Caryl Archer has been writing original songs since the age of 13. Prior to that she would write new lyrics set to pop songs, treating them like crossword puzzles and fitting her lines into the predetermined spaces of the melody.
She had taken electronic keyboard lessons from the age of 5, but didn’t begin combining lyrics with original melody until learning the guitar. “I found it a lot easier to strum up and down than fiddle around with right and left hand melodies on the keyboard. It just lent itself better to singing at the same time.”
As she continued her music education, Caryl became fascinated with song arrangements, wondering how one person could keep ideas for the drums, bass, piano and guitar in their head simultaneously. After much struggle and experimentation, she completed an album of eleven original songs she had arranged herself at the tender age of 18.
After this Caryl enrolled on the Music Practice course at the University of Central Lancashire. Her studies opened her up to new ways of making and listening to music. “I remember one of our seminars involved listening to one long-form composition that lasted about half an hour. That was all we did the whole session. It was a grueling experience, but I haven’t listened to music the same way since.”
The years that followed her degree were to be some of her most difficult creatively. She attempted to get out of her rut by posting videos of her songs on YouTube, but the demand for frequent updates dragged her away from spending time on arranging songs in full. Eventually this took its toll on her writing. “I remember flicking through my song book on occasion and seeing I had only written something maybe once a month. I just didn’t see the point in writing any more. But then I was given an unexpected hand.”
Earlier this year Caryl embarked on a completely different kind of musical venture. She was approached by YouTube friend and mashup artist, Matt Slade to collaborate on some songs for an EP. Excited by the prospect of switching genres, she leapt at the chance and recorded a vocal demo the same day. That song became the infectiously dark disco track, Stiletto Stamina. And thus the Glitter Punch Project was born.
Today Caryl is working on a string of EP releases to showcase her extensive back catalogue and to further hone her music production skills. Look out for future titles named Digital Delight, Innermost and All the Way to Yesterday…