Talking Through Smiles: New EP from Aber singer-songwriter George Higgins-Hughes

HOMEGROWN TALENT George Higgins-Hughes, last seen at Rewired Music’s event on the Vale of Rheidol railway, releases a new EP, Talking Through Smiles, on the 20th of November. To celebrate, Higgins-Hughes is headlining a launch event at the Arad Goch theatre the day of its release, featuring himself a special guests.

The Arad Goch is a venue that fits the intimate nature of Higgins-Hughes songwriting, and he notes that the tracks he’s written especially for the event are “the most honest [he’s] ever done.” ASM caught up with him in the leadup to the event, for which tickets are still available:

George Higgins-Hughes playing with Jim Corbett and others for Rewired on the Train.

George Higgins-Hughes playing with Jim Corbett and others for Rewired on the Train.

Where does the title to your new EP, “Talking Through Smiles” come from?

The name ‘Talking Through Smiles’ comes from a lyric in my song ‘Alice’ and refers to the days when your cheeks are hurting from smiling so much. I also thought it suited the EP, because two other songs delve into awkward social situations where all you can do is smile to hide your discomfort.

What can people who’ve never heard your music expect at your launch show on the 20th?

My music is an Indie-Folk style. I’ve set up the evening as an acoustic event so it’ll be me and my guitar, in what I hope will be a very relaxed setting. I’ll be playing all the songs from the EP, while telling the story of how it came together. I’ll also be doing a few covers which help tell the story including ‘Bright’ by Echosmith with my friend Alice. And some new songs that I’ve written since finishing the EP.

You’ve said your influences for this EP in particular include Deaf Havana and Of Monsters and Men. Which artists first inspired you to pick up a guitar?

I was first inspired to pick up the guitar at 14, when I had wild aspirations to start a pop-punk style band like Blink 182 or Sum 41. I only knew four chords and only had my older brother’s acoustic guitar, so I ended up gaining more confidence as a solo performer. At age 18, my music taste changed to more of a folk and indie sort of genre. I found myself getting influence from bands and artists like Fleet Foxes, Jose Gonzalez and City & Colour, which still influence my music today.

Talk us through your writing process. Are there particular places you go for inspiration?

I like to write songs with a memorable chorus, this may include a catchy melody and thought provoking lyrics. My songs tend to be stories inspired by events or a person. I’ve always seen my music as a way of saying exactly what I want to say about something I’ve experienced, without offending anyone involved. I’ve always been an observer, and like to write about real life things that hopefully people can relate

Are the songs on the EP more from your perspective, or from other people’s? Which do you prefer writing?

All the songs on this EP are written from my perspective. I don’t have a preference as to the perspective; I just tend to write things as they are.

You’ve been playing gigs in and around Aber for a few years now. What have been your favourite places/events to perform at?

I’ve played a few gigs at the Art Centre and Student’s Union, and found them really good venues to perform in. They always do a really good job of promoting the events so a good-sized audience, who are actually interested in the music, turn up. It’s really nice to have an audience that listens to and cares about what I’ve got to say.

Finally; after the event on the 20th, what’s next?

After the 20th, I will carry on pushing the EP as much as I can, as I’d love as many people as possible to hear it. I’ve also started writing new songs and will be recording again in the near future.

I’d like to get more gigs around the Aberystwyth area and beyond.


Pre-order Talking Through Smiles at: https://georgehigginshughes.bandcamp.com/album/talking-through-smiles