Imagine a conversation with yourself in the mirror, drunk, when you’re on holiday. I’ve done it, in fact, I don’t have to be on holiday, or drunk to do it.
It is the concept for the EP ‘Holiday’ by Liverpool based singer Emilio Pinchi. An Ep full of self-reflection when surrounded by the mundane, sweetly sprinkled with wit and optimism.
Some artist try to sing about the mundane, the traps, the struggles, and some fail but Emilio succeeds, capturing the everyday scene with a detailed perception and dangerous accuracy. The grit and grime of the world is delivered with a calming, controlled voice that adds a delightful depth and weight to the words.
The Ep theme flows well with ‘Holiday’; that moment in the mirror, questioning the fact you can’t always live your life like you’re on holiday.
Followed up by ‘Coffee’ – that period after your holiday when you, unfortunately, become entwined and absorbed back in the routine, when the holiday feels a lifetime away. It is the exact moment when self-reflection knocks at your door for a chat, to ask, are you ok with this, can you change it, and how can you make yourself happier?
‘This Machine’ questions the motive of others, in and around us and globally; the rich making themselves richer at the cost of others. Questioning the ethics of those with unlimited funds and limited brains.
‘White Wine Water Bottle’ is a reflection on the good times and pondering, will they come again? Or wish you could relive them all again.
Emilio has grabbed the attention of the Liverpool music scene. Quietly causing a stir, with a buzz of excitement. Playing many shows and receiving many plaudits and air time from local and national radio Emilio has toured the UK and recently Europe, before landing back in Liverpool for the Ep launch.
I interviewed the man himself about the early Emilio, inspiration and the theme of self-reflection.
When you arrived in the city, what was your first impression of the music scene?
I remember not particularly knowing where to start in getting to know people. But mostly being excited/optimistic about having it all ahead and getting to discover it.
Did you frequent the venues around the city centre?
I did, some are still there, and some aren’t.
Do you recall any stand out gigs?
When I first moved, there was a gig put on by some of the bands at my uni. That was my first introduction to the Kazimier and it was also probably the first gig I saw when I moved to Liverpool, being within my first week in the city. I don’t especially remember it but, I remember that feeling of excitement, I guess about being involved.
What was the turning point for you, the inspiration, to go from fan of music, to becoming a recording artists?
I don’t think there was a turning point as such, I’ve always written songs and made art since I was kid. I was probably around 15 when I first started experimenting with recording my music and not much has really changed – it’s mostly just out of curiosity to have something to listen back to. Probably 90% percent of the stuff I’ve recorded over the years never goes further than my phone or my laptop.
Who inspired you lyrically?
I’m probably most inspired by some of the singer-songwriters who were around in the mid-2000s, people like Emmy The Great and Kate Nash. I like how they tell stories and they’re just pretty direct more than anything. Same thing with Courtney Barnett, being rooted a lot in the everyday. I also like Pavement because there’s a sense of humour in there.
The subject matter you write about is very much the everyday, the mundane. Self-depreciating but with a sense of wit and optimism, gallows humour as such. Is this a true reflection and have you felt inspired by bands that write such observations?
I think it can be easy to be pessimistic about everyday life, particularly when you seem to be caught in a never-ending cycle of it. But humour honestly helps so much. If you can carve some real estate out for yourself in the middle of it all and move at your own pace, suddenly the everyday and the mundane start to look a little silly. I’ve definitely felt inspired by bands that share that sentiment.
The optimism can feel more uplifting when sat amongst the mundane, does this optimism come out naturally when writing songs, or is a way of fighting back against the everyday?
I think it’s always there and I’m always trying to steer towards it subconsciously. Why would I write a song just to point out everything that is **** . I think you have to have hope or an idea to move forward, or something. Otherwise it’s just whingeing.
The songs on the Ep are about real things, people and experiences. What is your process? Do you feel a need to constantly jot down observations, or is it more mechanical, whereby it’s time to write a song and observe over a period of time?
I always think of it like harvesting olives or grapes or something, you need the right conditions or nothing good will grow. Then you just sit back. 99% of the year you do nothing, and then 1% you get to work harvesting. I have no idea if that’s how you make olive oil or wine, but it’s sort of how I make songs. Anything interesting enough to talk about will come back to me when I get to work writing.
Do you find the writing process a time to reflect?
Generally not the writing process, more the next few months when I live with the songs. I write stuff sometimes that seems fairly obviously about one specific thing, and then six months later it seems like it’s about something different altogether. I did that with Holiday, the title track actually. I wrote it just after my 24th Birthday along with three other songs in about 20 minutes, and they were all kind of a nostalgic reflection or something equally vague. Between then and now it sort of evolved its meaning entirely, and I don’t believe I changed more than three words in the whole song.
Playing live, what venues have been your favourite in the city and do you have any aspirations to play in any venue in Liverpool?
The Kazimier was probably my favourite to play. Constellations and District have been great to play, and I had a really fun gig in the Nordic Church once. Until recently, 81 Renshaw was pretty much the only place I really wanted to play that I hadn’t, so we were super lucky to get to do the launch show there!
The recent European Tour, how did you find playing live to a new audience? And did it build up nicely for the Ep launch at 81 Renshaw?
I loved it. It gave me a little bit of new perspective and also rekindled my love for playing live. It was just really cool to play for an hour every night and figure out what worked well and what didn’t, and see how the set gradually evolved over the tour. The launch show was the perfect culmination for me. It was so nice to get back to Liverpool and see people and get to finish the tour there.
What next for Emilio Pinchi?
I’m starting work on some new stuff in a couple of weeks, so stay tuned!
On the Streets I Ran, please name three Liverpool Streets that mean the most to you and why?
1) Jamaica St and the surrounding area. Just seeing how it’s evolved over the last six years I guess.
2) Pilgrim St because some of my favourite memories happened on that street – including most of ‘White Wine Water Bottle’ from the EP.
3) Bold St because it never really changes despite everything always changing.
Emilio Pinchi Ep ‘ Holiday’ is out now.