Flea Market Love Letters is going on the road! On November 28th we here at Flea Market Love Letters H.Q. will be in London, England supporting friend of the archive and musician Nick Hilder for the launch of his new EP 'How To Write Love Letters'.
The EP title 'How To Write Love Letters' comes from a letter writing guide from our archive which a Canadian artist incorporated in the collage artwork which would become the EP cover. Nick got in touch with us to talk all things love letter ahead of his November event.
1. How did you come to decide on the theme of writing letters for your music?
"I wrote the ‘How To Write Love Letters’ record during lockdown, my first solo record since the bands I was playing in stopped. This period meant I was able to hone my thoughts and the type of music I wanted to share with the world. Letter writing in both the physical and literal form is the idea of spending time, not rushing, to really feel what you or others are going through. Writing letters to me is one of the greatest practices we have in expressing ourselves. The pen is the therapist and I wanted to incorporate this into the music."
2. What inspires you to write a song?
"Tough one. I don’t think there is one simple answer for this. I try to understand my vision of the world based on the experiences I have and what I see happening around me. This is only one version of the world and so is limited. I try to see other perspectives through writing a song, connect on a theme and allow it to take some air. Also, lately, what inspires me is the art of song writing itself. By chance, I saw Kathryn Williams at the Ashburton Arts Centre (worth a visit) and witnessed a brilliant songwriter. I was wrapped up in the construction of her songs that seemed to effortlessly carry me away to a different place outside of my head. To do that, is what inspires me. "
3. Do you think a similar inspiration happens when letter writing?
"On that last point, the physical action of writing with a pen or pencil enables you to get out of your own head. Something that I think needs to happen more often these days. We are becoming narcissistic balloons ready to pop at any moment when someone nearby has a pin for our ego. "
4. Why do you think that letters matter today? Are they 'dying'?
"Letters matter today and will do in the future because they remain a trusted form of communication. We use letters in the most formal setting or when something important has been decided. Before penning a letter, we discuss over the phone, hold meetings, meet face to face but ultimately in society upon receiving a letter we take even more notice. That’s why in my mind they will never die. Hopefully we can get to a point where people are receiving more letters from their friends and family rather than the tax man or the latest deal by a nearby internet provider. "
5. Here at Flea Market H.Q. we like to say that everyone has a 'letter story' (i.e. grandparents letters, found letters, etc.) Do you have a 'letter story' that has shaped your enthusiasm for the art form?"
"Two come to mind. A letter from my dad to me aged 19 basically saying how disappointed he was in how I was behaving at the time. I was being a little shit and needed to be told otherwise. I kept that letter because it reminded me that for someone who doesn’t always communicate openly, my dad took the time to write out how was he feeling and knowing that helped me understand my own behaviour. Hopefully my dad thinks I’m now less of a shit, but I can’t promise anything.
Second one, is a letter I wrote to one of my good friends on his 30th birthday. He had recently been through a bit of a rough time and he had also been victim of playground vitriol when at school. I took the opportunity to tell him what a brilliant person he had become and give some air to the experiences we had at school. We still discuss it to this day. At the time I put pen to paper I had no idea the impact this would have."
Thanks to Nick for sharing his time and story with us! ‘How To Write Love Letters’ EP is now on all streaming platforms just search 'Nick Hilder' for your new favorite singer/songwriter.
Get in Touch.
Have a letter story you'd like to share? We're all ears! Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.