song is what leaves an impression on me rather than anything intelligent or crafty. So this is a tough question, but I'll go with:

Hunger Song by The Middle East; Lying To Myself by Tom Lark; Starlite Diner by Ryan Adams  

Melody first? Words or phrase first? Simultaneous?

Simultaneous if you're lucky. Chords, then melody, then words if you're not. 

The best book on music or musicians you have read is . . .

I haven't read one.

If you could co-write with anyone it would be . . .

Ryan Adams or Jon Foreman.

The three songs you'd insist anybody listen to because they might understand your songwriting style better are . . .

Any three of my songs. Right?

The last CD or vinyl album you bought was . . . (And your most recent downloads include . . .)

I have no idea what physical album I bought last. Maybe Bon Iver 'Bon Iver' but that was a long time ago.

My last download was actually Everything To Me by Lips, another Silver Scroll finalist. Great song. Other recent one was Leonard Cohen's latest, but the best thing I've bought/heard in the last year is 'Post War' by M. Ward.

One song, royalties for life, never have to work again. The song by anyone, yourself included, which wouldn't embarrass you would be . . .

I wouldn't mind if I'd written If I Ain't Got You by Alicia Keys...

One line (or couplet) from a song -- yours or someone else's -- which you think is just a stone cold winner is . . .

I really like "I'm still young but my life is old" which is a Tom Lark lyric.

Songwriting: what's the ratio of inspiration/perspiration?

I'm a perfectionist but also quite lazy. I'm trying to put more perspiration and patience into my writing.

Ever had a song come to you fully-formed like it dropped into your lap?

Yes, this is preferable. Love & Loss & Love was a sweet gift like that. 

30_image_0_150_0_150And finally, in the nature of press conferences in Japan, “Can you tell me please why this is your best song ever?”

I think the power in Hibernate is the simplicity and accessibility of the lyrics, hand in hand with a pretty heavy, yet commonly felt, sentiment.

I have found my style of songwriting to be like sketching something life-like; a portrait. The purpose is to reflect the pure reality of something; a feeling, situation, or moment. My spot in this huge world of art, at the moment, is to reflect the purest reality of all the details of what goes on in the heart. I hope people see in that that their details are also beautiful, and can also be art.

For other Apra Silver Scroll nominees' answers go here.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   The Famous Elsewhere Questionnaire articles index

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Ben Morley of Mice on Stilts

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Ben Morley of Mice on Stilts

Few could watch the heartbreaking images from Gaza recently without feeling some pang of pain and discomfort. Regardless of the knotty politics of the situation there, seeing people's homes... > Read more

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Matthew Pickering

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Matthew Pickering

Wellington's Matthew Pickering is probably very glad to be going out on the road for a month in support of his third album Up at the Bunkers (see dates below). His day job is as the editor of... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Rokia Traore: Tchamantche (Lateral Note/Southbound)

Rokia Traore: Tchamantche (Lateral Note/Southbound)

You don't have to have spent too long with world music to come across the deep well of talent out of Mali, much of which has appeared at Elsewhere: the late Ali Farka Toure and his son Vieux,... > Read more

Camera Obscura: Desire Lines (4AD)

Camera Obscura: Desire Lines (4AD)

Scotland's Camera Obscura have consistently delivered a line in thoughtful, sunshine-baked pop which still allows room for deep emotional shadows. For this album they took their songs off to... > Read more