Lucy Rose: "I just wanna keep going forwards, even if it's only a tiny step"

Interview Lucy Rose: “I just wanna keep going forwards, even if it’s only a tiny step”

From a corrugated iron hut in Salt Lake City to being back in her bedroom, Lucy Rose’s new album has seen her embark upon all sorts of adventures.

After the release of her first full-length - and following appearances on not one but two Bombay Bicycle Club records - Lucy Rose soon found herself touring the world. Unsurprisingly, getting to travel so far away from the bedroom where she had written those first songs had a lasting effect. “I think I’ve always enjoyed the road part of making music, the playing the actual songs,” she says, three years after the release of ‘Like I Used To’. “Maybe that’s why it’s taken me so long to put out another record. I was just so desperate to heavily tour the last one as much as possible.”

Listening to the stories of the young, now London-based musician, it’s not difficult to see the appeal. “A lot of the time on the road, I was feeling super inspired,” she admits, between sips from a cup of tea. “It was the first time ever that I was doing what I’ve dreamed of, travelling, playing gigs and meeting people. I was getting calls to go play in Singapore or Manila or Kuala Lumpur and I was just like, ‘Let’s just do all of these things!’

“I think a big part of this record is meeting people on the road. There are just moments that stick out, like in Salt Lake City, we played in this sort of corrugated iron hut. There were maybe only fifty people there but afterwards, I said, ‘I’ve got some merch, I’ll be at the van’ because there was nowhere to sell merch in that corrugated iron box. I remember I was outside,” she reminisces, “and everybody that had come to the gig, all fifty people, were all outside chatting about the record. There were people even who’d talk to me a bit more deeply about what the record actually meant to them and then I’d feel so lucky. First you’re playing but then you’re actually meeting people who are coming to gigs to talk about [the album] and I found that all very inspiring for writing. I guess it was a confidence I had never had before, with the first record. It was an acceptance that some people are going to like what I’m doing and it helped me a lot.

Lucy Rose: "I just wanna keep going forwards, even if it's only a tiny step" Lucy Rose: "I just wanna keep going forwards, even if it's only a tiny step" Lucy Rose: "I just wanna keep going forwards, even if it's only a tiny step"

"I didn’t want the whole thing to be written on the road or the whole thing at home. I did just want it to have variety."

— Lucy Rose

Her second effort ‘Work It Out’ therefore primarily came to life in the back of Rose’s van. After grappling with technology, and setting her acoustic guitar aside - “I’d drive my band mad if I was trying to play an acoustic guitar in the van for ten hours straight!” - she soon found there was more room for musical experimentation than she had perhaps anticipated. Take lead single ‘Our Eyes’ with its almost tropical-feeling synths, or the layered introduction of ‘Cover Up’, which sees Rose stepping into completely new territory. “I wish I could say that it was a conscious decision to go in this direction and do this,” she admits, “but it just kinda happened. A lot of the songs are a bit different on the album because they were just written as random times over the last three years. Some songs have just turned out the way they have, but each song was treated individually.

“I think a lot of it is down to what I was writing on that’s given that feel. When we were touring so much in America, there are a few songs on there which had been written on an iPad, on a BeatMaker, so they’re very much beat-driven and bass-driven instead of so much acoustic guitar. There’s that side of the album, which has that part of it, but then when I came home and the album wasn’t finished. I had all of this material that I’d been writing on the road, so it was important to also have ‘Lucy back at home’ writing. That’s when I wrote songs like ‘Like An Arrow’, when I was back at home with an acoustic guitar and it wasn’t so restricted.”

More than anything, progression was one of the pillars upon which her new album was built. Whether that meant taking her extensive touring experiences and transforming them into songs, or simply locking herself back in her bedroom to indulge her senses, the album became all about the balance. “I wanted to have light and shade in this album,” she confirms. “I didn’t want the whole thing to be written on the road or the whole thing at home. I did just want it to have variety. As long as it feels like something different and a progression, as though I’m not going backwards from my last album, that’s all I want as an artist. I just wanna keep going forwards, even if it’s only a tiny step. Even if this album only sells one more record than the last one, then I’d feel happy.”

Photos: Emma Swann / DIY. Lucy Rose’s new album ‘Work It Out’ will be released on 6th July via Columbia Records.

Tags: Lucy Rose, Features, Interviews

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