Hi Louise, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?
Thank you so much. I’m great thanks – really enjoying the overwhelming response to my new music – it’s really special.
Can you talk to us more about your latest single “On The Run”?
Sure! ‘On The Run’ is inspired by the classic 1963 Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn film “Charade”. It’s a comic thriller, which is how I think most of us could describe our lives. Cary Grant plays an undercover agent investigating a group of criminals, and Audrey Hepburn is the widow of one of the gang, completely unaware of anything her late husband was involved in, and also of Cary Grant’s real identity. In the movie he has four different aliases, but they are falling in love regardless – each time he changes his name, she just seems to love him more. The opening lyric of the song sets up the whole story:
“I don’t know where we are tonight; is this your other life? It’s crazy – what a way to fall in love”
The theme of the song is really about trust i.e. even when you don’t know the whole truth about someone, can you trust them, and will they be there for you? Something I think we can all relate to.
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
Watching ‘Charade’ one rainy afternoon when I really didn’t want to go out into the cold and wet – it was the perfect antidote! I was really drawn to it and before I knew it, I started writing about the characters.
How was the filming process and experience behind the video?
It was hugely enjoyable. I worked on the concept with Duncan Catterall from DC Audio Visual – we wanted to leverage the vintage style and also the graphic style from the movie. Duncan very cleverly weaved in the graphics that are used in the movie’s title sequence into our video. I had a vintage look, and each of the band members represented one of Cary Grant’s aliases in the movie!
The single comes off your new album When I Don’t Love I’ll Let You Know – what’s the story behind the title?
The whole record is inspired by Cary Grant movies, and the title comes from a line he says to Ingrid Bergman in the 1946 Alfred Hitchcock thriller ‘Notorious’. He plays a US government agent who recruits Ingrid Bergman as a spy. They fall in love but she says to him at one point “this is a funny kind of love affair. I’m madly in love with you but you don’t love me” because he doesn’t want to admit to her, or really to himself, that he has fallen in love with her. And when she says that to him, he replies with ‘when I don’t love you I’ll let you know’. I just found that such a great line.
There is also a track on the album called ‘In Your Heart’ which is influenced by ‘Notorious’.
How was the recording and writing process?
With respect to the recording process, my last album was made at Abbey Road which was a wonderful experience, and in a way it was hard to know where to go from there – maybe the most famous studio in the world. So I decided to change trajectory and almost do a 180 and make this record a lot smaller and more intimate; not in the sound of the songs, which I think are really full, but in the recording process. I definitely wanted to be more hands-on with respect to the arrangements and the recording process itself, and to be as involved as I could be, so I kept the team deliberately small.
It’s always good to keep exploring different avenues and writing with new energy. I had a slightly different approach with this record – having a jumping off point of other people’s stories rather than drawing directly from my own life gave me a different perspective and a new experience that I think really shows in the music. It’s a lot more cinematic and dramatic, for obvious reasons. Music and film are so interlinked and to be able to draw from these beautiful pieces was thrilling.
I felt very connected to the songs for two reasons: firstly, that I was much more involved in the arrangements than I ever have been before – writing not only the melodies, but keyboard parts, bass parts etc so I felt more connected to the songs. Secondly, that I was emotionally affected by the people I was writing about – this record is very special to me for those reasons.
What was it like to work with Andy Woodard and how did that relationship develop?
I met Andy a few years ago through Tom Edwards, who was my Musical Director, as well as someone I loved dearly. As you probably know, Tom very sadly passed away at the beginning of 2017 while on tour with Adam Ant. Before his passing, Tom, Andy and I had already started discussing this new record and working on it together, so after that, it just sort of made sense for Andy and I to continue.
It was the first time I’d worked with Andy on the recording side of things (although we’d played gigs together) and it was such a relaxed, easy ride. Obviously, at the start we were feeling our way around each other and what kind of sound we were aiming for but it came together really quickly. Once we’d found our footing, it was a joy if at times also rather sad as we were grieving someone we loved. I am sure Andy and I will work together again (if he will have me!!).