"If I'd released this album a year ago, it would have sounded completely different" – hmv.com talks to Nina Nesbitt
Scottish singer-songwriter Nina Nesbitt has come a long way in three short years. Back in 2011 she was a complete unknown who, out of nowhere, was invited to support Ed Sheeran on his European tour after he came across her music online.
She was soon snapped up by major label Universal and has spent the last two years slowly building towards her debut album, releasing no less than five EPs.
Now, after a long gestation, her debut album Peroxide is locked and loaded and due out on Monday (February 17). We caught up with her to find out about the album's creation, working with Kodaline and why she believes she'll never sound as good on record as she does live.
Your album Peroxide is out on Monday, how are you feeling ahead of release? Excited or nervous?
"A bit of both. I'm excited to get it out finally, little bit nervous because I've spent a lot of time writing it, I'll be more interested to hear what people think of it than anything else."
When did you finish recording it?
"November. Given it went on pre-order in December the whole thing's been pretty last minute, but I wanted to get it out in February before all the festivals."
And when did you start on the album?
"I started writing ages ago, there are songs on there from when I was 15, so there's four years worth of writing on there. I started recording it two years ago, it's been on and off because I've been touring."
You worked with Jake Gosling on the album, what was he like to work with?
"He was awesome. He's a very experienced producer, which was nice to have around. He was very good at bringing the sound in my head to life."
You wrote with Iain Archer too, who was once in Snow Patrol, what was that like?
"He's super talented guy and he's taught me a lot about writing songs and how you get the best out of guitars. He's all over the Jake Bugg album, which is a record I really love and took some heart from."
What kind of records did you take inspiration from? Were you looking for a record the sounded quite poppy? Or quite raw?
"I didn't really think about the sound, I thought more about the story of the album and the lyrics, I wanted the sound to accompany the lyrics rather than go after a sound. It's got a variety on there, some of it's quite stripped back, some songs are quite rocky, some are quite pop, all sorts."
What would you say the album's key influences are?
"I listen to anything. Anything. A mixture of acoustic, pop and rock music. I like people like Fleetwood Mac, early Taylor Swift, that's some of my favourite music."
There's a track on the album with Kodaline, what were they like to work with?
"They were great. I played some gigs with them and we made friends and they asked me to feature on their Brand New Day EP and I then asked them to feature on the record."
By our count you've had five EPs which date right back to 2011, did you want to wait this long to get your album out?
"I couldn't have put it out last year, I wanted to wait, there are so many acoustic singer-songwriters out there that it was important for me to do something different, to try and push boundaries, so I wrote more songs. That's what pushed it back, if I'd released this album a year ago, it would have sounded completely different."
What would it have sounded like if it had come out last year?
"A lot more acoustic, a lot younger too, I've grown up a lot in the past year and discovered the electric guitar."
What's the oldest song on the record then?
"A track called 'Skeletons', which is a bonus track, I wrote that when I was 15, it's about anxiety. 'Hold You', that's old too, I was 16 when I wrote that one. In the end I got to do it with Kodaline too."
Are there any that are super new? Written in the studio?
"Yeah. 'The Hardest Part', I wrote that in the last week in the studio. I'd just played it on tour and I thought 'I have to put this on the album now'. 'Mr C' and 'Selfies' both came pretty late too."
You're off on tour in March, looking forward to that?
"Absolutely. They're all venues I've always wanted to play to, so I can't wait to get out there."
Do you think there are any songs that will be difficult to replicate live?
"I don't think so. I actually started off playing most of these live before I recorded them. To be me, I always sound better live than on record, I prefer it. The album's a taster of what I'm like live."
What's the rest of 2014 got in store for you?
"After this, I've got a European tour, then some dates in America, then lots of festivals and hopefully a big UK tour at the end of the year. Lots to do."
Nina Nesbitt's debut album Peroxide is released on Monday (February 17). You can check out her catalogue on hmvdigital now.
She will be meeting fans for signings and selfie sessions to support the release of her new album Peroxide at:
hmv Edinburgh - Monday 17th February - 1pm
hmv Glasgow Buchanan - Monday 17th February - 5pm
hmv Newcastle - Tuesday 18th February - 5pm
hmv Manchester - Wednesday 19th February - 5pm