After supporting Ché Aimee Dorval on UK Tour, receiving BBC Radio 6 and BBC Introducing airplay, Ian Bareham returns with a captivatingly heartfelt tribute to losing someone you love, ‘Afraid To Bleed’. Whilst navigating his own personal journey of loss, this single is an incredible return to releasing for Ian Bareham, and is setting out to be a comfort to those of us struggling with similar sentiments. We catch up with Ian Bareham about the incredible single release…

Hey Ian, wonderful to get to talk to you! thanks for taking the time out. The soundscape of your new single “Afraid to Bleed” is rooted in indie-folk, who are your top influences? 

Hi, thanks so much for chatting with me!
One of my biggest influences is Irish singer songwriter Glen Hansard, I absolutely love his music! The way he delivers such moving performances with just his old Takamine acoustic guitar and powerful voice just blows me away. It really made me want to learn how to perform songs with just one voice and guitar. I love the idea that if there was a power cut or the amps blew, it wouldn’t matter. You can still perform. I would also say I’m influenced by Snow Patrol. I’ve loved listening to them since their first album “Songs for Polarbears”. They have such moving guitar melodies and the lyrics get me every time. I have also been listening to loads of the Lumineers, Bears Den, and Roo Panes.

“Afraid to bleed” has such a personal meaning, what is the experience like to perform the song live?

Performing the song live is actually a real challenge. Sometimes I get through it with no problems, other times I am struggling to hold back the tears. I performed the song a couple of weeks ago, I got about halfway through and then struggled to get the words out! The audience was fantastic! They could see I was struggling and gave a big cheer of encouragement. After the set I had many people come up and tell me how much the song resonated with them after going through similar challenges. It’s such a great feeling when a song you have written connects with others. With Afraid to Bleed I was struggling to process losing my mum very suddenly. I had this line that kept spinning around my head “I’m afraid to bleed” which I think relates to being afraid to let the feelings of loss and grief in. I was bottling up a lot of emotions and didn’t know how to feel. Writing the song was very cathartic. I find it so interesting that I struggle to talk about feelings, yet I can stand in front of a room full of people and sing about them! That’s the magic of music!

Your lyrics are so direct and emotive, how do you come up with them?

I think it has something to do with the relaxed state, not overthinking, and just letting the words flow out. Sometimes a particular lyric will jump out and lead the direction of the song. Other times it is more about the feeling and working through it. When my daughter was small, at bath time we would sing together. I knew I had a good line or melody if she sang along with me. Loved those days, I have tons of voice notes of us singing together.

Do you write lyrics with yourself or with a listener in mind?

It varies hugely. Sometimes the songs are more personal like “Afraid to Bleed” and others like “Throw the cards” are about friends/family. Often it can be a few months after the song is finished before some of the personal aspects become clear. I’ll sing a lyric at a gig and think… “ah that’s what means! I know where that came from!”

What was the first song you ever wrote?

I was in an indie rock band for around 10 years before going solo, and we wrote hundreds of songs! I learned so much about songwriting in those days! My first real solo song is called “INK”. I took inspiration from Damien Rice as I was listening to “O” on repeat at that time. I am actually going to release a live session version of “INK” in the coming months.

What’s next for you this year – any gigs or other plans for releases?

I’m really excited to be releasing new music again! I have a great home recording setup and have been working with an amazing mixing engineer called Eliot Glinn. I have a string of singles planned for release throughout the year.
Next up is a track called “Call Me in the Morning” It’s an upbeat track about those kinds of arguments you have when you are in a relationship, that seem huge at the time, like the world is going to end! But then you sleep on it, and discover the next morning everything is OK! “Call Me in the Morning” will released in September. I can’t wait for you to hear it!

We can’t wait to hear it either, Ian! Thanks so much for speaking with us! 

Listen to ‘Afraid To Bleed’ on SPOTIFY | APPLE MUSIC

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Lauren Webber

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