Interview Rose Elinor Dougall: Broadening Horizons

James Barker catches up with former Pipette Rose Elinor Dougall to chat about her forthcoming almost-complete solo album.

James Barker

catches up with former Pipette Rose Elinor Dougall to chat about her forthcoming almost-complete solo album.

Hello Rose, how are you today? What colour is your mood?
I’m fine thank you. I am a bit tired so maybe a kind of bluey-grey.

I love your new single ‘Fallen Over’, it’s really beautiful with a full and echoey sound. Were you trying to build on the sound of the first two singles?
Thank you. I guess it is important to me that I establish an aesthetic for myself with these singles, and indicate other elements of the album. I feel like I am learning all of the time, so with each one I feel like I can be more assertive. When I was writing the songs for this record I wasn’t really thinking about which songs would be singles and which wouldn’t, I was just following ideas through, and it’s been interesting to me to see the ones that have actually ended up working in that context.

‘Another Version of Pop Song’ was a really big leap from the Pipettes - how do you write songs these days? Is it a case of spending ages with an arrangement, or just sitting down with an acoustic and a glass of wine?
I actually think that ‘Another Version…’ is probably one of the closest in terms of approach to the way I wrote Pipettes songs. It took me time to get out of the head space of writing for a group of people with a specific objective, and I think I can hear traces of that in that song. I haven’t wanted to completely turn my back on all of that stuff because I learnt a huge amount writing for The Pipettes, and I still really care about pop music and melodies and working within structural constraints etc. But obviously I have also had other opportunities to explore with this record that were really liberating, and nothing to do with any of that stuff. The begininnings of all my songs are usually the same, sitting around a keyboard or piano and a load of sribbles in my note book, but with this record I have spent a long time taking them forward from these basic beginnings and experimenting with them sonically, so I guess it’s both!

I like the fact your singles have been available on vinyl, are you a fan?
Yeah I am, although my bloody record player has inexplicably stopped working this week which is highly irritating. I liked having the opportunity to make a nice object, but this time round due to timing and a load of other boring reasons we’re just putting it out digitally. I just care about people being able to hear the track really, so whichever way is fine by me.

So, now you’ve played your first headline gigs in London, can we expect a tour soon?
Yeah, the main focus for the last months has been finishing the record, but me and the band have been busy playing as much as possible together. I am really thrilled to be playing with a band again, and we have even started writing together as a group, I think that there is a whole different kind of record in us which I’m really excited about. So yeah I think we’re getting a bunch of dates together for around the single, I really just want to play as much as possible.

How close is the record to being finished?
Really there are only a few bits and bobs to finish, although I do keep writing new songs and wanting to record them, which is kind of stressing my producer out! There’s already too much to fit onto just one record… I’m actually much more interested in the album than singles, which I know isn’t necessarily a very fashionable thing to say, but anyway I’m started to feel proud of it, and think it’s gonna be an honest representation of the time and place I was making it in.

What are you listening to these days, any current favourites or are there always records you come back to for inspiration?
I have to say I do really like The Horrors record, I know that people have talked about it being derivative, but I think it sounds like a band that have really some together and made an effort to create a cohesive, energetic piece of work with a strong identity, and I love the way it sounds. Also the Fever Ray stuff I think is amazing, really inspiring. I have been struggling to get really excited about new stuff lately though… I do have lots of old favourties that I come back to, but have been trying not to get too stuck in my ways!

Can we expect to see you playing on any other people’s projects in the future?
I am always up for challenging myself and broadening my horizons. I have been doing a few things for people this summer, but it’s too soon to talk about that yet. My main priority is to focus on my own stuff for now.

And finally: would you be sad if you never saw a polka dot ever again?
I haven’t worn them for nearly two years and it’s been ok!

Rose’s new single ‘Fallen Over’ is due out on 23rd November.

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