Green by name, green by nature. Phoebe Green creates music that is a flash of colour across an everyday. Fascinated by what we usually shy away from, she is able to unpick the energies of her surroundings and find inspiration in the most unlikely of places.
Bravely opening herself up to those around her, Phoebe excellently documents the caged up anxieties, frustrations, insecurities and uncertainties that come with having a heart. She takes her paintbrush and turns complications into glistening colours, making them a little easier to face. “I am such an open person,” she gushes, “I’m an over sharer!”
Having learnt how to both accept and embrace it, Phoebe uses it to her advantage. Writing songs that are filled with intimate confessions and detailed with intricacy, they’re brilliant short stories that place you right by her side and at your service to mould to the shape you need.
Listening to a Phoebe Green song is like looking through a kaleidoscope toy, seeing glimpses of her target in glistening colour and captured from all fragmented angles. Her crystalised vocal shines brightly, effortlessly, cooly; but the lyrics cut like a diamond with their honesty. She talks icily about the new prettier girls that surround a boy she loves, she compares falling for somebody to suicide, she worries about being forgotten by a childhood friend.
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Inescapable emotions shine in their technicolour, bottled up and placed in glass jars to for once, be admired for all that they really are. Having suffered from insomnia throughout her life, she confesses; “I do not switch off, ever. Ever. Ever.” and ends it with a giggle. “That is probably why I struggle more than most people in that I'm so observational, that I'm such an over-thinker as a result. I analyse things to such a degree that it is exhausting. But it's also good because I notice things that people wouldn't normally notice. It's a double edged sword.”
Writing frankly, Phoebe uses her songs as diary entries and invites you to nosy in. She writes like she’s desperate to hold on to every detail, and to remember that time in all of its glory, for those are the times that have shaped her into the person that she is today. Some may say that exposing herself in such a way would make her vulnerable and open to scars, but Phoebe sees things differently.
Speaking about the idea of celebrity and being viewed under a microscope she believes it would be beneficial for people to always be available and accessible, “I find it so damaging that we're led to believe that people who are celebrities don't really feel anything. There's a standard where they can't be vocal about feelings and it would make you vulnerable and fragile, and it needs to be talked about.” she says.
As a result there is a limit to what people are willing to discuss both in music and conversation, “I know that speaking out about certain things would do a lot of good and help a lot of people but I'm just not ready for it. It's annoying because it was more normal to do it, I would.”
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It was three years ago that she released her debut album, 02:00 AM; home to the poetic musings of a girl in sixth form college, and it will never grow worn as come of age tales. “At that point I just really did not know how things were going to pan out. I was in such a small town mindset and a bit out of it.” she recalls. “Since then I've moved to Manchester, I've got a group of friends, a boyfriend, and everything has fallen in to place. It's made me realise that no matter what is going on in your head and no matter how you feel about yourself, it is absolutely going to be sound.”
She takes a short gaps of breath, then continues: “Everything happens for a reason! I feel so much more myself, I know who I am now. I can have these insecurities and I can have these weird feelings towards myself, but I have gotten so much better at being self aware and knowing why I'm feeling and doing certain things and make something out of it rather than torturing myself.”
Nobody can take Phoebe’s voice away from her, and nobody can change the way in which her mind is wired. It’s this simple realisation that has allowed her to take on a new attitude and lease of life. Latest single, ‘Dreaming Of,’ is a re-introduction and the opening to a brand new chapter. “That song is pretty much me saying that I’ve gotten to a point in my life where I don’t want to fit into a box anymore,” she says. “For ages I've been told that I'm too expressive and I just say whatever comes in to my head and write about it, and kind of bring up things that aren't spoken about, and I'm sick of just dampening it down especially for marketability purposes.”
With this in mind, the song feels light as a feather with the weight of the world taken off her shoulders. It shimmers like the sunshine hitting the sea and soars with a jangly, bittersweet guitar-led chorus full of heart. “I think it has definitely come at a point where I needed it. I don't have a set way of how I want to present myself, so 'Dreaming Of' is me saying I don't give a fuck anymore, I want to be myself.”
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Armed with the new single, Phoebe has signed to Chess Club, and earned a hangover of a lifetime having finished her first ever tour with Sundara Karma. When Phoebe was younger, she used to force her sister to perform shows with her. She’d cut up bits of paper and sell them to her parents for a quid to sit in the living room and watch the two of them “destroy a Beatles song.”
Earning her nickname of being the ‘Shirley Temple of the North,’ - not just a nod to her curls - Phoebe laughs remembering her childhood as a show off, extroverted kid. Growing up in the seaside town of Lytham, she rummaged through the charity shops with donations from wealthy, older people and added to her colour splashed wardrobe of pattern and texture, defining her love for performing.
As she grew older, she became introverted and shy, lost in a world of sleepless nights and iPhone notes and recordings of the thoughts she could not escape. It was then she realised that she had Synesthesia, a condition where when she hears sounds, she can see colour. “I think it makes sense about the whole aesthetic I have going on.”
Phoebe explains how she matches her exterior to her vibe for the day and those colours feed in to the songs. A swipe of red across the eyelids and purple on the lips, her style is truly personal.“[Having synesthesia is] also so frustrating because I will try and describe which sound I want in a song and be like 'orangey!' and everybody's like 'Phoebe, shut up. Nobody knows what you're on about!' But it is also really cool because I know what direction I want to go in with certain songs and it's already there as I'm writing it so it's handy.”
The artwork for ‘Dreaming Of’ reflects the colours that she saw whilst writing and producing the track - peach and greens. A homage to her name and the new beginning that the song represents. Phoebe Green has a rainbow in her voice, and a million and one stories to tell. Her mind is a palette, and the world is her canvas, just waiting to be coloured in.
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Words: Tanyel Gumushan // Tanyelala
Photo Credit: Sara Carpentieri // Louis Butler
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