“I think I’m most captivated by music that speaks to me, directly,” says Glasgow-based singer-songwriter Neev. “There’s nothing better than being at a gig watching a performer and having the feeling that they’re talking to you alone and no one else in the room, so I suppose I try and do that in my writing where I can.”
Neev’s warm and intimate mission statement is encapsulated by Seawall, her latest single and the song she’s chosen to perform for the Scotsman Sessions. A pearly dewdropped folk-pop missive, it’s utterly beautiful. Her talent is self-evident.
The seeds of Seawall were sown when Neev witnessed a performance of the play of the same name starring Andrew Scott.
“The play is about a lot of things,” she says, “but you really get the sense that the central character is very weighed down by life and constantly refers to this hole in his stomach. He does it in passing, really naturally as if it’s just a nuisance rather than something jaw-dropping. I liked that idea of hiding your exhaustion or your fatigue, trying to ignore the weight of everything but ultimately realising that stuff will catch up with you.”
Singer-songwriters who perform their music acoustically are often described as “confessional”, a term Neev gently embraces for various nuanced reasons.
“I don’t think everything I write comes from objective ‘truth’ or the reality of things,” she explains. “I often find my songs to be confessions from different parts of myself. Currently, I’m really drawn to the theme of identity, what it is to be a sibling, someone’s child, a romantic partner, a friend, and what all those different parts of a person bring out in them at different times.”
“I think a lot of my songs sound like love songs, which they probably are, but I’d say romantic love songs are the minority. I try and explore love of all different kinds, selfish love, self-love, love within family dynamics etc.”
Neev began to write and perform music when she was still at high school in Glasgow, but it was only while spending some post-university time living and working 9 to 5 in London that she “decided to go full pelt”. Her first EP was released in 2020. Since then, she’s performed at Celtic Connections and toured the UK. This year has been devoted to writing and self-producing her largest body of work to date. We’ll reap the benefits of that in due course.
“2023 will be a big year for me in terms of releasing,” she enthuses. “I’m super proud of the writing and arrangements and I’m itching for people to hear the new stuff. I’ve worked on some visual content alongside it that I’m really excited to share, the music video for Seawall was the beginning of my collaborations with artists, cinematographers, actors and dancers to bring the project to life visually, but there’s so much more to come.”