ÞINGEYRI, WESTFJORDS, ICELAND
T H E B E G I N N I N G O F G O O D N I G H T L O U I S A
In the winter of 2019, I got on a plane (ran through Dublin Airport in all my 80s fleece attire) with my little Casio Keyboard to Iceland. Full of anticipation to start writing songs for my new project 'Goodnight Louisa'.
I arrived in Reykjavik in the early evening. Sat myself down in my hostel with a £9 pint and began working away on my laptop. I caught an early night, but I scared all the other women in my dorm, as I kept sleep talking/screaming whenever someone came in the door. (Not very rock and roll)
After scaring all the women in my dorm, I left the hostel the next morning and dragged my suitcase up a very snowy and slidey hill to where I would get the bus with the other artists to Þingeyri.
We continued on a 7 hour drive through the beautiful hills and white deserts of western Iceland. The small van was filled with 5 excited artists consisting of myself, Takashi from Japan, Elaine, Margaret and Kim from the states and Su from Korea.
We got to Þingeyri in the late evening, I was staying and working in the converted warehouse with the girls from the states, who I then I introduced to 'Peep Show'. I think we must have watched at least 4 seasons over those two weeks...
The village of Þingeyri had a certain sadness about it. The converted warehouse was very creepy. It had beds situated in the walls and the living space was dusted with old sewing machines and rocking chairs. I set up at a desk overlooking a beautiful fjord. I had only taken my Casio and a reverb pedal so my recording facilities were pretty limited. I wrote many lyrics and little fragments about night terrors, soaked in reverb but also about this feeling I had the whole residency of a ghostly presence that seemed to follow me.
At the end of the residency, we all exhibited our work. Whilst on my walk to the café where we were having a little celebration, I ended singeing my hair lighting a cigarette and had to cut myself an emergency fringe with kitchen scissors. We played songs, looked at the art people created, and drank loads. The local fishermen started a fight, and got kicked out. Great night.
The next day, when we were supposed to travel home, we got stuck in the village. A snow storm had erupted overnight and the mountain pass was not safe to drive through.
I returned back to my hometown of Edinburgh with a bundle of interesting tunes, ready to start Goodnight Louisa.