After three years away, Lucy Rose has returned to the fore, with the release announcement of her sophomore album, Work It Out, and a shedload of new tour dates. The lead single has taken a more upbeat approach to her earlier, mellower work. When I caught up with her recently, I took the opportunity to ask her more about her new sound.
‘I think it’s a mixture of things. I think just lots of gigs, and going to lots of festivals and seeing people play different music which wasn’t just acoustic. As well I just wanted to write some music that people could dance to, and have a good time to, and mostly just trying to write something that’s different to what I’ve ever written before, and just push myself, because I didn’t want to write the same record again,’ Parton tells me. We are speaking a few hours before her gig at the Brudenell Social Club in Leeds, a venue she has fond memories of. ‘I am very excited about tonight. It’s kind of scary doing this venue again because I had such a good gig here last time; I kind of have high hopes for another good gig.’
The tour was a vehicle for launching off a lot of new songs, as Parton told me that the setlist would be a 50/50 split between old and new tunes. The new album had just been finished at the time of interview, and Parton is pretty happy with it. ‘I really enjoyed it, it was a great process, and I worked with a cool producer called Rich Cooper. It was really wicked and it was sort of…it felt like it should’ve been more complicated than it was but eventually it just came together really well and we had very similar ideas.’
There’s no mention of the difficulty artists often claim comes with a second album, and Parton describes her writing process as more of a constant stream than a piece-by-piece undertaking: ‘I guess I’ve been writing non-stop, it’s not like I suddenly started writing this album. I think one of the songs that made it onto the record is one I wrote when I was recording the last album, which was three years ago. So, I’ve been writing tons and tons recently and just picked the best of the songs and recorded them.’
When asked how she handles a busy life of writing, recording and touring, Parton mentions leaning on her fellow musician friends for support. Of her sister-in-law, singer-songwriter Rae Morris, Parton says, ‘We never really talk about music. It’s nice to sometimes have friends that know what you’re going through, but we never really talk about it.’ She also mentions their joint connection to Bombay Bicycle Club, saying that working with them again would be ‘cool’.
Looking ahead to the summer, the singer is excited for what is to come, both with touring and various festivals. ‘Playing a show and then meeting everyone afterwards is definitely the best part for me’. She’s also selling chocolate as part of her merch selection. ‘Super-delicious, healthy chocolate…if there’s such a thing’ she adds. She’s also on the bill at Somersault, Kendal Calling and Reading and Leeds, amongst many others. ‘Yeah I should be pretty busy,’ she says, with the excitement and trepidation of the touring musician. ‘It’s going to be a busy summer’.