Now based in North Wales Eve Goodman offered a tantalising glimpse of her forthcoming EP with her wonderful new single ‘Pellter’ (Welsh for distance), which was released at the end of October. A haunting meditation upon grief and feeling hopeless in your attempts to get through to someone. Delicate acoustic arpeggios are sown with Goodman’s elegant and spellbinding vocal as she wraps around each Welsh couplet and releases a soaring moment that stops time. With a wealth of talent and an ability to tap into a rich seem of emotion and compassion, Goodman is a very talented emerging artist. We sent Eve some questions to get to know her a little better.
Hey how are you today? How are you coping in lockdown?
I’m doing well in myself, thanks. I have a lot of empathy for the world right now and it’s hard to put that down. I worry about the myriad of ways in which this pandemic is affecting so many people. It’s dizzying. I’m focusing on my creative projects, upping the self-care, checking-in with loved ones and swimming every day in the Menai Strait, which is a ten minute walk from my house. I’m deeply grateful for this.
What was the first song you ever wrote? What was it like?
I wrote a break-up song before I’d even been in a relationship. Looking back, I wasn’t far off! I had lots of feelings and a big heart, and I’d read enough Jaqueline Wilson to be a self-proclaimed expert on heartbreak.
What was the first thing you released?
I released a mini-album when I was seventeen, which featured said breakup song. It wasn’t a digital release, and now it only exists on my old hard drive, but it was a pivotal moment in my life to release my music into the world. I sold CDs at gigs and open mics, and almost everyone in my Dad’s office had a copy.
What’s the music scene like back home?
Really supportive and humble. There are some incredibly talented people up here. I’m part of a collective called CEG (Cerddoriaeth Eryri a’r Gogledd aka Music from Snowdonia & The North). We have our own record label, help each other apply for funding, run mentor sessions, hold meet-ups and act as each other’s cheerleaders. We also have our own record label, CEG Records. Most musicians I know in North Wales tend to have a deep connection to the nature and the land, which inevitably makes its way into the music they make. My producer and I go surfing together and we’re working on a collection of songs about water.
Do you write in English or Welsh first? Or does it depend?
Because English is my first language, I’m quicker at expressing myself in my mother-tongue. But given time, I’m getting more adept in saying what I want to say in Welsh. It’s a truly beautiful language with sublime sounds and words. Writing in Welsh also gives me a different angle on subjects and emotions. It’s like shining a different light; my subject glints in a different way.
You describe your new single ‘Pellter’ as an “intimate reflection on loving someone who is struggling with their mental health, (which) sings to the friends, the families and the caregivers who know this journey.” Do you think that the experience of those around someone who is suffering with mental health issues is a subject that isn’t addressed often in culture?
This is a good question, and a hard one to answer. I would never want anyone who’s suffering with their mental health to feel their issues are too much for those around them but, equally, caring for someone who is at rock bottom is hard. I have been on both sides of this experience. I often sing about my own inner world, but with this song I wanted to capture how hard it is to fear for someone else’s inner world: how hard it is to support someone when you can’t find them in the dark. The supporters need support too, and their voices are often unsung in our culture.
Do you write songs as a form of therapy?
Definitely. I like to take my personal experiences and create something that others will resonate with. I think it’s what I’m here for.
How would you describe your music in five words?
Healing, clear, truthful, vulnerable, poignant.
Which artists do you admire?
I admire all the artists from all disciplines who are still creating in these times, giving us much needed soul food for the times ahead. Long-time favourites of mine, artist who feel like pulling a warm blanket around my shoulders, are Alexi Murdoch, Blake Mills, Bon Iver, Willy Mason, Neil Young, Eleanor Brown, Joni Mitchell, London Grammar and Iron and Wine.
What would be your dream collaboration?
It’d be cool to write songs with Justin Vernon. However, at the risk of sounding corny, I’ve got my people around me and am right where I want to be.
Tell us about your forthcoming EP ‘Wave upon Wave’?
It’s a collection of songs all about the power of the sea. I am a complete water baby. The sea is my source of inspiration, healing and freezing cold, endorphin-boosting zingy winter swims. I’m working with my good friend Luke Evans, who is a beautiful producer & a true cinematic soundscape artist. The songs surf the waves of grief and joy with honest lyrics, heavenly sounds and luscious swells. I’m really happy with it. The songs are finished and I’ll have a release date soon once a few other things are finalised.
Are you working on an album?
I’ve just had funding from Help Musicians to record my first album, which I am so grateful for. In the winter of 2018 I hid away in a cabin and poured my heart out into songs that processed the loss of my beautiful Dad, who took his own life in 2017. I’m taking big the step to record these. I know it will be a sad, cathartic and very healing experience for me. There is something locked in those songs, from that time, and I am just about ready to go back to them and capture it. I’ve got the right people around me and it feels safe and necessary to go there.
Who are the best artists you have played with so far?
Playing with people I know, trust and understand is an excellent experience. I’m really lucky to work and collaborate with brilliant friends and even my partner, who is a bassist and a drummer.
How are you coping with no shows during lockdown?
I miss them terribly. I miss connecting to people onstage, and I deeply yearn to lose myself under an artist’s musical spell for an evening. But I also trust that when it’s safe to do so again, the return to live music will be magnificent. The pause in the live music scene has seen the industry begin to reassess things like streaming, and the conversation has opened up more about mental health and sustainability as an artist. This has been a long time coming. It’s my hope that this reflection time will allow us to return once again, bolder and brighter than ever.