Morven, or Pearling, is still riding a wave of appreciation after attending her first award show for the first nomination of her career: The Sound of Young Scotland Award.
The 24-year-old music producer from Glasgow tells Brig that she went into the awards ceremony, held in Stirling’s Albert Halls, thinking: “This is amazing, I can go to an award show and get my hair done, I can wear some crazy outfit and just have fun with my friends.”
And that is what she did. Losing out on the award to No Windows, Morven doesn’t mind at all:
“It is really nice to be recognised with something within the industry. I feel like when you make the kind of music that I do, I feel like it’s not really taken seriously or respected.”
Pearling before Pearling
Morven first dipped her toes into Glasgow’s live music scene playing guitar in a shoegaze band for years before COVID-19 hit, putting a stop to rehearsals. This was followed by a short-lived career at a call centre.
She laughs, “I absolutely hated it. I’ve never done this before, I quit the job on the spot, I was like ‘I can’t do this anymore.’”
During her two months of unemployment, she watched her boyfriend use his DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) and started to play around with producing music of her own.
“I feel like when I was in the band there were other things that I wanted to make but I never really felt like I could do them. It was that kind of imposter syndrome.”
Sharing with the world
Pearling released her first single Demiurge in 2021. Three minutes of industrial beats, and light and electronic vocals reminiscent of Grimes, the single was a great place to build a platform for Pearling.
She has made an online community of fellow ‘fairy pop’ lovers – a phrase commented by a TikTok follower that stuck with the musician.
Pearling gained 18.7 thousand followers on TikTok by the end of 2022, posting videos with her music in the background. Her online community does not just consist of fans either, “I’ve met so many friends just from like Instagram.”
When lockdown lifted, Pearling could play gigs in Glasgow to crowds who had supported her online. This was nerve-wracking at first.
“Pretty much every gig something goes wrong. Instead of putting myself down, I started thinking ‘Okay this is what I need to change next time so this doesn’t happen’.
Once you keep doing that you feel more confident.”
In May 2023, Pearling released her first EP Celestia, Deep Sea Diver.
“My favourite song is Snow Trapped Angel just because I feel like that was the first song that I was like ‘Oh this is what I want to sound like.’”
Kiera ♡ is the fan favourite, reaching over 40,000 streams on her Spotify alone. The track is Pearling’s fifth single and was an instant success, “everyone else seems to love that one the most.”
Celestia, Deep Sea Diver was a labour of love for the producer. After its release, she wrote on her Instagram: “I was determined to self-produce down to mixing & mastering which made it 100x harder but 100x cooler and more Me.”
What’s Next for Pearling?
Still without a label, management, or PR, Pearling is “happy being indie at the moment. I’m doing pretty well just now without them.”
She says that a new EP “could be” in the works, “I want this one to be very audio-visual”.
Experimenting with new and old styles is on the agenda for next year: “I like the idea of my music being a mesh between electronic clubby music but also manipulated and spiced up guitars. So definitely more like that.
I also really want to put out a really hard club ep or remixes, I think that’d be fun.”
After a successful year, Pearling is taking it easy for the rest of 2023. She is playing Hybrid Music Festival in Glasgow on November, 17 but that’s all that she has lined up.
Joking about hibernating during winter, she says: “I’m going to take December off just to finish mixing all of my stuff that I’ve put off for a long time because there’s been so much going on.”
So yeah, writing and mixing, but also relaxing.”
This interview has been condensed.
Feature Image Credit: Stewart Lawson