"I had this feeling that I wanted to let go of everything that I’d done before" - Rae Morris talks new album Someone Out There
Rae Morris’s 2015 debut album Unguarded was a great success, landing in the top 10 on week of release and cementing the singer’s reputation as one of the UK’s most exciting pop talents. Now she’s followed it up with a second LP.
Her new album Someone Out There arrives today and is once again backed by a stellar line-up of producers including Haim/Vampire Weekend key man Ariel Rechtshaid and Ellie Goulding/Kylie regular collaborator Starsmith.
We spoke to Morris about moving on from Unguarded and her wish for some peace and quiet...
How did you want this album to move on from your debut album? Did you set a goal of what you wanted?
“Not really. I didn't have a goal. I had this feeling that I wanted to let go of everything that I’d done before. I wanted to have more fun and create music that I wanted to listen to. I wanted new landscapes and to play with cool melodies, that was my overriding feeling.”
Are you an artist who collects a lot of songs and then trims that down for an album? Or do you work on a smaller selection?
“It ended up being a huge amount of songs. I had 100 tracks written over an 18-month period. Some of them were really not right, but I feel like you have to go to extreme places and then pull back. You have to try. I wanted a spectrum of colour and to be able to choose the right ones, I wanted the ones that meant the most to me.”
Is getting 100 tracks down to an album’s worth a difficult process?
“It does take a time and it changed a lot. You need a strong reference point. A song called ‘Dip My Toe’ was in and out and ended up coming back. Getting a flow is important, making sure the tracks don’t jar with each other.”
You’ve got a great line-up of producers again, you’ve got Ariel Rechtshaid, Starsmith, Fryars and more, can you ever see yourself working with just one producer on an album?
“I tried to keep it to a small group of writers and producers. I’ve got a few collaborators I really trust and those are the ones I go back to. To be honest, I’d like to tuck myself away and write and produce myself, I’d quite like to see nobody, there’d be something wonderful in that. I can see myself doing that soon. But for these two records, it’s been amazing to learn so much from all these amazing producers.”
What kind of album do you think this is lyrically? Is there a theme? Or is every song its own island?
“I’d say more the latter. The songs are all snapshots, little stories, different sides of me and my personality. There’s no concept. It’s a wider album than my first, less personal and less insular. It’s not all about me anymore.”
Do you write words all the time? Or do you need a melody to work to?
“With this album, I found poetry a big help with my lyrics. I find lyrics difficult. I find it hard not to just rattle something off, I find words hard to concentrate on. I try to write down things all the time and not overanalyse them. Then I can work with those ideas.”
Was the album always going to be called Someone Out There?
“It was. As soon as that song was written that felt like the album’s important song, the one with the widest scope.”
Finally, how are your live plans coming along?
“My diary is slowly filling up. I’ve got a big tour in March and then festivals are getting booked. I’m looking at Europe and America, but nothing’s confirmed yet. I’d love to go to new places this time around, especially Japan and Iceland.”