Words: Jeremy Gluck
Guest Writer (Director, Welsh Connections/SWND Records – Musician – Artist)
Given the self-declared propensity for “glittery goodness” of Femmebug – the alter ego of Swansea-born Caitie Inson – perhaps it’s not a coincidence that her debut EP ‘Comfortable Place’ was released on 14 February, the alter ego of Valentine’s Day.
“My future is looking pretty,” Femmebug declares in ‘Unlearn’, one of the three songs comprising ‘Comfortable Place’, revealing her metier, what might be termed “pink rock”.
Literally and figuratively a very female, affecting-but-never-affected, sincere and light touch confection of melody and attitude at altitude, even when documenting lows in high spirits.
‘Team’, ‘Unlearn’, and ‘Forevermore New’ – Femmebug’s thus far humble home recording promises meta-magic in an eventual professional studio.
An aptitude for apposite arrangement to the fore, with thought flowing into action in a relaxed, focused fashion suggesting a studious, informed approach to composition and execution.
‘Forevermore’, with its galloping beats and companionably raw guitar, is a little monster waiting to grow.
“I am stuck in this black hole tonight” ‘Team’ admits, its rife musicality supporting the sort of transparent, confessional lyrics common to this pop era but here less cloying than often the case elsewhere.
“My own new team” Femmebug sings of her transformation and hearing these three compact pop wonders seeping enormous potential, it’s one anybody would want to join.
SWND: Please define “glittery goodness” and how and why you bring it to the world.
Femmebug: The world is a dark place, and though I don’t really write particularly happy lyrics, I love the idea of singing sad lyrics against a poppy and upbeat instrumental. It’s nice to scream out your internal monologue while being covered in bright happy things – like glitter.
You record your material in your bedroom? It’s very raw and natural.
I record music in my childhood bedroom because being a student means it’s all I’ve really got at my means. It’s also a place of safety and where I wrote a lot of my songs. It feels like a haven of my creativity to me.
‘Forevermore New’: “Crucify myself for the same old shit.” Discuss.
It’s about beating yourself up for qualities in your personality you can’t shake. No matter how many times the slip-ups happen, you can’t stop beating yourself up.
Tell us about your background, influences and aspirations for your music.
My biggest influence will always be Taylor Swift, and I will go to the grave kicking and screaming about how she is a much more intelligent writer than people give her credit for – my friends are very sick of this conversation, haha.
I also grew up listening to a lot of emo music like My Chemical Romance, which is probably where a lot of my sad lyrics come from. These days I listen to a lot of dream pop and alternative music. I grew up in a house where punk music was played a lot, so that’s probably why I feel very lost singing without my electric guitar.
The sound and feel of your music is very capricious and quietly energetic. It seems like a sort of sonic journal.
It definitely is – I’m quite an intense person so I have to sit with my emotions for a while and then usually some small ideas will come to me. It also helps that I’m a pretentious loser who will jump at the chance to see my life in metaphors.
What has been the role of growing up Welsh in your development as an artist?
I go to Bristol for university and I really thought it was going to fill me with creativity, but it actually made me feel very overwhelmed. Living in Wales is calm and serene and gives me a lot of time to think. All of my friends are here and a lot of important moments in my life took place here. Sometimes just walking down a certain road or seeing a signpost for somewhere will trigger a memory and give me a song idea.
There is a prettiness to your material, of course, an icing sugar patina, but also a real grittiness and taking of risks. What inspires you? What wires you?
I’ve always loved pop music but hate the misconception that it’s always a bit brainless and dull. I listen to a lot of pop music that is actually really interesting and has a lot more to it than what people would expect. I love that it’s a genre that’s changing and can be really simplistic or really complex. I like to try and find a middle ground.
‘Comfortable Place’ is available now on SWND Records.