Sylver Tongue

M Caught up with the enigmatic Sylver Tongue, whose song Hook You Up has been creating a buzz.

Anita Awbi
  • By Anita Awbi
  • 8 May 2012
  • min read
M Caught up with the enigmatic Sylver Tongue, whose song Hook You Up has been creating a buzz.

It is said that the mysterious Sylver Tongue was 'Born from the Kandinsky-addled mind of a Purple Rain obsessed girl.Inspired by 70s sci-fi movies, psychedelic pop and the prowling grooves of Grace Jones and her Warm Leatherette, Sylver's songs were hammered out on an old battered Juno and a shiny metal computer from the comfort of her underground cave.'

These songs found their way to producer James Rutledge (Post War Years/Everything Everything/Fever Ray) who developed them with Sylver Tongue into space-torch songs and disco power-ballads.

Sylver Tongue will play a show at White Heat at Madame JoJo's in London on 21 February.

Q and A
What music were you listening to when you were writing Hook You Up?

The primary influence for Hook You Up was Prince. I got quite obsessed with Parade in particular. Incredible and interesting pop music.

What were the lyrics to Hook You Up inspired by?
Meeting someone new when you're still heartbroken and haunted. I wanted it to be sexy but wounded.

Which person, song or artist inspired you to become an artist yourself?
Annie Lennox and Kate Bush.

You're a multi-instrumentalist, do you use a particular instrument to help you write melodies?
Piano or guitar. Whatever works.

Is the sound of Hook You Up representative of your current 'sound'?
They are all as melodically driven and emotive as Hook You Up. Some songs are more Talking Heads and Grace Jones inspired. Others you can strip off and dance to.

Are you a collector of anything and if so, does that inspire your creativity?

I'm a huge science fiction fan and have all of Philip K Dick's books which greatly inspire me. The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch in particular sparked off a ton of lyrical ideas when I was writing my record.

How do you write your songs, do you get a feel from a track or do the lyrics and melody come first?
I always write the melody first and then drag out the lyrics after. Sometimes you have a phrase that pops into your head when you first demo and you can't shake it off. Hook You Up was like that.

Do you have any rituals or habits to get yourself into the right frame of mind to write songs?
Extreme procrastination. A thoroughly clean house and preferably isolation! A deadline is helpful, otherwise I dance around for days.

How did your collaboration with James Rutledge come about and how did you work together?
We met through mutual friends and I played him my demos which he loved. We live very close to each other so it was easy to get into a very creative zone with James quite quickly. I would write and record at home and then pop over to his and work with him in his home studio. I'm very lucky I found him.

Can you give us a preview of who you are collaborating with on your music?

Well, so far it's been James and I...

How do you think you'd like to present your songs to a live audience, will it differ from your recordings?
I have a pretty amazing band and I'm keen to make it as live, loud and heavy as it can possibly be. I can't wait to start touring.

Watch the video to Hook You Up Below.