Posts Tagged ‘No Words Left’

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Nearly one year ago to this day, Lucy Rose graced the stage of Manhattan’s (Le) Poisson Rouge and with her signature, self-deprecating humility and wry humor, she addressed the audience assembled there. “I don’t know how you have found out about my music. I don’t know what’s wrong with you to want to spend an evening listening to my sad songs,” she joked. “But I can’t tell you how much it warms my heart that you guys have all come out this evening to support us in this way.” She then launched into an acoustic, goosebump-inducing rendering of “Shiver,” the final single released from her 2012 debut album “Like I Used To”.

Listening to her sad songs, and it was a thrill to bear witness to a musician so intimately connected to—and in control of—her craft. Her words dislodged something in the deeper recesses of my heart and mind that made me reflect more lucidly on things in my own life—the highs, the lows and everything in between. I sipped my beer faster, in the hopes of relieving the lump in my throat and calming the flutters in my gut, to no avail.

As I and my fellow spectators experienced first hand the power to make you feel something when you hear them is inherent within Lucy Rose’s songs. And it should come as no surprise, as she has suffused her songs with uncompromisingly raw and vulnerable emotion since the earliest days of her career.

Her superb third album Something’s Changing (2017) exemplifies her penchant for the confessional strains of song writing, albeit with a balance of the sombre and sanguine underpinning its compositions. Less than two years on from its precursor’s release, Rose’s Tim Bidwell-produced fourth album “No Words Left” finds her baring the conflicts of her soul with an even more pronounced clarity and self-awareness. Her crystalline voice is noticeably prominent atop the stark yet sublimely melodic arrangements of acoustic guitar and piano, punctuated by strings that heighten the emotional tension of her musings.   

“In every way I’ve approached writing, recording and now releasing music, it’s been different,” Rose said of the album when she officially announced it back in January. “I’ve lost all consciousness in caring and it’s been liberating. It is what it is. It’s a feeling, it’s a song, it’s a sound, it’s a part of me which I can’t decipher whether it’s good or bad, but it’s sincere.”

Indeed, the eleven songs that comprise No Words Left are refreshingly devoid of pretense and calculation. Instead, they illuminate Rose’s troubled inner monologue and feelings of detachment, as she wrestles with her self-worth as an artist, a woman, and a lover. This is arguably most clearly manifest on the album-concluding “Song After Song,” in which she grapples with self-doubt, reflecting, “Help me, I’m living out my dream / Or so it seems / When I see that look in your eyes / I know that I’m telling myself a lie / Oh, a lie / Maybe I’m not as good as the girl I hear next door / I hear her now / Ooh, she’s playing her guitar / Through a bedroom wall.”

Her confidence is—at least temporarily—revived, however, on the piano-driven, saxophone-enhanced “Solo(w),” inspired by her decision to exit last year’s tour supporting fellow UK singer-songwriter Passenger. “I realised that I’d rather play to 20 people who cared, rather than 1000 people who didn’t,” she confided to The Line of Best Fit in a recent interview. “I’m not saying that all of them didn’t, but you can’t hear the ones that care.”

“Treat Me Like a Woman” is a cathartic meditation on gender dynamics, inspired by Rose’s perceptions of how others view and engage with her as a woman. “You treat me like a fool / Or do you treat me like a girl? / Treat me like a fool / Or do you treat me like his wife?” she inquires in the opening verse, before admitting, “I’m afraid and I’m scared and I’m terrified / That this is how it will be for all of my life.” Informed by her personal experiences, her words surely resonate with most—if not all—of her female listeners who harbour the same feelings of marginalization.

The album’s lead single “Conversation” is a stirring rumination on the challenges of sustaining love, beyond the initial flush of newfound romance (“If you look at what we once had / Well it feels many moons away”). An intimate confession directed toward her partner, “The Confines Of This World” finds her striving to hold it together for him, confiding, “’Cause all I ever wanted was for you to feel proud / And everybody’s telling me I’m losing my mind / And all I ever wanted was for you to feel calm / Now everybody’s worried that I’m losing my faith.” Her hope is later restored on the plaintive piano ballad “Nobody Comes Round Here,” as she wistfully declares, “When I’m dreaming you’re still with me / And then I open up my eyes / They open up wide.”

Contrary to the album’s title, and as if her growing legion of devotees ever doubted it for a second, it’s more evident than ever before that Ms. Rose has plenty of words left to share with the world and a whole lifetime of songs to sing ahead of her.

The latest album from English songwriter Lucy Rose is beautiful but intense. Her tendency towards contemplation could very well explain the complexity and depth of No Words Left, an album that Rose herself confirms as “the different one”, and it is – with its lyrically tense, transfixing melodies and intriguing instrumentation, it’s a distinct shift in sound at nearly a decade into her career of making powerful yet approachable folk/indie-rock gems.

“I don’t know, I feel like after every record you’re like, ‘Yeah this is me, I’ve really found myself on this one,’” Rose laughs. “And then six months later you’re like, ‘Oh God, it was all a lie.’ You’re always excited about a new record and you somehow want to think it’s more authentically you. I guess I don’t know where it’s come from. It’s just the nature of things and curiosity for trying something else.

