“There are a lot of hard-hitting moments…” - hmv.com talks to Lucy Spraggan
She’s only halfway through her 25th year on Planet Earth, but incredibly singer-songwriter Lucy Spraggan is already on to her fourth album. It’s named I Hope You Don’t Mind Me Writing and it hits shelves today (you can preview and purchase it on the right-hand side of the page), we spoke to Spraggan to find out how it all came together…
How did you want this album to move on from what you’d done before?
“This time rather than trying to chase radio play or impress A&R types I just decided to write and see what happens. It’s much more about what’s going in my life rather than trying to captivate a certain person.”
Did that mean you wrote more songs? Or fewer?
“I meant I wrote when I wrote rather than trying to sit down and get songs done. It definitely improve my creative flow and lowered my inhibitions. There’s a song on there about buying my house and feeling a proper adult for the first time and there’s a really sad song about dementia. My wife’s Grandma is suffering from it and I’d never encountered it before, I literally wrote it the day after I met her. There are a lot of hard-hitting moments.”
Who have you worked with on the album?
“Jon McGuire produced the album, he’s really fantastic and he totally gets me. There’s one song written with The Dunwells who were my support band last time. We went out after the last night of our tour and we got on so well that we decided to write together. I wrote a song with them for their album and they’ve written one with me for mine. Writing this time has been much more organic, there’s been a lot less management to get songs done.”
Do you get a lot out of collaborating with other writers?
“I really do. I’m primarily a lyricist and getting what’s in my head down on paper with a good melody isn’t always easy. Lyrics are my thing, if I’m in a writing session and I’ve got lyrics that I want and somebody tries to touch them, I’ll always say no. But I get a lot from other people, I’m not very technical at all.”
You’ve touched on the heavier lyrical subjects on the album, are there some lighter ones too?
“There are, I just tend to talk about the depressing songs! There’s a song called ‘Hush Little Baby’, which I’ve written to my future kids, it’s a bit cheesy but I love it. ‘Modern Day Frankenstein’, which is the single, is just a fun track.”
When did you settle on the title?
“I really had to push myself to get a title, I didn’t want to self-title it, I think that’s boring. I Hope You Don’t Mind Me Writing is the opening line from ‘Dear You’ which is one of my favourite songs on the album and it has a nice double meaning. It sums up the album I think.”
This is your second album that you’re self-releasing, how’s that working for you?
“It’s working well. From a business perspective you have to make it work and be clever with your investments, but I know who to work with now and how to do it. If you have a fanbase like mine you can really make things work. It’s risky, but actually it’s much harder for me to shut my mouth and let someone else take over. It’s easier for me to be able to be in control and answer key questions, rather than have someone I don’t know at a big label with a big fancy desk make those decisions for me. I’m a control freak, it’s why my label is called CTRL Records.”
What are your plans to take the record out live?
“We’ve got a big European tour in March and that’s almost a month’s worth of shows including quite a few dates in the UK.”
Are you booking for the festivals too?
“There are. There are incredible, life-affirming festivals that I’m doing, but I’m not allowed to tell you about any of them.”
And then after the summer?
“We’ve got an acoustic tour booked for later in the year and then I’ll be back to writing. I don’t like to waste any time.