Multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and producer Liv’s Bandana currently resides in Birmingham and Norwich, UK. Through his dreamy space escapades, Liv’s Bandana is interested in understanding individuals as a product of the culture and society they inhabit by exploring themes such as mental health, insecurity, and spirituality. Confronting this openly and honestly, he feels that this is the only way we can transcend our current condition and achieve real change.
Being his first solo project, after being involved with a couple of bands and doing various bits of session work Liv’s Bandana is all about bright, sparkly synths and confessional, frank lyricism – embracing silly pop music while committing himself to self-reflection and spiritual growth.
Rhythmic percussion with layers of airy synths forms the ethereal soundscape of Liv’s Bandana’s latest single “A New Path.” Embodying a nostalgic essence to the modern-day reflections shed, the elements that fuse together transport you to a starry-eyed realm of the unknown. Liv’s Bandana’s subtlety in the vocals takes on the nature of auto-tune as the texture that flows from the intriguing tenors conveyed have you gravitating towards the allure solidified in the framework.
Capturing the true spirit of dream-pop in the enigmatic bliss that weaves itself throughout this track, the intimate sonic exploration contained in “A New Path,” truly paints the final destination. The transparency beaming from the opulence of each brightly executed chord has us falling into the indelible melodies at hand. Notably progressing with various sounds that spic up the composition, you can hear the influences pulled from the reminiscent eras in order to portray this innovative twist on a lane Liv’s Bandana call his own.
“A New Path,” allows a sense of comfort and hopefulness to come over you as you ruminate the upheavals that life can throw your way and redirect that energy into a better tomorrow. Liv’s Bandana is that retro fueled light that kindles the flame in each and every one of us.
Hello Liv's Bandana, welcome to BuzzMusic, and congratulations on the release of “A New Path,” the fourth song featured on your EP ‘Train Music’. What draws in your love for this song in particular?
Thanks! I think it hits quite an interesting angle, somewhere between really emotional and really indifferent. It’s essentially a deconstruction of the modern breakup song, so there’s a shitty R&B beat, autotuned vocals, and it dwells in the heartache to a sort of ridiculous degree. But I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t deeply personal, too. The lyrics are horrendously bleak, and that’s primarily because I was feeling fucking awful when I wrote it! But I know how it’s coming across. This is the dualism that I’ve explored with this song – on the one hand, this sense of complete impersonality, of this experience, has happened to absolutely everyone, and on the other, this feeling that you’re the only one who this experience has ever happened to. I think A New Path captures this contradiction pretty nicely.
What does “A New Path” mean to you as the artist and creator of this masterpiece?
I called it A New Path because of the fundamental shift in perspective that occurred in me during the breakup. As long as I was in the relationship, everything was filtered through this ‘me and my partner’ lens, and my individual identity was completely consumed by it. I also realized the function that the relationship had been performing in my life – a 24/7 source of validation that meant I never had to worry about whether or not I was attractive, funny, kind, interesting, or whatever. So as soon as the relationship was over, all of these insecurities came rushing back. I’d learned that the way I was living was unsustainable, so the idea of embarking on a new path, a new direction, a new way of orienting my life, really resonated with me. The song documents this sort of realization, the admission that I needed to re-evaluate things. And confronting that was painful.
Could you please take us into the overall concept of the EP ‘Train Music?' Is there a method of madness to the order of the tracklist?
Of course. The EP itself is tied together very loosely by themes of mental health, identity, ego, spirituality, and self-reflection… it’s more of a feeling than a common narrative or conceptual framework. I’m always gonna associate it with the immediate aftermath of the breakup, my frenzied attempts to recover from it, and the gradual learning that it is only through accepting what has happened that this recovery will occur. I’m not there yet on the EP, by any stretch. But I think that’s OK. The title occurred to me because of the incredible feeling of detachment I get on long train journeys. Suddenly I’m just another stranger, and my problems aren’t nearly as big as I thought they were. I could be absolutely anybody, and so could anybody else. Having access to this feeling brought me a great sense of comfort at a time when I felt perennially on edge. Now that it’s out, it’s been quite a while since the breakup, and I’m moving on from this period of my life. It had to happen the way it did for me to feel more accepting of it now. When I listen to these songs, I feel quite peaceful and self-forgiving. In terms of the sequencing, I knew I wanted to open with November and close with A New Path from the moment I wrote them. November is basically a silly pop song, all jangly bells, and sparkly synths, so it felt like a nice way to introduce the project. A New Path has this really dramatic outro, so it felt like an interesting, ambiguous way to draw things to a close. I put The Ballad of Beckenham Hill second and Sisyphean Dreams third for pacing reasons, mostly.
Do you find that the music you currently have released is a representation of where you’re headed in your artistic career?
I think different aspects of my current sound will stick around longer than others. I like the way that my writing explores personal experiences and relates them to the culture that produces (and is produced by) them. I like all the embellishments and quirks in my arrangements, too. These range from incremental textural changes to tiny rhythmic things that you probably only notice on relistening. The drums on The Ballad of Beckenham Hill are a good example – there are loads of small details that draw you in. I’m always trying to find new ways to make my compositions more engaging. In terms of the overall sound, I think I’m in the right ballpark, but ask me in a week and I’ll say something completely different! I know I wanna venture into a more groove-based sound, low-key dance music that sort of floats around without knocking you over. I like the way I’m currently incorporating jazz and soul into my sound, but I definitely want to go further. I’m also getting more into sampling, which is loads of fun. If I’m honest, I don’t think I could commit myself to one particular route because the music I’m listening to is changing all the time, and because my influences are all over the place. The two tracks I’ve been working on most recently are this rubbery, woozy slow jam, and this deep house thing that samples some music from a Japanese surrealist film. I also know that my core approaches to songwriting are essentially the same as they have been for the last 5 or 6 years, but that my approaches to production have changed completely in a matter of months. So really, I’ve got no idea how it’ll all play out.