Brave Little Note is musician Jacqueline ‘Jack’ Irvine’s musical moniker. She released single Grrrl Trouble, a song written as a reaction to Donald Trump, on his inauguration day.
Jack describes the track as “a visceral, emotional response – triggered by the election of Donald Trump – to her personal experiences of misogyny.” That “visceral” feeling is felt throughout the track’s dark energy as Jack whispers “got some girl trouble? I’ll give you fucking girl trouble.” The song never lets up with feelings of anger and confusion surfacing throughout.
Outside of Brave Little Note, Jack is no stranger the to the scene. She composes music for film and TV, is a member of Idlewild’s Rod Jones’ side project The Birthday Suit and also collaborates with many other artists including Kenny Anderson of King Creosote.
In this interview spotlight, we chat with Jack about her influences, the new project, navigating the digital music age and more.
Full Q&A along with links and a stream of Grrrl Trouble below.
Let’s dive a little deeper into You, the artist and your music. What attracted you to this genre(s) or style(s)?
I’m not sure that generally, I fit very well in to a particular genre. With this track (Grrrl Trouble) the noises just felt like the best expression of how I was feeling in that moment. I think that’s been true of all my tracks, I’ve just sought sound that best matches the feelings I’m experiencing in that moment. I think that’s why a lot of my tracks sound very different from one another.
What led you into this journey with music? And further, what drives you to push it out to the public?
I learned piano and viola from an early age, and was a chorister at St Mary’s Cathedral in Edinburgh, so my early years were totally immersed in music. For a few years in my early adulthood though, I totally lost contact with my music. In my late 20’s a friend (Rod Jones from the band Idlewild) found out that I played viola and asked if I’d do some string arranging for a solo record he was working on. It was the first time I had touched my viola in years, and honestly, it felt like someone had reattached a missing limb. It was shocking. From then on I began to experiment with writing my own music, which I’d never done before, and found came very easily and naturally. I felt like I’d returned home to myself.
Who or what influences your creativity? Have your tastes in music changed over time?
Creatively I’m influenced by sound or by feeling, One informs the other. Either sound evokes emotion or a feeling leads to a search for sounds which best express it.
Were you trying to accomplish anything specific on this new project? Creatively or otherwise?
Not trying to accomplish anything no. 🙂 I was just so angry and shocked and frustrated that a horrific misogynist had been elected as POTUS and I needed somewhere healthy to put those feelings and so Grrrl Trouble spilled out very quickly and naturally.
What was the last song you listened to?
Vulfpeck – Back Pocket
Which do you prefer? Vinyl? CDs? MP3s?
Whichever suits the time and space I’m in. Vinyl is nice for an evening when there’s time to relax. Cd’s in the car. Mp3s for convenience on the move. 🙂 – Is that cheating?
How about this one…. Do you prefer Spotify? Apple Music? Bandcamp? Or something else? Why?
Like Spotify for journeying through related artists.. Also loved the compilation they made me of my most played tracks last year. But Bandcamp for the artist. Absolutely. They are so artist friendly in terms of selling your music and not taking the lions share for themselves. Also the option to pay more is fantastic for those wishing to support the artist create their work. Bandcamp! Bandcamp! Bandcamp!
Other than the digital era overwhelming us with access to an abundance of music, what is the biggest challenge you face when trying to connect with or find new fans?
Personally, (and this is just personal) As a mother of 3, Not wanting to be away from home for long periods of time on tour is a barrier. It would definitely make it easier to connect with a broader audience!
Where is the best place to connect with you online? Discover more music?
You can find Brave Little Note on Facebook/Twitter for updates. Or Soundcloud for historical work. I’m hoping to crowd fund the new record later on this year so look out for that! It’s long overdue and going to be great!! (I promise) 🙂