“TMR talks to indie pop singer-songwriter Fergus.
With his Three Of Swords EP having dropped recently, the unique indie pop Fergus produces is finally getting the attention it has deserved for a long time. His soaring vocal takes centre stage, but subtle textures and perfectly balanced musical layers create an overall listening experience that is quite something to behold. We recently featured ‘Not Enough’ as a List Pick thanks to its building intensity and masterclass of catchy melodies, but the rest of Three Of Swords brings a similarly mature songwriting to the table.
We chatted about a range of topics, from songwriting development to some other exciting up and coming music.
TMR: Three Of Swords is your second EP. How do you think your compositional style has developed between releases?
I think the songs are getting more complex – some of the guitar parts are definitely harder at least! I’m thinking about the choruses and production much more – I want the songs to build and build. I’m less afraid now of doing something weird structurally than I was before and just going with it and trusting what sounds good to me.
TMR: Has your lyrical focus shifted too?
I think it’s constantly shifting yet always the same somehow haha – the songs have always come from inside. So, whatever I’m trying to process or understand is generally what I’m going to write about. Doesn’t mean they’re always gonna be specifically about things going on in my life, but the whole story of this EP does come from my summer last year and its aftermath… The various stages of moving on and getting over something.
TMR: The upcoming EP is organised based on “six tracks split into two individual halves; a dreamy track, an acoustic track and an electronic banger”. What made you decide to take this interesting approach?
Honestly it just kinda happened – I realised the pattern was there after I’d decided the track order. I thought it was important to have a breather after ‘Turn Gold’ because it’s pretty hectic. And I loved having the juxtaposition of ‘Too Much’ and ‘Not Enough’. I knew ‘Zelda Mae’ had to be the first single and ‘Not Enough’ had to be the last. I really wanted to tell a story with ‘Three of Swords’ and everything just slotted into place. ‘Hoping, Keeping’ is a kinda toxic dream from which I wake up in ‘Zelda Mae’, ‘Submarines’ is a brief flashback. I always (at least so far!) try to keep an eye on the structure and flow of a release and I think, subconsciously, that influences which songs I work on and finish for a particular project.
TMR: While your approach to writing is quite free, there is a distinct tone linking all of your releases. Have you ever considered releasing anything in a style that sounds nothing at all like your own?
I certainly have! I think most of my songs are pretty serious sounding and I definitely wanna release something someday that’s fun and more light-hearted. Maybe a side project… It’s a double-edged sword – I like that there is a style and tone emerging that is recognisable as me, but also, I don’t want to let myself get too comfortable with that and do too much of the same thing.
TMR: You mention that this EP shows your developed confidence as a songwriter. How does this manifest itself in the tracks?
I think I’m going bigger with the songs because I’m not afraid to say something ugly, unleashing my emotions rather than peering inwardly at them and using my voice more to get those emotions across. Perhaps this is more specific to the generally ragey aspect of this EP though…but being able to express that rage has definitely been part of my development.
TMR: Which track gets the biggest response at a live show?
‘Zelda Mae’ if it’s just me. ‘Not Enough’ if I’ve got my band – it gets pretty huge at the end 🙂