John Lingard & The Foreign Hearts
With tomorrow seeing the launch of his debut EP Forest for the Trees, John Lingard and his band The Foreign Hearts are taking to the stage for the first time since leaving the studio with a sound that promises to hang in the air long after the final note.
Born in Nottingham in the UK, Lingard moved to Australia with his family when he was eleven, growing up in the central Victorian town of Bendigo. “All my family sing,” says Lingard, “But my dad plays guitar, sax, harmonica… He pretty much got me into music.” Growing up on a heavily homegrown diet of Sting, George Michael, Annie Lennox and Nick Drake, Lingard says this early exposure highly influenced him and cites Sting as a personal favorite.
Lingard’s own style is a gentle mix of folk, country and pop and while the sound is important, he reveals it is his passion for storytelling that drew him to music. Studying film and media at university, Lingard discovered a passion for writing that was easily translated into song. “With film you can take what you feel about something and express it to people, but film is really visual. When I started writing music it evoked those feelings a lot more so I liked it even better,” he says. “I like being able to translate a story to people and have them relate to it. It sounds a bit cliché, hey.”
Lingard recorded his first song Electric Strike for Triple J Magazine in June 2011 following selection for a mentor program that saw him fall under the tutelage of guitarist and vocalist Ash Naylor. Best known for his time in Paul Kelly’s touring band, Naylor provided encouragement and direction as Lingard gathered the momentum that would see him pull his band together and head to the studio to record his first EP. “I’ve been playing with the guys in the band for two years but we’ve only given it a name and direction for the release of this EP,” he says.
While Lingard is undeniably the driving force behind the band (the other members each split their time between several projects), he says The Foreign Hearts bring their own unique contributions to the rehearsal room. “I write, then we go into rehearsal and start working on it together,” he says. “We didn’t have a plan to make [the EP] sound like this. We just picked our best songs and put them on it. I think the songs probably reflect the direction we feel the band should head in. It’s a folky, country pop thing.”
It’s also a thing that’s drawing fans and interest with increasing speed as Lingard garners attention, both in his hometown and Melbourne, in the lead up to the launch. It seems the horizon is broadening for the softly spoken singer songwriter, and as he reveals, he has an eye to the future. “You know that saying ‘you can’t see the forest for the trees’? You can’t see the big picture because of what’s in front of you. The songs we chose for the EP are that, a glimpse at the big picture,” he says of the inspiration behind the title Forest For the Trees. With his quiet determination, moving lyrics and bevy of talented backing musicians, it’s a safe bet it’ll be a picture worth looking at too.
The views expressed in this article are the views of the author and not necessarily the views of Melting Pot.
Author DetailsGrace Taylor
Grace Taylor is a Melbourne based writer and journalist. Specialising in features, profiles, interviews and reviews, Grace contributes regularly to several popular lifestyle, arts and culture publications throughout Melbourne.