Lucy Rose is coming out of a year she describes as one of the hardest times of her life, and which fuelled a more probing type of album. But this was no conscious decision. Rather, it was just part of surviving. (“For a period I was like, should I call the album Everyone Needs A Therapist or something”).
Something’s Changing, released in 2017, marked the start of a new chapter; after walking away from a major label deal, she entered into a new partnership with Communion. That record offered a chance to return to the more candid style of her acclaimed debut, Like I Used To, and to build on it via 70s flourishes and new reference points. Lucy is no longer the 18-year-old kid who moved down to London to make a go of things via open mic nights, and ended up singing with Bombay Bicycle Club. She’s a grown up, a wife, a woman, locked in a strange relationship with the city she came to ‘make it’. And, of course, she’s a human being, singing about those difficult, universal feelings that impact us all.
While there has always been a retro side to Lucy’s style, there’s a clear sense of the past bristling against the present. The album was recorded alongside friend and producer Tim Bidwell – with whom Lucy worked with on Something’s Changing – via a series of sessions at his home studio in Brighton. Devoid of drums, the richness of a fretless bass and light percussion adds to the sense of intimacy in the songs, while also providing space for change.
“I think all of the instrumentation is more complex than any other album that I’ve done. I didn’t want nice, sweet, I didn’t want it to be an utterly comfortable listen. I wanted to challenge,” Lucy explains. When she returned to London for the final time, she wondered whether it needed anything extra, before deciding that it would affect the almost time capsule-like creation. “I thought, it’s 36 minutes long, do I need it to be more? As I was thinking that, I knew I was in a different place mentally than I was when I sat down with the piano and the guitar. I felt like at that point, I knew that even if I wrote a good song, it would harm the record by adding it, because it would be different”.