(Editor's Notes — James Froese, who performs under the name Hello London, has just released a new EP titled 'Patterns.' It's on the streams and you can hear it HERE. We caught up with James recently to discuss his new work. Read our story below.)
1120 PRESS: Congratulations on the New EP ‘Patterns’! How does it feel now that it’s out there and what can you tell us about it? One of the songs on here is the excellent single, ‘Breathing In’ which was released in June, but what else is there to know?
HELLO LONDON: Thank you. I'm excited to have it out there for people to hear. I really liked working on these songs. 'Breathing In' was a little heavier than most of the songs I've done as Hello London, to match with the lyrical themes and fit the mood I was in at that time in my life. I feel that the other three songs here are more like what I've been doing. I also recorded an acoustic version of the EP and included it in the release.
1120: What, if any, themes are you exploring on this EP and why did you settle on the title ‘Patterns’ — is there a particular meaning in that word for you as it pertains the music on this new EP?
HL: I chose 'Patterns' as the title track because I liked the lyrical theme of patterns, cycles, and history repeating. It is also a nod to the patterns that we find in music and everyday life. The opening track 'Garden' makes references to climate change and changes in society that we are seeing today. 'Breathing In' was written in response to the recent ongoing pandemic and the continued economic shift we have seen in this country. Right after it was released, the northeast was covered in smoke and dust from the Ontario wildfires, which I thought was very ironic considering the song talks about breathing in dust. That concept came to me from hearing about how some factories used to have a layer of smog in the air so that you couldn't see fifty feet in front of you. "Part of Me' deals with self-discovery and relationship themes. It's a song about becoming a better person. It ties the social narrative into personal life and there is an element of escapism in the song.
1120: All artists create at their own pace, in their way, and have their own approach. If we’re not mistaken, (and if we are correct us), you’ve now put out — including ‘Patterns’ — three EPs and one full album since June 2021. That’s a pretty good clip; to us it seems prolific. What drives that sort of output? Are you writing all the time?
HL: I want to be the best songwriter and musician I can be and I believe that repetition is how you get better at doing things. I also see a lot of great songwriters that seem to be writing constantly and putting out a lot of music. There was a period of almost ten years where I didn't really play music much at all and during that time I realized that this is something I can do and something I like doing, so I think I've been trying to make up for some lost time. Recording at home has made this process a lot faster and that's something I strive to get better at. I don't write all the time, but I'm usually working on a song and I just write and record them one at a time for the most part.
1120: You had mentioned in teasing the EP release that you had been considering during its recording the “disconnect” between your live performances and your recorded music for release. What did you mean by that and did you attempt to remedy that on this EP?
HL: I've been recording songs with drums, bass and playing as a "full band" and I've been playing live solo acoustic. There is a big difference between those two so I tried to bridge the gap a little by including a stripped down acoustic version of the EP as a better representation of what it will be like live.
1120: So now the EP’s out — what’s next on the horizon for you?
HL: I'm gonna continue playing out as shows pop up and just keep writing and recording the next batch of songs, hopefully getting better at it as I go. I'm working on a new song right now that I'm pretty excited about.
1120: Thank you for taking the time to speak with us. Is there anything you’d like to add that we haven’t asked?
HL: Just a thank you to Doug White and Ryan Markiewicz for their work helping mix some of the songs on 'Patterns', and a thank you to my wife Joanna for her photography. And thanks to 1120 for the continued support.