• Babywoman Records

Get To Know Party Fears

Amid this world wide crisis, we sit down with Maggie Devlin aka Party Fears ahead of her brand new single "All Is Good" which lands this Friday via us! Get to know Party Fears before this oh so mellow-yellow-nostalgic-guitar driven-ode knocks you off your isolation slippers. We are honoured to release it and even more excited to introduce Party Fears into the BW fold.

BW: Who is Party Fears?

PF: I'm Maggie. I come from Northern Ireland, but haven't lived there for many many years. I sing, play guitar, fiddle about with keyboards and make music that is sometimes happy, sometimes sad, often times both at the same time.

BW: We know you were once a duo and now you’re solo. What has been the most significant change in your sound since?

PF: I think I'm still working it out. The upcoming single, 'All Is Good' is definitely a big tonal shift for Party Fears, but it also feels a bit closer to the bone. I have songs in the works that are punkier like previous stuff and songs that pursue a softer sound. I think one of the upshots of being not-so-muscially-trained is that you're afforded a lot of freedom to just go where the wind blows. So, let's see if this change sticks or if there'll be more changes to come!

BW: All Is Good feels like an ode to yourself in some ways. When and why did you write this song?

PF: The air, or melody, was floating around for a long time. Maybe a year. But there was this weird bridge and I couldn't really find lyrics that worked. Then around the end of summer it all came together. 

BW: Can you give readers a three word review for your new single, to entice them in?

PF: Breeze of mellow.

BW: We know you’re located in Berlin (which we are super jealous about) tell us a little more about why you’re there?

PF: Berlin had the appeal of being rather open to people wanting to pursue their passions. I think this is one of the city's great strengths!

BW: Can you recommend readers and listeners 3 essential things they should be doing during self isolation?

PF: Focus on breathing; be it through medication or yoga or just simple breathing exercises. Drink loads of water and tea! And, spread loads of love.

BW:What are your dessert island discs? You have 3 choices! 

PF:Argh! West Side Story (either the OST or the 1985 version with Kiri Te Kanawa and Jose Carreras). Mobile Home by the Longpigs. I think that's probably the album I've listened to the most back-to-back. And... some kind of big classic rock compilation: The Scorpions, Heart, definitely Hazard by Richard Marx. Pure cheated with that last one, but here we are!

BW: We all love sharing recipes on the Babywoman community, is there a recipe you think we should be cooking up?

PF: YES! It's a whole book: The Quick Roasting Tin by Rukmini Iyer. So good. So easy. So yummy. Makes you feel wile posh too because it's baked.

BW: Going back to All Is Good, we really love the spoken word part, this makes us feel super nostalgic of women from the 90s. Who are your favourite 90’s women? 

PF: Haha! Love this question! Reminds me of something from magazines like Sugar or Bliss. Favourite 90s women: loved me a bit of Lisa Loeb. Alicia Silverstone, Veruca Salts, the cartoon character Daria, Mariah Carey (Music Box would also be a strong contender for the Desert Island Discs), Whitney Houston (likewise the Bodyguard soundtrack), Sinéad O'Connor, Bronagh Gallagher, French and Saunders, Weasel from The Animals of Farthing Wood.

BW: What is your guitar set up?

PF: I have a 1997 Fender Stratocaster with Seymour Duncan bridge pickup. I use and MXR distortion pedal and lmtase studios very kindly gifted me a JPTR effects Tesla Wolf overdrive pedal that's so crunchy. The pedal I'm most often asked about is my MXR Carbon Copy; I use it for noise solos and modulation, but it also has a really warm, analog delay sound. When we were recording in Belfast, Ryan Vale heard it through the floor and came up to ask what was creating the noise madness. I was so flattered on behalf of the pedal, haha! Highly recommended!

BW: We are SUCKERS for a good coffee and a tasty beer at Babywoman, where are your favourite spots for a both in Berlin?

PF: Oh man. First of all, much love and hugs to all traders world-over at the minute. What a tough hand you've been dealt. I go to Holy Coffee for my coffee and Kindl Stuben for my (alkohol frei) beer. Both on Sonnenallee. Other important and wonderful spots are Zukunft am Ostkreuz (and its basement club, Tief), Loophole, Schokoladen... Best thing for it is just coming and strolling about until you see somewhere that speaks to you. The wee granda bars on corners are also great, but you will maybe get shouted at and leave stinking of smoke!

BW: Favourite animal of all time?

PF: FOXES! Please send word to Cassie Fox from Loud Women who I am hell-bent on convincing that it's a fox on the Party Fears 'Dog Star' t-shirts. I used to leave ham out for the foxes round my house as a wee'an. Obsessed. Throw Disney Robin Hood and Animals of Farthing Wood into the mix, and well... need I say more!

BW: What’s next for Party Fears? Any plans to play live shows? 

PF: Yes! I'm finding my feet as a solo artist. Trying to stick the boot up the hole of anxiety around performing. Watch this space, but like... obliquely...maybe from behind a bush.

BW: Are there any words of wisdom you can give to the readers and listeners at Babywoman about starting out in music. What should the newbies be doing? 

PF: Start early, fail early. Get comfortable with it. It doesn't matter. Look, the world is falling apart. Things we thought were immovable are dissolving before our eyes. So what's a fumbled chord? A flat note? Nothing. Nothing if music makes you happy and fills a space in you and makes things make sense.

BW: All Is Good comes out this Friday (March 27th) tell us one quirky fact about the song. Either the artwork, the writing process, the recording process! 

PF: The dog who stars in the video is called Logan, and he has anxiety and loves to collect leaves.

All Is Good comes this Friday (27th March) and you can worry about the hassle and pre-save it now. If you don't pre-save now we will hassle you come Friday. Your choice.