Throwing Sounds Together as Amphibian Sibling

by Christian McCagherty

Throwing Sounds Together as Amphibian Sibling by Christian McCagherty
This project is really just the natural progression of my seemingly endless need to throw sounds together until they resemble something along the lines of a song. I’m excited to see where I can take amphibian sibling and how I can benefit people with music as I’ve benefited from others’ music.

Listen to the EP while reading the text.

Early Childhood Influences

Music began in my family with my eldest brother’s adoration of the buskers in my home town. His obsession left him wishing for a violin of his own. So after a year of consistent pestering, my parents eventually gave in and bought him a beginner’s violin as a Christmas gift, age 5. Now the seed was planted. My other brother began to learn as well when he was 5.

My elder brothers’ pursuit of music, in turn, inspired my own. Soon I too began to learn violin… Piano lessons were quickly added to the routine, and when I turned 9, I took up the oboe after my other brother. The years of practice slowly developed into a slight resentment of music; classical music wasn’t cool at school. So when I turned 16 I picked up the guitar and began to teach myself.

First Band in College

When I started college, a new friend introduced me the Mark Linkous’ music under Sparklehorse. This provided me with a completely new perspective on what music could be: there isn’t a need for anything fancy.

This new friend was putting together a band, and I joined on the guitar. The project was called 1980’s European Skiing Holiday, and I’d describe it as ‘lo-fi jangly psychedelic’ etc. the music was awesome and we were all pretty invested. After a year of musical experimentation and local gigging, we all decided to part ways.

Going Solo

As sad as it was to say goodbye to this formative experience, the free time presented me with an opportunity to focus on my own music. I acquired some recording gear and started to write songs, a lot. They weren’t the best songs but I had fun and was learning.

Occasionally I’d spew up a catchy tune, and a couple of my friends picked up on these and religiously supported me, encouraging me to keep writing.

After a year or so of this I stumbled across the slowcore band Duster and learned some huge lessons: there’s always room for space between notes, and often raw music can appeal to a person’s ear more than pristine recordings. The notes which aren’t played help create tension and build the weight of the notes which are played.

Focusing on Music

I decided to spend a year studying guitar, and while doing so, I thoroughly enjoyed being surrounded by so many talented musicians. I had people into whatever genre you could think of always up for a jam. This availability of musicians was extremely exciting and beneficial.

However, I realized that I wasn’t hugely compatible with the institution I was studying at and that I didn’t need that place to achieve what I wanted to. This resulted in me deciding to leave after a year and subsequently I enrolled at a seaside university to study biology… a plan B… but primarily it gave me a couple of years in a beautiful setting without the stress of a working life to spend focusing on my music and let it mature.

Sacred Spot

After some time living by the coast, I felt I was finally ready to give a piece of my work to the world/anybody who wanted to listen. I had three songs that I wanted to put out and recorded them the following summer with the help of a close friend: the drummer from 1980’s European Skiing Holiday.

After a week spent living in my friend’s glorified shed playing music and GameCube I was left with some very smelly clothes and a three track EP. My production skills are pretty mediocre, but the music sounded cool, and I was happy with how it had turned out.

Time dragged on, and I ended up shelving the EP without showing anyone but a few friends. The same friends who had supported me when I first started writing were on my case… all the time… they told me I had to release the music.

So after around eight months of shelf life and myself drifting away from and back toward the idea of attempting a career in music, the EP finally got uploaded to Bandcamp. The music has received a lot of love from my extremely supportive friends and some other people too.


Artist’s Note
Aberystwyth, UK
Alternative, Dreampop, Indie Rock, Shoegaze
studying music, classical influences, DIY, career in music

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