Josephine Sillars & The Manic Pixie Dreams – Is It Love? – Premiere + Launch News

Josephine Sillars & The Manic Pixie Dreams – Is It Love? – Premiere + Launch News

Glasgow-based Josephine Sillars & The Manic Pixie Dreams will release their latest single on Friday 17th August.

Josephine Sillars has always been a favourite on this blog and various podcasts and radio shows over the years so we were delighted when we were offered the premiere of her and her band’s new single ‘Is It Love’. We caught up with Josephine to chat about the release and launch gig at Broadcast. After an extensive festival tour and UK tour last year, the band were recently selected to represent the UK as part of Excite Music 2018, a collaborative touring network based across Europe. Following the release of ‘Is It Love? ’, the band will showcase at Live At Heart, Örebro, Sweden as part of the project.

A&A – Hi, Josephine. Since we last spoke you have added “The Manic Pixie Dreams”. Tell us more.

JS – Hello! Yes, I’ve added a band name. The Manic Pixie Dreams are first and foremost my band: Conor Heafey (guitar/vocals), Jamie Hogg (bass/vocals) and Cameron Gibb (drums). The decision to add a band name came from a deep hatred of being introduced as ‘Josephine Sillars band’ which promoters would insist on doing, but the name, in particular, is a play on the manic pixie dream girl troupe. A Manic Pixie Dream Girl is stock character seen mostly in contemporary film where you get female characters introduced exclusively to further the plot of a usually over-sensitive creative male protagonist. Annie Hall, 500 Days of Summer, etc. As a female musician who plays the piano, I feel very frightened of becoming a Manic Pixie Dream Girl, so I thought it would work better if I named my male band Manic Pixie’s instead.

A&A – If this is the first time someone is discovering your music how would you describe JS & TMPD?

JS – Lyrically driven, piano-based protest pop. Still trying to get theatre-pop to catch on!

A&A – We are delighted to have the premiere of your brand new single ‘Is It Love?’ which is out on Friday. Tell us about the song?

JS – ‘Is It Love?’ Sounds very, very different to anything I’ve worked on before, which has been a bit of a trend in my recent releases. However, a lot more work went into the production of this song than what I’ve previously released, and I’m really excited with the direction it’s going. It’s also the first track that Conor Heafey has recorded on, so delighted to have him on board.

Lyrically, the song does have a catchy pop chorus, but the song is a lot darker than the title perhaps makes it out. The song asks, is it love, and I believe the answer is no. It’s a song about love, but it’s evaluating power between people more than anything else, and what is left when that power is abused.

A&A – The launch party for the new single is in Broadcast on 18 August. Excited to play live in Glasgow?

JS – I am so excited! Broadcast is my favourite venue in Glasgow and I cannot wait to play. Having just moved back to Glasgow as well, I can’t wait to be playing live again.

A&A – After recent news that Glasgow Rapecrisis lost vital funding you have decided that all profits from this gig will go to their Justgiving page. This is an amazing thing to do. Tell us why you made this decision and how can people help out?

This was a pretty quick decision honestly – I was so shocked and saddened by the cut to their funding, and equally relieved by the news of a new grant, that when the idea came into my head I couldn’t ignore it. Resources such as the Glasgow Rape Crisis Centre are just so important. Since the #MeToo moment last year, it’s really brilliant that people are more willing to discuss violence towards women (and indeed violence towards men) but there’s still a stigma surrounding rape, and it’s still an extremely difficult subject matter to talk about. Centres such as this one are sometimes the only option for people so it’s incredibly important that they are able to keep their doors open and offer a space to people who might not feel able to go to the police or even those around them. Any financial support that anyone can offer towards the campaign will help, and that was the general thought behind turning the gig into a fundraiser. Anyone can reach out through their JustGiving page – so even if you can’t make the show, please consider donating regardless.
A&A – Your debut EP ‘Ripped From The Wire Spine’ was and still is a favourite at A&A HQ. However, we especially loved the live show that went along with it. Can you describe this to readers and tell us why you decided to do this instead of just a traditional gig?

JS – Yes, Ripped From The Wire Spine turned from an EP to a multi-media show that examined the position of young creatives in an ever growing music business as well as the effect on artists mental health. It was based around my own experiences as told through the songs on the EP, but also involved film segments featuring the likes of Rachel Sermanni, Emma Pollock and Ross McFarlane.

A&A – You are off to Sweden representing the UK as part of Excite Music. How did this opportunity present its self and how excited are you to be playing this gig?

JS – This is such an amazing opportunity and I can’t wait to get started. It came about through the lovely folk at XpoNorth! Really delighted to have been selected.

A&A – What is next in terms of recording and live shows?

JS – We have a small tour coming up after the single comes out, including our shows at Live at Heart, Sweden, through Excite. After that, I’m hoping to hear positive news from my funding applications, but regardless I am going to be writing and working towards a new EP with The Manic Pixie Dreams, as well as drafting a new theatre production I have in the works.

A&A – Describe JS&TMPD with one song?

JS – I’d probably say ‘Problems With Power’ because I’m honestly always kind of annoyed at something, and that definitely comes out in the songs…

Josephine Sillars & The Manic Pixie Dreams – Is It Love? will be available on all streaming and downloading sites on Friday 17th August. Buy tickets to the launch party here —>




Freelance Music Blogger/Journalist - Alive & Amplified & BBC. Head of Artist Liaison - Wide Days. Events Manager - Shout! Edinburgh