Folk-rock, singer songwriter, alt-country, Americana, call it what you like, the art of telling stories through music refuses to die. John Tiller takes influence from Manchester’s rich and diverse musical heritage, incorporating the working class spirit of his hometown, though not without strong influences across the
pond. He looks to his songwriting heroes Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Neil Young and Joni Mitchell for their profound ability to pen thought-provoking lyrics and to give equal importance to both story and song. Though these songwriting giants undoubtedly cast a lengthy shadow, it is through their influence that John
steps out into the light, and sets out on a path that is uniquely his own.
In reference to his songwriting method he notes:
“I write a lot, it’s therapeutic for me. Prose, poetry. This set of ideas found their way into songs and I quite like the way that the longer pieces have to be edited down to satisfyingly fit the pop music form, so what’s left is an opaque, impressionist type of lyric that hints and suggests at a (usually dark) story,
but we’re never sure if the narrator is reliable or whether to believe the tale being told” In July 2019 John released a cover of the Tom Waits track ‘No One Knows I’m Gone’, which garnered viral momentum on social media. His interpretation of the song prompted commentators to make comparisons to the iconic troubadours of the 60’s & 70’s golden age. Most notably Bruce Springsteen and of course Waits himself. For fans of heartfelt balladry and raw, honest performance. The connection is an easy one to make.
In November 2019 Tiller released Battle Ready as the lead single from the EP.. In just a few days it has already clocked up over 20,000 plays on Spotify and has received an overwhelmingly positive response from fans on social media.
On November 25th Tiller released the full Battle Ready EP. Featuring four tracks that delicately unravel the intimate tales of the romantics, the nomads, the fighters and poets. The narrator often ambiguous, unreliable. Tiller plays with timelines, narrative form and structure. What emerges is a startlingly original collection of songs, leaning heavily on allegory and metaphor. This music will find a home with anyone thoughtful, anyone who has experienced anxiety or weighty, life changing events. It is for those seeking shelter from the short term, quick fix nature of modern life. At times political, at times personal and heartbreaking, depending on the listener’s perspective this short but powerful collection of songs will feel poignantly out of time, or perhaps timeless.
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