7 September 2023


It’s no great secret that I seem to have some sort of obsession with the seasons – or rather, their transience. I have a number of songs that fixate on the spinning cycles that map out our year, always present, always passing, each one bringing closure and a new start under different coloured skies. Perhaps it’s because there’s an inevitability and a structure attached to seasons that I feel as though I’m lacking in other areas of my life. No matter the darkness of the Winter, you can always count on Spring arriving in a sudden surge of green (even if it isn’t always as quickly as you’d like), just as you can step outside one night in early September and smell the air changing and know the leaves are about to start dropping, as they always do.

It was only last week that I went for an evening walk with my dad and felt that shift in the atmosphere. There was a renewed freshness in the air that has been missing over the Summer, despite it being a rather wet one on the whole. Over the past few weeks, the fields have been stripped of their golden glory, one by one, and now lie littered with hay bales that glow in the late evening sun – monuments for a Summer gone to seed. Then came the parting blow, as last weekend I saw hundreds of geese flying over the motorway in numerous noisy skeins, slipstreaming their way across land and ocean to different climes. I always find witnessing this migration a little bit emotional, partly because it means the Summer is over, partly because it’s always sad to watch things leave but perhaps also because I’m a bit envious of their ability to just up and go. One morning they wake up and something deep in their gut tells them that it’s the time to move on… so off they fly and no one can stop them. We all get that feeling sometimes I think, and perhaps even more so around the changing of the seasons – something nagging at us to move on, or an urge for something new and different. But unlike geese, the majority of us remain too tethered to present circumstance to leave whenever the wind changes, so we remain, hanging on and doing whatever it takes to weather the Winter. Still, it brings me some comfort to know that for every sad soul in the UK watching the geese fly overhead, there are faces somewhere far away from here, staring up at the sky, waiting for their safe return. And so the cycle continues.

But what a Summer it’s been! Whilst I love the writing and recording and plotting and planning in pubs side of being a musician, surely there is no greater joy than heading out on the road during the warmer months and spending your weekends in music-filled fields up and down the country. I do not take these moments for granted. Each festival brings with it annual embraces and long-overdue catchups with old friends backstage, that quickly turn into bad jokes, old stories and slurred secrets spilt out over sticky wooden tables and campfires whilst dawn blushes in the distance. Then there’s the new faces – the unfamiliar hands being shaken at merch tables and the names and numbers being traded over warm beers. I feel so fortunate to have sung for so many people this Summer and it is always such a pleasure to talk to people after the show, or to bump into folks in the crowds later on in the evening when we’ve all loosened up a little. There’s a rush that comes with festival performances that differs from those in venues and on tours. Perhaps its the short, shaky line-checks, or the particular blend of organised chaos that so often inhabits the marquees of the backstage areas. Maybe its the lack of a captive audience and the not knowing whether people will have chosen to come to your stage, or the fact that the weather could put a dampener on it all. Whatever it is, I get a buzz that sees me through the long drives and late nights and keeps me warm throughout the season.

But after the high there must come a fall. I performed at my last festival this weekend, and all this week I’ve been feeling a bit blue. The summer can’t last forever, and whilst I’m excited for the adventures that the next few months will no doubt be serving up, it’s hard not to mourn the passing of another festival season. Being a musician can feel like quite a lonely and isolating existence sometimes. Whilst I’d love to say its a non-stop rock & roll blur of new faces and different towns and long parties, the majority of my job seems to be sitting alone at a computer doing admin or working out what the hell happens next. But at festivals I am reminded that I am not just a single entity, but a part of a much bigger whole that is alive, kicking and flourishing. It’s always incredibly invigorating to hang out with other musicians and people in the industry at festivals, and to share our mutual experiences and feelings about this ridiculous path that we’ve chosen for ourselves. As someone who so often writes and performs solo, it’s truly empowering and something that I really miss when the festival season comes to an end.

But the beauty of season is that they always come around again, and each season has its value. Whilst Summer is for decadent abundance, Autumn is for the decay that leads to new growth. For now, the air has changed, the geese are flying and I am hunkering back down into my own never-ending cycle of writing, recording, planning, releasing, rinsing, repeating. I am so pleased to have captured so many warm memories this Summer, and I’ll be tucking those away for the rainy days ahead. In a week’s time I’ll be moving house and building a new nest ready for another season – one that is set to bring about lots of shifts both in my personal life and in my career. So whilst evolution has not yet bestowed upon me the ability to stretch out my arms and take flight with the birds, I am still answering the call for change and preparing myself for a new chapter – and it’s one I can’t wait to share with you all.

Click here to listen to my song ‘The Summer Has Flown’