Released: 27th April 2021
Genre: Alternative-pop, Acoustic, Indie
For fans of: The 1975, Taylor Swift, Hozier
emotional is the self produced, debut album from Liverpool singer-songwriter Lydia Rowlands. The album is stunning from start to finish and really offers you an insight into Lydia's heart and soul. With nearly 1000 followers on Spotify and over three times as many streams on her previous releases, we predict that Lydia is set for great things!
We had a chat to Lydia about her new album. Read on below to see what she had to say!
1. Tell us a bit about your musical journey so far.
I started releasing music at the beginning of 2020. I’d been writing music for years and it came to a point where I wanted other people to hear the things that I’d been writing as a solo artist. From that point I wrote a demo EP and that was my first taste of recording my own music and I just kept building on my music and production abilities until I knew that I wanted to release my recent album.
2. Given the current situation, how does it feel to be releasing and creating new music?
Well I’ve written and recorded everything in complete isolation and for someone who’s always written as part of a band or with a writing partner I found myself going slightly mad working on the same riff or the same lyrics for weeks. I haven’t been able to play any music live and have that connection with people. I don’t even know if I could play some of my songs in front of an audience because it wasn’t something I considered while I was recording. I feel like it’s given me an opportunity to learn and grow as an artist but I want that experience of performing live.
3. How would you say your album emotional fits into your music and releases as a whole, and the musical direction you’re heading?
I thought I’d try everything on this album. Any genre or instrument or effect. I wanted to see what I could do and where I could go and now I think I have a clearer sense of my own musical style and inspiration because of my experimentation. I know I want to move away from the more orchestral sounds and try doing something with indie rock but right now I can’t say.
4. What is the inspiration behind Emotional?
I was hurt very badly. This was about three years worth of pain and I couldn’t talk to anyone about it because it concerned my friends and the people around me so I just needed to write and work on something that was as close as I could get to opening up about it. Because I’m only eighteen I was feeling a type of pain that I’d never felt before and I was listening to a lot of Taylor Swift and her beautiful narrative writing as well as Maisie Peters, Dodie, Orla Gartland and I just felt like if I write and write and write maybe one day I’ll be okay with it all.
5. What is your usual process when it comes to writing songs?
I find myself liking the instrumentals I write more because my vocals are something that I’m the most anxious about people hearing because they’re so fragile. They usually start with a simple set of chords or a tiny melody that I can stretch out and build on. All my lyrics come with a melody that I can hear in my head when I write so from that it’s easy for me to construct things around them. But usually I record a very simple demo usually just on my phone of me playing it live then I compose more instruments or play around with layering vocals then I do a more constructed demo that’s ‘bigger’ I guess. And then I start sending those demos to friends and get their feedback and start recording a final version. Then give special attention to the mixing and mastering so when people hear the song when it’s finished it sounds ‘put-together’ as one entity.
6. How would you describe your sound to someone who hasn’t heard your music before?
Music for the side characters in life, it’s stuff to sit and listen to while you stare out of the window looking at the rain. It’s something that just stretches the genre of ‘pop’.
7. Where would be your dream venue to play a gig?
I’d love to do the tiny desk concerts in Washington DC, they always seem so cool and relaxed I think it’s awesome. I don’t know if MTV unplugged is still a thing but I’d jump at the chance I’ve loved the unplugged sets of Nirvana, All Time Low, Paramore and I’d love to take a run at it myself.
8. Who are the artists that you can never tire of listening to?
I’m a gigantic musical theatre fan but I love Fall Out Boy they’re my favourite band. The 1975 always has the right album for whatever mood you’re in, The Smiths if I want to pretend I’m in a coming of age movie. There’s a great Liverpool artist Joe Leath who was a friend of mine and I think it’s because we’ve got similar music tastes but I love everything he writes and I never tire of listening to it.
9. What is the best gig you’ve ever been to?
All Time Low at the Liverpool Student Union in 2017. It was just such a wonderful gig it came at a really important point in my life and everyone was so friendly and welcoming and there was a slow dance pit at one point I wish I could go back and live that night again.
10. What is next for Lydia Rowlands?
I want to play live! I'm looking into forming a band to work with my tracks and try to make them ready for a live audience. I will obviously keep writing music, I'm actually recording the next few singles at the moment but practising playing live is my top priority right now
Massive thanks to Lydia for chatting to us about her stunning new album emotional
Stay tuned for our next '10 Questions With..' guest coming soon!
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You can stream emotional on Spotify here