LISTEN: New Rose Elinor Dougall

New track streaming here! Plus interview...

It’s been a while since we last heard from Rose Elinor Dougall, but heck it’s worth the wait, as her new track, ‘Strange Warnings’ (streaming below via You Records) attests. With hints of Stereolab in the percussion and guitar underneath Dougall’s blue-sky-over-the-Downs vocals, ‘Strange Warnings’ is exactly what the Quietus wants from a pop song. We dropped Rose a line to ask about the track, and to find out what’s what. Rose plays the Shacklewell Arms in London on August 14th 2013, details here.

Hullo Rose! What the hell have you been up to?

Rose Elinor Dougall: Hello! What the hell indeed… To cut a long story short, I have been mainly writing songs. After my time touring ended, with my band and with Mark Ronson at the close of 2011, it took me a little while to reconfigure myself and find my focus for the next album. I knew that i had to find a way to utilise all of the experiences I had had, the inspiring people i had met, the knowledge i had gained from writing, recording and playing my first album etc etc, in a way that would feel fresh and exciting to me, but also retaining my sense of self. This can be an amorphous notion as the best of times, but I wanted to challenge it, and the way I went about that was to write songs alone, and with a number of different people, in different places, with different objectives. I think I maybe have over 60 songs, I’m not sure, I haven’t counted, but through this process I feel that I have really got to the kernal of where I am right now as a songwriter and a singer. It also took me some time to find the right collaborators, as I was keen for my new music to have a slightly more outward-looking approach, which to some extent, meant finding outsiders to come into the project and invest new energy. I’ve also spent a lot of time in the states, particularly New York, as well as walking in the woods a lot…. This suddenly seems to be becoming a long story… I’ll stop now…

Can you tell us a little about his new song…

RED: Its called ‘Strange Warnings’ and was written at the beginning of this year with Oli Bayston, who also produced it. Oli is a wonderful songwriter in his own right, (everyone should check out his solo project Boxed In), and has become a key part of this next album. It deals with the idea of trying to find something to grab hold of when everything feel intangible and confused, amongst other things…

How does it compare to your other new material? Is it representative of where you’re going next?

RED: In many ways yes it does, especially in terms of the sonic textures, and rhythmic ideas. Rhythm has been a big focus for me this time around. I wanted to make music that was propulsive and had groove, but still be emotional and have lyrical depth. I think this track is a good cross section of collection of music that is occasionally more pop, and at other times darker…

What’s been inspiring your music lately?

RED: Many of the usual things such as books, records, films, people. For instance I’m reading Anais Nin’s diaries at the moment, and the way she talks about creativity and dreams and love has been really enriching… Many of the songs are rooted in living in Hackney and everything that entails, but a number of them are linked to nature and the woods, namely the Ashdown Forest in East Sussex where i have spent a lot of time over the past couple of years. The epicentre of all of it is probably still the relationships in my life however.

A tip for staying cool:

RED: Well you either have it or you don’t Luke…

And what are your records of the year so far

RED: Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, The Knife, Mac Demarco, Fat White Family, A$AP Rocky, Jon Hopkins, bits of AlunaGeorge, Savages, a lot of new music that my friends are making.

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