Catharsis Through Simplicity: An Interview with two blinks, i love you

two blinks, i love you is the new project from Liverpool-based songwriter Liam Brown, best known for his work as pizzagirl, through which he built a world of zany, aesthetically-pleasing bedroom pop across two albums.

Liam answers the phone with a crisp Scouse accent. “It’s so sunny here, but I’m just in bed at the moment in my flat. It feels like I spend a lot of days in bed now since I’ve had a lot of time to myself recently.”

His passion for music is unquestionable. Raised by a single mother, who Liam calls “the legend,” he attributes his early interest in music to her plethora of burnt CDs, mainly comprised 80s love songs featuring “those artists who use a simple idea to create an emotive piece of art”, which sparked inspiration early on.

This also influenced his own economic exploration of music in his teenage years – while reminiscing of ‘blue-toothing’ songs among friends in the school playground, Liam says he found himself getting into alt-rock and folk music. “There’s just something about the organic and natural instrumentation that really speaks to me. I love the raw emotion and passion in the music.”

“When I was a teenager, I think I romanticised being depressed in a sense,” he continues. “I was into the depressing indie bands, and then you grow up and realise what it is like to actually be depressed. I remember feeling frustrated a lot, but as the eldest sibling, that’s no surprise is it really.”

Reflecting on the emotions that insidiously settle in society, Liam points to the simplicity of triggers; “Even when you’re out getting coffee, you overhear something as plain as another person’s order and that holds a certain sentiment and can trigger a beautiful or ugly or sad reaction within yourself.”

Talking of the process behind the project, he highlights the endearing, no-frills nature of the two blinks i love you brand, allowing the unpolished humanness of his work to shine. “I love the rawness. The process is cathartic; it helps me make sense of the world.”

“The world is such a complex place, and I find the process therapeutic because it reminds me that…” he pauses, “…I exist.” Liam continues. “I use my music to break down these complex feelings into their simplest form.”

two blinks i love you is about Liam’s journey in “navigating my 20s relationships and friendships.”

When shooting his music videos, he admits, “I’m a control freak.” He self-directs with help from friends, and when curating his vision, he speaks of how “each element blends together to create its own universe.”

Working with other artists is where he relinquishes this sense of control. Liam says, “I sent a song that I worked on to a friend, and she said – ‘I love it. Can I record a harmony on it?’ I said of course; I know anything she touches will be ten times better!”

The artist continues down the phone line, “I really enjoy collaborating on projects with other artists, especially when it’s your mates that fuck with your music. My flatmate told me once while we were up late drinking how he loves my music, I found it funny because it made me think, ‘why can’t you tell me this in the morning when I’m feeling like shit!?”, Liam laughs at the recollection.

The tbily project claims a ‘no filter songwriting’ approach with a devil on the shoulder. And Liam has found himself rather captivated by the character itself, initially born from doodling in a notebook; “I could never draw it like that again,” he says, briefly and softly sighing. “I don’t even know where the original drawing is; it will probably only be worth anything when paper becomes a commodity,” he laughs.

Liam explains how his writing has deviated – “with how ‘live and human’ I want my songs to feel. Not tied to metronomes or quantised synth arrangements, but to a more ‘present in the moment’ energy.”

“I can’t wait to get to my live shows,” he declares. “I’ve got so much new music waiting.”

He explains that finding that presence can be a complex process. He likes to keep busy, and – although the creative process can be draining at times – the output is incredible.

“The project’s name, ‘two blinks I love you,’ holds a particular significance to a passing in my life and a positive memory that was attached to that person.” shares Liam. It sounds like introspection. Songs recorded in the afterburn of a late-night television binge, mics pressed too close to the instruments so that each twitch and scrape is crystallised.

Liam’s work ethic shines through when he opens up about his passion for his creative expression. However, like the devil on your shoulder, his self-deprecating attitude still humbles him, “My whole body cramps up when people ask me what I do for a living, and I try and make it sound as shit as possible.”

two blinks, i love you’s debut ep, EP 1, is out now via heist or Hit.

photo credit: Kate Davies

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Ruby Spink

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