"The best times are when I can get an absolute pin-drop silence, I live for those moments…" - Luke Sital-Singh
Part Bon Iver, part Paul Simon, part Laura Marling, 26-year old troubadour Luke Sital-Singh finally released his debut album this week after a string of acclaimed EPs. We caught up with him to find out about it…
Your debut album The Fire Inside (which you can preview on the right of the page) is out this week, how long have you had it finished for?
“We finished up in March time. Not that it’s not been ages, but enough time for me to get itchy feet and worry about why it’s not out yet. I’ve been working towards this since I was 14, I’m 26 now, it’s a huge thing, I guess that makes it a 12-year journey. I can start looking forward to the next album now.”
Can you put a timeline on when you started working on the album?
“It started properly when we did the Tornados’ EP, which was last summer, once we finished that we started working on the album properly. I didn’t get the chance to hide away for two weeks and make an album. I’d like to, I’d really like to go away for a few weeks and make an album, but I didn’t get to do that this time. It was spare weeks in between touring. A few days here, a few days there.”
You worked with Iain Archer on the album, what was he like to work with?
“He just gets me. He’s a real influence, I was a fan of his before I worked with him, the albums he’s released, which don’t get talked about much, are phenomenal. He’s a brilliant songwriter, that's how it started, we were writing, this is way before he worked with Jake Bugg.”
"I really trust him, I really respect him, he’s great at understanding what I was trying to get at. I’m not great at communicating what I want, but he’s great at getting that out of me. I can be a bit lazy too, if something’s almost there I’m prepared to settle for it, but he’s good at getting me to go back and work that bit harder.”
Did you have many people play on the album?
“It’s mostly just me and Iain. There’s a rhythm section we called on, and one track with brass on it. But it was quite a small team, which is what I wanted.”
How much material did you have to pick through? There must have been quite a lot if you’ve been writing since you were 14?
“There was about four years’ worth, not a huge amount, I’m not a prolific writer, I only finish the songs I know are good. ‘Fell For You’ and ‘Bottled Up Tight’ are the oldest ones, they’re about four years old. There’s about 20 songs that could have made it, but it became obvious quickly which ones fitted the album and which didn’t.”
How would you describe the record lyrically?
“I care a lot about the lyrical side of things, I want people to understand what’s going on, the words have to have value. A lot of lyrics out there are just noise, I don’t want to add to that, it has to mean something. That’s always what I aim for. Lyrics are lessons I’ve learnt and experiences I’ve had.”
What’s the most personal song on the album?
“’Nearly Morning’, which is about my wife, that’s the most emotional moment on the album, it was the hardest to get right, but hearing it back makes me really happy and really proud.”
After the album comes out, what’s the plan?
“I’ve got a big headline tour in September, I can’t wait, I love playing live, if it’s a really great show, there's nothing better. The best times are when I can get an absolute pin-drop silence, I live for those moments…”
Luke Sital-Singh's debut album The Fire Inside is out in hmv stores now.