“I think this one has turned out the way it has is for a multitude of reasons. Touring without a drummer because I can’t afford to take a band with me, having freedom to play outside of rhythm, has been liberating. Doing more stuff on the guitar has led me to being the master of my own pace on this record. I’ve just been able to reach that point where I’m like, ‘Fuck it, if they don’t like it, I don’t care.’”

The sonic shift has seen Rose incorporate some sax and strings with her sighing but forceful vocal, making for a beautiful and often unsettling listen. Musically, it’s diverse. Lyrically, it’s intense. Lead single Solo(w) laments, “But I can’t help it when I am so low/Pretending like I have a purpose/Well, now that’s long gone/Something’s missing/When I am solo, so low, solo, so low.”

“The content of the songs, I don’t know why I wrote about what I did – it just sort of happened,” Rose explains. “I spend every waking minute of my day analysing every feeling that I have, which isn’t necessarily a good thing but I think it’s led to the album having an introspective view on everyday feelings. The whole thing has been a bit of a surprise, really.

“I would presume that I should know how to talk about my emotions by now. And because of my music I give myself the impression that I do. And I can’t; I can somehow do it in a few lyrics, but if you sat down and tried to talk to me about it, I wouldn’t be able to make much sense of it.

“It’s an intense thing, the album. You could put it on the list of things that you don’t like at first but you grow to love. Like beer, wine and olives.”

These songs have allowed me to get to know myself in a way I haven’t before and I’m sure after you listen to it you’ll end up knowing me better as well. There’s so much I could say about the record but at the moment I just want you to have it.

As you will have seen, a huge part of telling the story of the album and how it’s been made has been through my husband, Will Morris’s photos. They were the catalyst which inspired me to make the visual film to accompany the album, directed by Chris McGill.

For the first time ever I feel like I’ve made an album as one piece of music. It’s not a collection of songs but an album which describes a certain time in my life and the feelings that went with it. I’ve always thought an album needed light and shade but I decided it was time for me to embrace all the shade and I knew the light would come when the time was right.

As always thank you so much for being here and sticking with me. It’s album number four and making it has been a monumental journey for me but I feel so much stronger for it. Hope you are all well and I’m sure to see some of you on the road these next 9 months.

Lots of love,
Lucy x

No Words Left was recorded in Brighton, produced by Tim Bidwell and mixed by Cenzo Townsend.

We last heard from Lucy Rose with the release of 2017’s “Something’s Changing”, a record that heralded a new outlook for the musician who was re-evaluating what she wanted to do and how she wanted to do it.

If Something’s Changing was an artist rediscovering their voice, No Words Left is Lucy Rose using that voice to devastatingly frank effect. Lyrically and musically fearless, this record is a beautifully intense, but often unsettling listen. It’s a body of work, a fine modern example of the enduring strength of the album format.

Describing the record and its process, Lucy explains: “Releasing this record feels entirely different to every other record I’ve released. But to try and sum up my emotions is virtually impossible. “I don’t believe this the best album I’ve ever made because I don’t believe in making comparisons when it comes to music. But it’s different.

“In every way I’ve approached writing, recording and now releasing music, it’s been different. I’ve lost all consciousness in caring and it’s been liberating. It is what it is. It’s a feeling, it’s a song, it’s a sound, it’s a part of me which I can’t decipher whether it’s good or bad, but it’s sincere. I recently learnt that the word sincere is derived from the Latin sine = without, cera = wax due to dishonest sculptors in Rome or Greece covering flaws in their work with wax to deceive the viewer. So, a sculpture “without wax” would mean honesty in its perfection.

“That really struck a chord with me as sincerity really is the key to this record. It’s my truth. Sincerity is the truth of a person, not just the good but the bad: the flaws, the realness, which can never be ‘perfect’. This album reflects the reality of my life, the toughness life throws at you, and for a period of time it did become too much for me to handle alone.

“I could try to explain more about each song but in all honesty, I can’t particularly remember writing them, the feeling being too strong and too big for me to comprehend. But songs came out and through writing them and working through my thoughts I saw the truth lying in front of me and a way to move forward.

“I always hope my music would be a comfort to someone, however this record may not be the easiest listen. But it’s in its discomfort I believe a different form of comfort can be found. I’m certain of it. “

Wow, time has really flown and it’s only one week until you will be able to hear ‘No Words Left’ and what’s been in my head this last year. Today I want to share with you another song from the album, which is so important to me.

‘Treat Me Like A Woman’ was written one afternoon in Munich after a combination of events which pushed me to think about the way people interact with me purely based on my gender. I’ve often thought things like, ‘Would that have happened to me if I was a man?’ and a feeling of lack of respect at times purely because I’m a woman.

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In every way I’ve approached writing, recording and now releasing music, it’s been different. I’ve lost all consciousness in caring and it’s been liberating. It is what it is. It’s a feeling, it’s a song, it’s a sound, it’s a part of me which I can’t decipher whether it’s good or bad, but it’s sincere. I recently learnt that the word sincere is derived from the Latin sine = without, cera = wax due to dishonest sculptors in Rome or Greece covering flaws in their work with wax to deceive the viewer. So a sculpture “without wax” would mean honesty in its perfection.
That really struck a chord with me as sincerity really is the key to this record. It’s my truth. Sincerity is the truth of a person, not just the good but the bad: the flaws, the realness, which can never be ‘perfect’. This album reflects the reality of my life, the toughness life throws at you.

Official video for ‘Conversation’ New album ‘No Words Left’ out March 22nd

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