“I don’t write love songs and I don’t need a man” – hmv.com talks to Indiana
She might hail from Nottingham, but 27 year-old Indiana’s debut album No Romeo sounds like it comes straight from the heart of Stockholm. All icy synths, stark instrumentation and dark lyrics, condensed into witchy three-minute pop songs, it’s as good as anything Lykke Li and Oh Land have ever produced.
We chatted with about what it’s like to sit with an album for months and months and her plans for world domination…
You must be relieved more than anything that album is finally coming out…
“Yeah! I promise it’s coming out this time! The waiting is finally over! It’s been months now so I’m really happy.”
When did you actually finish it? It must have been weird to wait for a long time…
“It was done in July last year, so that’s a long time. I’ve had a lot of time to think about the album and there a few things I would definitely change. I might have held a few songs back. I’m a real perfectionist and so waiting with it sitting there has been so weird. I’d have taken more time on some of the songs, but I can’t think about it, I’ll drive myself insane otherwise.”
Were you able to go back and work on it?
“No, it was all sent. The tracklisting was final, the details have been out there. I’ve just had to sit there for the last few months, wishing I’d been able to make a few tweaks.”
You worked with John Beck for the majority of the process, how did that come about?
“We’re quite similar in our musical tastes. When we actually first started working together I wasn’t an artist on a circuit of co-writers, I contacted him and we started experimenting together. There were no boundaries and no pressure, it all happened really naturally. He really helped me find my sound, I’d just been working a piano before that. I didn’t know I was writing an album when I started working with John, but that’s what it turned into.”
How would you describe the album lyrically?
“I’d like to say it’s an intelligent record. I like trying to find ways to say things that other people haven’t. I like lyrics where you can read between the lines and get lost in metaphor. I have drawn on past experiences, but I put myself in a role or take a different persona with each song.”
How do you write lyrics? Do you sit down and write? Or are you constantly writing all the time?
“I do it all the time. My phone is full of voice notes, which I never seem to listen to. I love going through a thesaurus too, trying to get new words to use in my lyrics.”
Why did you settle on the title of No Romeo?
“I wanted to call the album No Romeo before I came up with the song. People can interpret the tracks on the album however they want, but to me they aren’t love songs, they’re from a very different place. It was the last song I wrote, I chose the title and I thought I’d write a song with that title too. I like to write songs full of empowerment and that’s one of them. It has a nice double meaning too, I don’t write love songs and I don’t need a man.”
What are your plans to take it out live?
“I know we’ve got another headline tour booked already and I’m hoping to be all around the festivals. I like that my songs on record sound very to how they sound live. I’m looking forward to taking the record out to as many people as I can.”
Indiana’s debut album No Romeo is released on Monday (February 2nd). You can pre-order it in hmv stores now.