Track of the Week

Tay Temple – Ladybird

23rd November 2020


We’re welcoming the new week with our brand new Track of the Week from BIMM Manchester’s Tay Temple! Take a listen to their latest release “Ladybird” and discover more about the track below.

What was your inspiration when you began writing the track?

I actually got the idea for “Ladybird” right as I was about to fall asleep one night, and I saw an image of an old lady sat on a rocking chair out on her porch with the sun setting in front of her. From that image I imagined her reminiscing about her younger life as a model/actress but is now old, ‘washed up’ and alone.

The lyrics: “She used to be a beauty queen, talk of her little town” came to me immediately after fabricating this backstory, and I remember writing them down on my phone notes before falling to sleep. The next morning I woke up and built the rest of the song around this narrative of women being admired and sought after when they are young, but as soon as they reach a certain age, they are cast aside for younger models (pun intended).

Are there any artists that inspire you when writing?

Stevie Nicks and Fleetwood Mac are massive influencers on my writing, especially in my vocal melodies, but I would also say Avril Lavigne (specifically her first album Let Go) has had a large impact on my songwriting. Lyric-wise, I take so much from American artist Melanie Martinez; she writes in such a clever way that covers very controversial and real topics in an impactful but authentic way.

What is key to your sound and how do you make your music stand out?

I make music to empower people, including myself, so that is always the key goal. When I listen to a song, I want to feel I have gained something: a feeling, a message, a story, a reminder, or even just an escape. So that’s what I aim to achieve with my music.

The vocals and lyrics are the focal points of my sound, as the emotions of the songs live within them and my distinguishable tone separates them from current mainstream artists.

The electric guitar is a harmonic feature that aims to complement and harmonise with the vocals without diminishing the main acoustic guitar, creating an expressive nostalgia. Juxtaposed is the interweaving relationship between the drums and bass that solidifies the foundation of our sound.

How does your songwriting process work?

My songwriting process happens in a few different ways, but it’s always me and my acoustic guitar. Sometimes, I’ll get a theme/story idea and start with lyrics, then build chords around my vocal melodies (that’s how I wrote “Ladybird”). Other times, I’ll get a random melody in my head and I’ll record myself on my phone before I forget it and develop it from there – and it’s ALWAYS at the most inconvenient times.

The most common way I write is when I’m angry about something, either something political or personal, and I manage to push all those feelings into a song as I find this is the best outlet for me. It’s kind of my own personal therapy, but I get a song I can use out of it!

This one is hard to explain but sometimes I get this ‘feeling’ that I need to write something and I’ll literally grab my guitar and will bash out a full song in under 20 minutes. It’s my favourite way of writing because I’ll always end up with a finished song.

Describe your sound in 3 words…

Invigorating. Angsty. Captivating.

How has studying at BIMM helped you develop as an artist?

Being at BIMM over the past four years (one-year Diploma, three years degree) has really helped me find my sound and my aspirations as an artist. Before finally settling down with my current band (Jordi, Jasmine and Connor) I was able to meet and play with so many musicians from differing genres and experiences, which really enabled me to explore what worked for me and what didn’t. But this also massively improved my confidence in performing alongside my vocal and guitar playing techniques.

Learning the basics of music theory has definitely improved my songwriting, especially in chord progressions and harmonies. Being able to identify what key I’m playing in can massively help me overcome writer’s block because it gives me options that are guaranteed to work. I might not like them, but they’ll fit musically, which I find can trigger new ideas.

What’s next for you?

We actually already have the next two singles ready to go, one of which we will be releasing in early 2021. In a couple of weeks’ time, we are due to return to the recording studio.

I’m also in the process of organising a music video for “Ladybird”, but with the current restrictions, it’s hard to say when that will be coming out. However, I can guarantee it will be filmed if it’s the last thing I do!