Kyle Falconer is on top of the world. After all, wouldn’t you be? The Scottish songwriter enjoyed a fruitful 12 months, solo album ‘No Love Songs For Laura’ earning plaudits due to the blossoming maturity of his indie pop songwriting. Having overcome addiction he dotes on his young family, using this energy to fire up his own craft.
“I’ve always felt I could be writing a bit more – it’s my profession, after all. So now I’m a bit older, I just write all the time,” he says. “The feeling of accomplishment you get afterwards is unreal.”
In a way, the coming weeks represent something of a point of completion for the songwriter. He’s returning to the fold, with The View reuniting once more, set to play four packed out dates at Glasgow’s O2 Academy. He’s firing on all cylinders, our conversation pepped with promises for the future.
“Ever since The View got back together I’ve been focussed on that,” he says. “We always wanted to do it again, it just never felt like the right time. And at the end, it felt as though we were running around in circles, and just doing the same old thing. We started talking a couple of years ago, and even then, it all felt a long time away. Now the album’s done, and we’re all ready to go – we’ve got a fresh head on!
Aha. So the album’s done, then?
“Well, I might have let the cat out the bag there!”
Being in the company of old friends has helped reinforce Kyle’s sought-after sense of balance. The Dundee band became a defining moment in his life, their platinum-selling debut album hitting No. 1 on the charts, sparking a decade-long run of success. “It’s good. It feels as though nothing’s really changed,” he laughs. “It’s old school. We went to the same nursery, same primary, same high school, so we were all closer than close… we’ve done our own thing for five, six years but it still feels like it was just yesterday.”
There’s even a WhatsApp for the band – not that the singer has any intention of joining in. “I hate being in WhatsApp groups – it does my nut in!” he exclaims in self-mocking frustration. “All these jokes I don’t get, and football patter… you get pinged everyday!”
Now settled in Dundee, he’s able to travel away on his adventures, knowing that there’s a solid anchor to return to. “Now the kids are at school, I can wander about to different places. I’m off to America next month to do some writing. Every place I go to, I’m like: I need to do some writing. Dundee feels great. No matter where I’ve been in the world, I always want to come back.”
It’s a far cry from his youthful daydreams of having a family on the tour bus, with a tutor taking care of his kids. “Bus-schooling them!” he laughs.
Instead he’s lining up with the other dads, taking his kids to sports lessons before returning to the studio. He’s got fond words to say about Dundee and it’s music scene, shouting out Be Charlotte in particular. Kyle is a fan of the new Slessor Gardens – scene of huge concerts from Chrissie Hynde, Stereophonics, and Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – and the gig promotion work achieved by Assai Records; “they do it really nonchalant, it’s pretty cool!”
He’s scathing, however, about Dundee City Council. “The council need to get us more venues, and stop being so tight on everything! We don’t get to do anything, in comparison to Edinburgh and Glasgow. What about a New Year street party?”
The View will line up together once more this weekend, travelling to Glasgow’s famed Barrowlands for the Scottish Music Awards. Powered by Nordoff-Robbins, the Dundee crew are nominated for the Rox ‘Diamonds & Thrills’ Special Recognition Award – but as Kyle jokingly points out, this doesn’t mean they’re approaching middle age.
“We achieved when we were much younger,” he points out. “A lot of people think we’re older than we are. But we were young when we were doing it. We came up at the same time as Franz Ferdinand, and bands like that, but we’re a lot younger.”
The View have been involved with the work Nordoff-Robbins undertake for some time, assisting on a low-key level with the organisation’s enriching brand of music therapy. “It’s a brilliant charity,” he says. “A great cause. We’ve done stuff with Nordoff-Robbins for years. We’d go in hospital and do music therapy with the people there, and it’s pretty cool to be able to use your music like that. It’s strange when you meet these people, as I’m not a very good talker… so I much rather being able to use something that I’m good at! It brings you to tears, some of the stuff they’re doing. It’s absolutely superb.”
This feeling of music as a gift in our lives also underpins Kyle’s latest venture. La Sierra Casa is a residential songwriting camp in Spain, designed to unlock the creativity within. “Everyone has their own music,” he insists. “Some people don’t even know they’ve got music in them until they start doing it.”
Bristling with energy, Kyle Falconer is completely reinvigorated. He’s itching to lead the band out onstage: as he points out, the Glasgow venue The View last played in – the ABC – has since burned down. It’s been a long time.
“We’re just absolutely buzzing!” he beams. “The O2 Academy is a great venue. And this is the most we’ve ever done in Glasgow. This is a big step up for us. We needed that time to go away, and we’re back with a bang, man. We’ve got a different mindset this time. We’re older, and a wee bit wiser. We needed that time to go away and assess what we wanted in life.”
The band have a new management team, with legendary Creation Records mogul Alan McGee now taking the reins. “We’ve always been strong-willed, but I think McGee is on the right track with that. He’s maybe our eighteenth manager? But it all happens for a reason.”
“I don’t think we ever had a break, since the time we started the band at 16,” he reflects. “And it took off pretty much straight away. It became a normal part of life – drinking everyday, touring. It becomes heavy on the soul, and on the heart. This time we can choose what tours we do. We’re clued up a bit more. Back in the day, we weren’t even sure what publishing was! You’d be employing all these guys, and have two tour buses – and you didn’t even know why you needed any of it!”
Cut free from these inhibitions, it’s a streamlined, focussed version of The View that awaits fans in the coming months. Kyle closes with a precocious promise: “If you hear the songs we’ve got, then it should be a massive year!”
Scottish Music Awards takes place at Glasgow Barrowlands on November 5th. For more on the work done by Nordoff-Robbins visit their website.