[Image courtesy of Brudenell Social Club]
Lucy Rose’s first album Like I Used To came out in 2012 to widespread critical acclaim. Her folksy, acoustic sound and thoughtful, unassuming lyrics struck a chord with followers on YouTube, and she went on to take festivals and gig venues across the country by storm. In fact, the only thing that stopped me from going to her Leeds date at The Cockpit was my own wedding. Literally.
Ahead of the release of her new album, we chat to Lucy about a change in sound, the upcoming UK tour and her feelings about hecklers…
TSOTA: Great to have you back, Lucy! It’s been over 2 years since Like I Used To came out. What have you been up to since then?
LR: Well, I got a dog, moved house and did lots of life things which would be impossible if I was on the road – so even though I didn’t want the break from touring I found being at home lovely. I wrote most of the album on the road whilst touring the first album as I was so inspired by all the people I was meeting at every gig. And then wrote the final few songs at home – some on my piano, which I’m now coming to terms with playing live.
TSOTA: The second album is just around the corner… We can’t wait – but how are you feeling about the impending launch?
LR: Mainly very excited about getting new music out there and hitting the road again, but part of me is nervous and anxious. Waiting for new music to be critiqued is pretty scary but most importantly I want the people who connected to my first album to connect to this one. They are pretty different.
TSOTA: The new single ‘Cover Up’ has a much bigger, more electronic sound compared to the acoustic feel of Like I Used To. What made you go in this new direction? Is that what we can expect from the rest of the album?
LR: ‘Cover Up’ is the biggest departure from the first album and that’s why I put it out there, to give the biggest shock and gauge what people thought about it. The thing that will connect both albums is that I’ve written all the music on both. Even though the new album is a departure it’s still 100% me and my feelings and will hopefully make you feel something too.
TSOTA: Having failed spectacularly at some of my own song-writing attempts, I’m in awe of anyone who can write music. How do you go about the process? Do you start with music or lyrics? Where do you take your inspirations from?
LR: It changes from song to song. In all honesty, writing songs is really hard. It comes naturally to a certain degree but I wrote nearly 50 songs for this record and only 17 made the cut so there are a lot of songs that I’ve written that just aren’t good enough. I guess you accept that as a songwriter you won’t always write a good song, and normally I’m quite shocked if I do and I surprise myself. A lot of these songs have started with beats, chords and bass lines – the one thing that is consistent is that the lyrics always come last.
[Image courtesy of sonymusic.com]
TSOTA: You’ve got a pretty extensive UK tour coming up. Do you enjoy being on the road? How do you keep sane when you’re travelling around the country?
LR: As you might tell, touring is highly important to me and my well-being as an artist. I immensely enjoy playing music every night, hearing those songs that were once stored in my head being played with my band to people that want to hear them. I’m meeting people every night that I can connect to and they hopefully can connect to me and my music. Seeing the world and travelling makes me feel alive and excited. Overall I find it pretty easy staying sane on the road as I’m lucky enough to be touring with friends.
TSOTA: What has been the highlight of your career so far?
LR: It’s hard to choose: the album being released, then playing the Other Stage last summer at Glastonbury and seeing all the people that turned up to watch us play. Even hearing my song ‘Shiver’ on the US show Girls was completely surreal. It was incredible to know that someone had decided to use my song in their show. That feels great.
TSOTA: What are you most looking forward to in the coming years?
LR: I’m excited to know what sort of music I’m going to write next, what sort of songs I can write if I push myself and keep trying. Meeting people who say that a song has made them feel something or who say that they have felt the same way makes it all worthwhile. I look forward to hopefully doing that for as long as I can and most importantly improving and getting better (fingers crossed).
TSOTA: Now down to serious business. If you could only listen to one album for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
LR: Nick Drake: Pink Moon. This album relaxes me and always makes me feel better when I’m feeling at all anxious or uneasy.
TSOTA: Is there another artist that you would like to collaborate with?
LR: Tons, but mostly Feist.
TSOTA: What’s the best heckle you’ve ever had (assuming you’ve been heckled, that is – everyone loves to hate a heckler)?
LR: I love hecklers. There are so many to choose from… I tend to heckle back and have fun with it but my favourite has to be: “Play a cover!”
TSOTA: Who are your ideal Glastonbury headliners?
LR: Neil Young, Fleetwood Mac and Pink Floyd.
TSOTA: And let’s finish with a good old fashioned round of ‘Would You Rather’:
Light or dark? LIGHT
Tea or coffee? TEA
Meat or veg? VEG
Cats or dogs? DOGS
Home or away? AWAY
North or south? NORTH
Thanks so much, Lucy! We can’t wait to see you back in Leeds later this month.
Follow Lucy Rose on Twitter and Facebook @lucyrosemusic