A Year in Music – 2018 – Fraser McGowan (Caught In The Wake Forever) – by Killian Laher
It’s been a while since we’ve been in touch. What have you been up to?
Hey Killian, it has indeed been a while, a few years I think? I’ve been keeping well, very busy with the ‘proper job’ and family life. Making music has somewhat taken a back seat of late. But there are a few things in the pipeline for 2019.
What are your favourite albums of 2018?
There’ve been so many excellent releases this year, it’s kind of hard to pick but here are a few that have stayed with me throughout the year :
Orange by Unwind – This is a very mellow jazz album, been listening to this a lot while travelling on the train or relaxing late at nights, I find it very peaceful.
Too Happy by Tor – I loved this as soon as I heard it, it’s got an old school Arab Strap vibe to it at times, miserable and minimalist indie music, doesn’t get much better!
Untitled by mewithoutYou – I only discovered this band a few years ago, so I was a bit late to the party but they can do no wrong as far as I’m concerned. The new album is just as excellent as the last one.
Drawn From Memory by Joerg Mueller – If I was to pick something for my album of the year it would probably be this one. It’s a lovely sprawling ambient dub record, perfect listening for me when going on long walks. Great album from a great label!
Any artists you discovered this year that you can’t be without?
There’s not really any artist this year that did that for me I’m afraid. However, there was a deluxe vinyl re-issue of Kerosene Hat by Cracker (by far the highlight of the year for me in terms of vinyl). This kind of made me realise how important a band they have been to me throughout my life, for the past 25 plus years anyway. I always return to the music of David Lowery, it speaks to me in so many ways & is absolutely timeless.
Are there any personal highlights, musical or otherwise from 2018?
Fortunately there have been a few…
I started a new job at the end of July. It involved moving house and area. It was a big adjustment for the whole family but seems to be working out really well & has definitely been the right thing for all of us to do.
Music wise it was quite a quiet year for me in terms of releases. I collaborated on a short ep with my friend Euan McMeeken (glacis) which came out on cassette on the lovely Crow Versus Crow Label. It was very well received by people, which was nice.
Behind the scenes I’ve finished a new album as Caught In The Wake Forever & found a label for it. It’s currently away getting mastered by Taylor Duepree as we speak, which is very exciting. I have been working on this for 4 years now, so it’s been a real personal accomplishment to get it finally finished.
What inspires you these days?
Inspiration comes mostly from my son these days. It’s amazing seeing him grow and develop. He does things competently at 11 that I still struggle to do as an adult. We are very proud of him as he heads into his teenage years.
Other inspirations come mainly from the little things. We are fortunate to have moved to a slightly more rural area now, so in my spare time it’s mostly canal walks & music.
With regards to music, I’ve been really inspired by a French label called Shelter Press. They release some very challenging but beautiful records. I’ve been trying to learn about more experimental compositional structure from listening to them. Hopefully it will help me push the limitations & boundaries of my current song writing processes, fingers crossed.
How about next year, what’s ahead?
As mentioned, my new album as Caught In The Wake Forever will be coming out. It will be released on vinyl through the wonderful Spanish label Archives within the first half of 2019. It’s called Waypoints & I’m very excited for people to hear it.
Beyond that everything is a little vague. I’ve been talking to Sound In Silence about doing a follow up to my False Haven album with them. I’m planning to do a full length collaboration album with glacis too at some point.
I’ve also been recording a lot with my good friend Colin Morrison (who I did Small Town Boredom with). We have an album’s worth of songs that we are currently recording. But it’s a slow process & we don’t want to rush it, so no idea when that will see the light of day.