MIMR brings to your attention the dark, brooding indie/folk tones of Ortense Blue with her music sending a chill down your spine. With more music already planned for this year to follow the brilliant ‘Safe To Make A Sound’ EP release, MIMR can’t wait for what will come next.
We caught up with Donna to chat about her musical plans and podcasting.
MIMR: How would you best describe your sound and what influences greatly shape your music?
Donna: I’d describe the Ortense Blue sound as dark indie folk, story-based songs with atmosphere. I’ve been described as a ‘folky Goldfrapp’ and my sound has made people mention Suzanne Vega and Kate Bush. I have been hugely influenced by these artists, as well as Julee Cruise, Joanna Newsom, David Sylvian, John Coltrane, Nina Simone, Linkin Park, and Depeche Mode. I feel there is a combination of dark and light in my songs, and nearly always a slightly melancholy undertone.
MIMR: You must be pleased with the attention your EP has recieved, were you more excited or nervous about releasing this into the world?
Donna: It was so long in the preparation that in the end I was just desperate to get it out there and move onto the next stage! However, I remember the day that I pressed the ‘send’ button on facebook. I felt so jittery and anxious, it was like downing a full pack of chocolate covered coffee beans! In the end it was the support of a great group of musicians on twitter and facebook, in a group called The Monster Thread, that led to me finding others that were in the same position and we supported each other’s releases and chatted on twitter together and through that unexpected networking I’ve had a wonderful response to the songs and the EP as a whole, which was completely unexpected!
I have been utterly awful at networking due to a natural shyness but I’m getting much better at it now. Just wish there were more hours in the day sometimes!
MIMR: What plans do you have for your music in 2018?
Donna: I’ve already written the songs for my next EP and have now started recording them. This EP isn’t as dark as Safe To Make a Sound; it has a more whimsical, magical sound to it so far I think. It has been influenced by our move to Wales last year and being so close to a forest and wanting to capture that feeling.
I’m also making more space in my week to focus on several collaborations that I am involved in – one of which is an album with the Textile and Sound Artist, David Littler.
I have a busy mind and am always learning something. I know a lot about mental health (am a trained therapist), so I’m currently planning a podcast covering music and mental health (eg, the stories behind certain songs and the artists themselves). It will be called Music & Mental Health Matters, and the first episode should be going out in February 2018 – tbc. I’m quite excited about this as it will be a good way of involving musicians and their stories and giving this a space to be heard. That’s my niche I guess, but I think it’s about each creative finding what’s right for them and finding a way to get that individuality across. There’s lots of cross-artform collaborations happening that are creating even more possibilities for artists at the moment.
MIMR: Do you have any new year resolutions?
Donna: Yes I do. To unapologetically dedicate more of my working week to my music work. To setup and start the Music and Mental Health Matters Podcast, and to improve my guitar playing – a never-ending objective I know!
MIMR: Thanks for chatting to us at MIMR, we wish you all the best for this year, where can people check the EP out and follow you social media?
Donna: Thank you so much MIMR! Hope we all have a wonderful 2018!
These are my links:-
Music Glue: https://www.musicglue.com/ortenseblue