Hove singer songwriter rises to his single-a-week challenge

Hove-based singer songwriter Charles Eyrie has embarked on a year-long project which will see him release a new single every week in 2021.

Charles Eyrie
Charles Eyrie

“I habitually write a lot of music. Last year I released two albums to follow on from the one that I did at the end of 2019. And so I just thought I would challenge myself a little – not only to create a single a week for a year, but also to keep the quality going.

“It would be easy enough to do a song a week, but I wanted to produce something that I would be proud of at the end.

Sign up to our daily SussexWorld Today newsletter

“I usually start about ten different ideas in any given week and then it ends up with about three songs and I will then generally pick the best song. I am looking for listenability in terms of the hook that will draw people in, but I am also looking for something that fits in within the singles that I have released so far so that there is like a progression. I don’t want it to be too abrupt going from one single to the next.

“I would certainly consider putting them all together at the end as a 52-song album. The old limitations about length of album don’t apply anymore!

“I would say that the heart of the music is generally indie folk. That’s what I started on with the first album. It is emotionally-centred taking an abstract take on lyrics, but genre-wise I like to hop around and play with different instruments and use them like you would use colours in a painting. My main thing is the guitar, but I also use keyboards – and the melodica which is like a tiny keyboard with a pipe that comes out of it. It sounds like a toy instrument. I like to take stuff that sounds broken or cheap and try to fit that into the production.

“My fiancée Kylie does some of the backing vocals. I play all the instruments and the vast majority of the vocals are me and I produce and master it.”

Inevitably, the pandemic is the background lyrically: “I don’t see how anybody could write anything at the moment and it not lean on subjects like isolation and so on. But the lyrics are usually quite introspective. I have had my own personal mental-health troubles, and that tends to be the emotional core.”

Music is a great way to address them: “Growing up, I played a lot of music but I fell out of it at the same time as I started having mental-health troubles which were getting worse and worse. I tried various things like diet and exercise, but I think music is the real curative thing if ever I am in a dark place. It tends to take my mind off so that the things that might trip you up don’t talk to you. Not that I am hearing voices! I don’t mean that!”

Charles Eyrie is the artist name for Tom Mattinson.

“When I was ready to start putting music out, I just didn’t like how my name sounded, to be honest. I thought I would be better with a pseudonym. Tom Mattinson had all the implications of my life up until then, and I wanted something that was a fresh start for my music. I wanted my music to be on its own.

“Charles is my middle name and then I just wrote out hundreds of words as possible surnames and just tried to pick the one that rolled off the tongue best. I chose it in late 2019, a month before I put out my first album.

“Maybe if I wanted to do something really different in a different direction, I could come back to my real name, but for the moment I am happy with what I have chosen as my artist pseudonym.”