Melbourne-based singer-songwriter Riley Pearce returned with his new single “Ceramic Real Estate” this week. The track serves as an introduction to his forthcoming EP Maybe I Can Sleep It Off, which is out in September.
Recorded at Debaser Studios with Andy Lawson and with additional recording by fellow alt-folk artist Hayden Calnin, “Ceramic Real Estate” is described by Pearce as “a breakup song to all of the half-written tunes I never got around to finishing”. Inspired by an idea espoused in Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Big Magic, the track is something of an exercise in creative freedom. In not taking those little sparks of ideas for granted. But, also not to force something that just isn’t working.
Pearce is no stranger to quality songwriting, but “Ceramic Real Estate” sees the Melbourne transplant tapping into an even richer vein of songwriting form. There is a craft and subtlety to the lyricism, one that stands up against both Pearce’s body of work and that of other similar artists working in the genre too. Musically, the single finds its groove nicely and slots in well alongside his other more upbeat work. There’s an effortlessness to the delivery that suggests the ideas he picked up from Big Magic worked.
To celebrate the release of “Ceramic Real Estate” we invited Riley to put together a playlist of the songs that influenced its creation. Here’s what Riley had to say about how the songs he was listening to at the time of recording helped influence the new single.
It’s a real mixed bag of songs here. Working with Andy Lawson and then Hayden Calnin for “Ceramic Real Estate” I was listening to all sorts of tunes. Both studios were an hour away from where I lived so I had plenty of listening time in between all the NBA podcasts I’d listen to. Father John Misty was a big reference point as was Angie McMahon. I loved the all round vibe and simplicity and the way the vocals feel so emotive, also their guitar tones. Boy & Bear’s “Suck on Light” was on rotation a lot, loved the crispness in his voice. “Ceramic Real Estate” has quite a big breakdown after the chorus. It’s a bridge that takes the song in a different direction and I was drawing on inspiration from Henry Jamison’s “Boys” and a few of his other songs to help find that feel.
Header Photo by Tashi Hall