Last month the debut album “Blue” of Molyneaux was released on Soundcloud. But Aaron Molyneaux has been recording music for a few years now. So it was about time to get to some more background on the guy! He told us about the process of music making, his inspirations and his development as a musician.
The young Englishman Aaron Molyneaux writes and produces beautiful melancholic pop songs. He sings and plays all the instruments himself. Basically it’s just him in his basement studio. He started making music after taking a course in school, to do with using computers for recording music. From then on he practiced recording drums, then bass over it, then guitar. Only the last two or three years he added his vocals. When he’s working on a song, it’s like a form of therapy for him, until the song is done, he tells us.
“I’m a bit like a mad scientist really. And once the songs are finally released it’s a big relief honestly. Their creation is like a form of therapy for me.”
Molyneaux takes inspiration from a lot of separate things. Not only music, but movies and TV series as well. “I like things with a lot of texture and depth”, he adds. When you listen to his songs, you can hear a lot of 80s influences. And he admits that he doesn’t listen to a lot of ‘current’ music. “I do prefer a lot of older stuff like Peter Gabriel’s “So” or Roxy Music’s “Avalon“. But I am also the biggest Coldplay fan around.”
Molyneaux also records under the name of Sunrise Device, his alias that got us hooked with just one song: “Shallow”, which was among Indie Pop-Ups’ favourites of 2014. Aaron thinks of the Molyneaux project as a continuation of Sunrise Device. “I wanted to be more honest with lyrics with Molyneaux. And the Sunrise Device project also has a lot of 80s synths which I didn’t want to be tied down to”, he explains the difference. If you listen to his back catalogue, you can indeed hear him slowly drifting away from the synthpop sound in favour of a more spacious production with more room for imagination and reflection.
Besides being a musician, he also directs his own videos. He always had a love for filming things. He even went to film school, but dropped out. “I think it’s strange to let someone else choose a vision for you. Because if I created this thing, it’s contents and the atmosphere around it, then why shouldn’t I see it through to completion visually?”, he explains to us. And we completely agree, because now his videos visualize his lyrics and moods, and vice versa the songs are the perfect soundtrack to his short movies.
As mentioned in the introduction, last month his debut album “Blue” was released. It contains both previously released singles and new songs.
The title already suggests it’s sound: blue, sad, melancholic. And you’re immediately drawn in by the ambient intro “Rising”. His songs are direct, melancholic and sometimes even haunting. They contain personal and honest lyrics, about longing & (unrequited) love and desperation & (unfulfilled) desire.
A perfect example is our favourite Molyneaux song “Alright”. It is a heartbreaking story about longing for love. His voice is only supported by a synthesizer melody and a bass drum. The music video is brilliant in its simplicity: Molyneaux just looks into the camera and sings. Poignant and special. The third song “Ghost Roads” continues the quest for love with the lyrics “I’m here. I want you, to want me”. The duet “Desire” featuring Cholly is a haunting song with a repetitive chanting of ‘Desire’ throughout the song. You can clearly hear Peter Gabriel’s influence.
A lighter song (at least in sound) is “One More Night”. The title reminds us of the 80s Phil Collins classic pop ballad. It is not the same song, but Molyneaux makes his one just as sentimental, backed with an effective 80s sounding instrumental track. The music video in sepia is simple yet elegant with Molyneaux desperately speaking the words on the phone. With “Numb” and “Shallow” the tempo moves up again. “Shallow” gets the Molyneaux treatment, making it suitable for the album. Personally we will always like the Sunrise Device original better. The album closes with “The Waters”, another 80s influenced song, a slightly uplifting song about a possible reconciliation with being alone.
The album as a whole is a perfect soundtrack for dwelling on an unrequited or lost love. Although it can be overwhelming in one go. But it is also an album to listen to for hope and piece of mind. Through Molyneaux’s accessible yet elevating lyrics you get reassurance that these feelings are universal, and are a part of life. He has the talent to put your feelings to words and music. Ultimately you realize that the hardship of dealing with desire and despair will lead to personal growth and is something to embrace and treasure.
The “Blue” album is only available to stream on Soundcloud. You can buy his “Desire” EP (containing four songs of the album) on iTunes or stream it at Spotify. For more information: Website | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Instagram | Soundcloud | Bandcamp