Lead singer of Irish rock act The Answer Cormac Neeson has released his solo single, Precious Cargo. We asked him the BIG questions . . .
Speaking about the track, Neeson says, "I actually developed a lot of the vocal ideas for this song during the first lockdown when I didn't have access to a studio, so I would play and sing through the song every night but very quietly as my two children slept upstairs!
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"Almost by accident, I developed this unusual close, whispering type vocal sound which sparked the idea to evolve the track into a full production. It is definitely a departure from anything I’ve ever released before but I’m very proud of it so we’re going to put it out there!!"
The song comes with a sketch animated video directed by Northern Irish artist and director, Louis Nelson.
Neeson came across some sketches that Nelson had left lying around in a recording studio where he was working and thought that his style of sketch animation would lend itself perfectly to portray a form of other worldly escapism that would suit Precious Cargo.
Tell us three things about yourself?
I live in Belfast.
Very few things make me happier in life than writing songs.
I’m probably due a haircut sometime soon.
How would you describe your music?
No real short answer to that one as I sing in a rock band, my first solo album White Feather was kind of country soul and my new single is a bit electronic and atmospheric. I suppose having spent so many years singing in The Answer I intentionally don’t want my solo stuff to be too easy to pin down which I’m aware could confuse some people, but I think ya gotta be quite selfish when it comes to being creative and just grab on to what feels right as opposed to what you think people might expect. It feels like freedom so hopefully it sounds like that as well.
Who are your musical inspirations?
I was raised on a blend of Rory Gallagher, Crosby Stills and Nash and the Bothy Band so my tastes have been pretty varied from the beginning. I just love listening to songs where the artist is clearly emptying the heart out for the world to listen if they want to. So, by default a lot of the old soul records like Aretha Franklin’s Muscle Shoals albums and the Stax material. My love for Irish trad remains strong and I think that sometimes feeds into the alt folk stuff like Ben Howard and Bon Iver. I also love with a passion the "rootsy" side of rock where bands are just grooving it and feeling it like the Black Crowes for example.
How are you occupying yourself during the coronavirus lockdown?
I built a studio in my back garden, so I’ve been writing and demoing a lot of music. I also have two small children who keep me occupied whether I’m locked down or not. I’ve also perfected my margarita making skills which is a dangerous but very mild superpower.
What's your favourite song right now?
Cover Me Up by Jason Isbell.
Favourite lyric of all time?
"I’ve never been so good with names, but I remember faces." It’s a Shame About Ray - Evan Dando, The Lemonheads. Just because that’s me right there.
If you could only listen to one song for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Tom Traubert’s Blues by Tom Waits.
Where can people find your music/more information?
Facebook, YouTube, and here.