Ivy Blue is an alternative rock artist from Te Aroha, New Zealand who sings, plays guitar, and uses a loop pedal (in a similar style to Ed Sheeran). He has released 5 studio albums and 1 Studio EP (with help from a full band).
Ivy Blue’s music has been critically acclaimed around the world and his live shows are nothing short of spectacular pairing unique visual experiences with a back-catalogue armed with hits such as Forever December, Kerianne, Strangers In The Night, Sister Mercy, Resist, Ballad Of Lover’s Flight, and many more. From Ivy Blue’s beginnings in REVEAL to the hits of ILLUSIONS and 19, right through to more recent material such as Present Shapes; what you see is what you get with Ivy Blue. Amazing music that continues to push barriers of what alterantive rock can be. Whether he’s playing a sold-out show at Germany’s Stoketoberfest for 3,000 people, playing for crowds at Claudelands Arena for the Waikato Show Festival or playing in Valhalla for 100 people; Ivy Blue brings his A-Game to the show every time.
Ivy Blue has just completed a European tour in support of his 5th album Present Shapes and is set to go on the Grand Circles Tour in 2018 behind his upcoming 7th album 21. 21 will be available for purchase on all major digital stores and streaming platforms on November 30th 2017.
Check out this great interview we had with Ivy about his new single.
Why did you select this song as your current single?
There are actually two “first singles” out with 21. The single that I’ve chosen to share with you is called Red Hill Town. I selected it because it’s a love song to both the town I grew up in and the school where I spent much of my younger years growing up and learning many of my life lessons. Releasing Red Hill Town as a single seems to me as a very fitting companion to go with The Blackouts and I’m happy with both songs being the first singles as they give an insight as to what the album’s about and what to expect.
How does this single relate to the rest of the Album, EP or Mix-tape?
It relates because it’s a summary of the things I’m talking about in the album. 21 is about my days at Elstow-Waihou Combined School as a student being inspired (and slightly crazy/nuts). It talks about all the first experiences you have in life from age 5-13 years of age (things like first love, first goodbyes, first anxiety attacks, first promises you make to people, first regrets, and so on) as well as a reflection of your friend’s dreams of the time and still believing they can get there even after almost a decade of time has passed and Red Hill Town is a beautiful testament to what the album is about and it gives an amazing summary as to what the album talks about.
What was the writing process for the song?
It was very easy actually. The song came about with me just jamming in the studio and then the other musicians I play with in the studio joined in and we had the song written in 20 minutes ready to play live for the record and for me to write lyrics to. All up once all was said and done it only took a couple of hours. Which is amazing and it just goes to show what can happen when you have a spark in the studio. Originally the album was going to open with Murmur (Track 3 on 21) but this felt like more of the launchpad that the stories of this album needed.
What does this song’s lyric mean to you?
This song’s lyric is so meaningful in so many ways that it’s hard to pull one specific bit out to examine. But in this case I’m going to give you the following lines from the Chorus: “This place needs my heart to start again. Sometimes to go forward you’ve got to go back”. I’m a man and musician who likes to look forward a lot of the time so I don’t really go back much. But as I’ve been informed it’s always OK to go forward, but if you don’t go back to where you came from every once in a while, you end up never leaving that place to start with. It’s a bit of a rant here but make of all this what you will.
What would it be like to see you in person performing this song?
When I perform it live on tour next year I’m looking forward to opening the shows with this song, making it a little bit more upbeat, injecting life into the party, and getting the night off to an amazing start. There is a record number of songs from any new album on the list for this tour (and in comparison the last album Present Shapes and it’s preceding EP Heart+Mind will not feature heavily in this show if at all) and by weeding out the not-so-good songs from those releases I feel like there’s more room for songs like Red Hill Town (Track 1), When We Were Young (Track 5), I Promise (Track 7), and possibly a couple of other songs from this album as well as a spotlight on other material from the older albums that have been neglected the last couple of years to shine. I’m really excited to go play and singing these songs in America for the first time next September will be a real treat for me and those who come to the shows.
Could your fans summarize who you are as an artist by this song?
I think it summarizes me as an artist now but I don’t think it defines everything I’ve done. If anything, it shows how broad my musical scope is because if you listen to Present Shapes and then listen to Red Hill Town or 21 and there’s very little resemblance between each other and all my albums are a bit different from the other and a bit more experimental at times. It’s just who I am and I make music for the enjoyment of the moment. So getting back to your question- I don’t think that Red Hill Town defines me as an artist with everything put together but it definitely sums up where my mind is at in this point of time.
Is there a video planned and or completed and if so, what was the idea behind the video?
A video is planned. Still working out the exacts. It won’t be like what happened for Present Shapes (which we spoke with you about as A Picture Of The World came out) where it gets a more art-y video. It will be a proper video and I would want to feature as much of Te Aroha and Elstow as possible- but once the exacts are sorted out I’ll know more.
One last question, what is your motivation behind your music?
The inspiration for the songs that I write and the music that I make are very open-ended and they run of whatever the feeling is at that time (as I explained to you last time). The interesting thing about this album is that for the first time I really give myself proper permission to look back on things and really go into the details about those memories to create an album that I’m proud of. I hope others will be proud too.
THE GRAND CIRCLES WORLD TOUR 2018 DATES ANNOUNCED (SO FAR): Lloret De Mar, SPAIN: Tuesday July 10th 2018
Costa Brava Folk Festival Lloret De Mar, SPAIN: Thursday July 12th 2018
Costa Brava Folk Festival Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA: Friday September 21st 2018
The Slaughterhouse More dates to be announced for Europe, the Untied Kingdom, North America, and The Pacific soon. Please stay tuned to the Ivy Blue website, Facebook, and Twitter for more details.