"It’s rare that you catch that bit of magic..." - hmv.com talks to Rumer
Rumer returns this week with her fourth album and she's taking on one of America's most iconic songwriters with her new LP This Girl's in Love: A Bacharach & David Songbook (you can preview and purchase it on the right-hand side of the page).
We sat down with her to find out why she decided to pay tribute to the songs of Burt Bacharach and Hal David and why her being a newlywed inspired the project...
What was the inspiration for the project?
"It was a project that I was asked to do by East West/Warner Records. I had met Burt Bacharach in 2010 before the release of my first album, recorded and released one of his new songs, 'Some Lovers', and I had also performed 'A House Is Not A Home' for him at the White House. I also performed a duet of 'Hasbrook Heights' with Dionne Warwick at the Albert Hall. I had been on a natural path towards doing this project for a while, and felt after some years of professional experience, I thought that I would accept the challenge!"
How did you choose which of Burt Bacharach and Hal David’s tracks you would record?
"We started with about 25 tracks, some that I was more familiar with than others, and then started to routine them at home. We spent a few months going through the catalogue, looking for hidden gems as well as ways to make the classic hits sound new. The final tracks naturally presented themselves after a while. One song Alfie (my dog) really didn’t like, and he would leave the room whenever we played it, so we scrapped that one!"
What was your favourite song to record?
"I think '(They Long to Be) Close to You', because it was one take, just me and Rob (Rob Shirakbari, Burt Bacharach's former musical director and Rumer's husband), live in the studio. It’s rare that you catch that bit of magic."
And which was the hardest to get right?
"I think the hardest was 'This Girl’s in Love with You', because distilling it down to simplicity was harder than I thought. It takes a lot of effort to get the simplicity across and get the lightness and the bounce right."
When did you settle on the title of This Girl’s In Love?
"There were a few reasons for the title. One, Rob and I had only just got married, so we were newlyweds making the album together. Secondly, in the pre production stage I started to fall in love with Hal David’s lyrics. I told Rob “I think I’m in love with Hal!”."
There’s even an appearance from Burt himself on the album, that must have been a lot of fun?
"That was a great honour, and an amazing evening at Capitol."
What are your plans to take the album out live?
"We will be doing launch show in Leeds on the 25th, and then we will be playing again next year in the summer. There are no touring plans before then."
How is the follow-up to Into Colour coming along? Have you been able to find much time for your own songs?
"Yes, I am starting to sketch out songs already. This time, I am going to keep the music fairly simple and intimate. The thing is that great art reflects life, and life has to be lived and time and experiences have to go by in order to distill all of that experience down to ten great songs.. It takes time to make something truly sincere, so I am taking my time with this next one."