Enigmatic, soul-stirring singer-songwriter LP is gearing up to release their highly anticipated new album ‘Love Lines’. 

On the other side of our Zoom call sits LP looking effortlessly cool, as always. Currently vacationing in Greece, LP has kindly sat down for a chat with me about their exciting new album. “It was interesting because I didn’t even really talk about writing a new record, I didn’t discuss it with my managers” they reply, drink in hand, sun reflecting from sunglasses. “I remember saying to them ‘You know, I think we might be done with this record’ and they were like ‘What record?!’”[laughs]. 

Writing music is second nature to the LA-based artist, even now at a time when they are relaxing in a beautiful country, the songs keep flowing. “I’m here with my friend and guitar player, Andrew Martin. We were pandemic friends who met through my ex-girlfriend. I felt a bit guilty to start with saying ‘I don’t want to be friends with your friends’ and also didn’t want to start writing songs with her friends but it just happened so naturally. It was me, Andrew, this guy called Matt Pauling, and Ashton Irwin, we were all just really good friends. Matt’s a producer, Ashton is in Five Seconds Of Summer, and Andrew plays with Palaye Royale and a bunch of other bands so we all knew what we were doing. We didn’t want to be like ‘Let’s hang and write’ but we did and then did it again and again… We ended up with two and a half songs which is the point when I thought ‘I think something is happening here’. I like to get a house somewhere and write, it’s like a studio. There’s something more relaxed about feeling you are on vacation because I can’t help but work, so when it became evident we had a lot of chemistry, we started writing a little bit in the spring of 2022 which is where those two and a half songs came from.” 

The rest of the album came to fruition in the Cayman Islands where 10 more tracks were written before LP went on tour for a few months. “I then got another place in Palm Springs to finish it. The actual writing probably took six to eight weeks but it felt very easy, very free. Writing is always work but it’s the excavation, the understanding of what’s been happening in the last period of your life. I felt very connected to myself and what was coming out was nice.”

The whole album came about naturally rather than just sitting down and forcing the music to flow. “I had this really fortunate experience for myself between thinking I was never going to be an artist again and thinking I would just be writing songs for other people. I had two years of thinking about that and the thing is, when you’re a writer – depending on everything, of course – it’s considerably less glamorous as far as when you are in the writing room. It’s not like ‘Are you inspired today? Are you okay? Maybe you’re just not feeling it?’, when you’re a writer it’s like ‘Where’s the fucking song? Where is it?!’ [laughs]. It’s very work oriented. I call it crying on command, like school in a way. I worked so hard during those years because I was scared to death of not being able to make a living doing it if I didn’t hustle so I got really good at having to do it and I don’t waste my time. I’m having this really beautiful vacation right now but me and Andrew are already naturally writing songs. I don’t have to try anymore. I’ll just go ‘Alright, I’m ready. I think I need to write a new record’. It’s really nice and such a gift to understand it was possible.”

Being able to write music naturally without feeling the pressure of ‘having’ to do it means LP always manages to write the best music they can. Writing so often means a huge back catalogue of songs ready to go whether they decide to keep them for themselves or not. “Sometimes it’s immediate as I’m writing it [if it’s for me] but other times not so much. The song Celine Dion put on her last record was a song I had just sitting there. I wasn’t thinking about it and in my own humble opinion, I feel I have written better songs than that a bunch of times and didn’t even know she was going to use it. I would have gone for a week hard to write her a song but she just took one which was sitting in the dock waiting and I don’t think I ever would have done anything with it. I’m constantly stockpiling songs, I’m not saying they are all good or whatever but there are some songs on YouTube I don’t know how got out there. There’s one called ‘Too Much’ which was a demo I did back in 2007 during one of my first major label deals with a guy called Matthew Weldon, he’s one of the most lovely people. We wrote this song and somehow it got out and onto YouTube and I think combined, it has like 20 million hits. There are a few others too, sometimes a fan will post a song I don’t even remember writing.” Laughs LP.

Their new record ‘Love Lines’ is a reflective take on their life, relationships, and family. Weaving its way through a deeper look at the complexity of human experience through their own eyes. LP says there aren’t really any songs which mean more to them than others as they all have their own special thing. “What’s so fun about songs is the fact, especially with making a record, they are all vignettes of life so I don’t know, I love them all. I think lyrically and poetically I really went up a notch for myself this time around, whether that’s apparent to anybody else, who gives a shit? I just feel really good about everything on this record”.

The album has been described as the pure essence of LP and what they’ve spent their life doing and cultivating – trying to figure it all out. It’s wonderful to hear that every year, LP feels more like the person they are and they are constantly trying to push as much duality and meaning into every phrase as they possibly can. “As verbose as I am in life, I feel like with songs, I’m trying to be as quick and concise as possible in order to deliver complicated emotions and thoughts with the most brevity I can.” 

LP has had great success not only as an artist in their own right but as a songwriter for other people. It was LP’s track ‘Lost On You’ which propelled them into the spotlight and made people listen. Arguably one of their most popular and well-known tracks, it’s great to hear that in a live setting, it doesn’t feel as if people are waiting for that one song but rather singing along to everything. I had to ask if there were any songs, in particular, LP was looking forward to playing live from the new record. “We’ve been playing ‘Golden’ and ‘One Like You’ already and there’s such a shift of energy in the room when we play those songs. It’s interesting. There is definitely something going on with them which is exciting. There is a lot of singing, to be honest with you and I think with every record, I make it harder and harder on myself. I wouldn’t wish my setlist on anybody so am in training mode with it! I feel like I’m going to fall face-first after some songs but it’s all very exciting. I have to control my excitement sometimes and it’s always been like that but with this record, I feel like I’m surfing a giant wave.”

When it comes to live shows, LP isn’t one to hold back. “I’m certainly not phoning it in, I’m ripping my fucking chest open. I love connecting with people but am not trying to say it’s this cosmic experience – it’s work. Performing, singing technically well, and being engaging is work but I think you can relax when it comes to my show because I’m gonna take care of it. It’s like a comedian being funny.”

As a behind-the-scenes songwriter, LP has written for some stellar artists including Rihanna. ‘Cheers (Drink To That)’ from Rihanna’s 2010 album ‘Loud’ was written by the charismatic artist during a session which has been cited as one of the most important moments in LP’s songwriting career, opening an array of doors for them. “I did a lot of work to get to the point of getting the Rhianna cut. I thought I was only ever going to be a songwriter so thought I should be diverse and multi-genre. Not wanting to get pigeonholed into writing only pop songs or whatever, I wanted to do everything so I got myself into those rooms and to no avail several times, obviously, but then I got to the point where I wrote ‘Cheers (Drink To That)’. It was actually meant to be the first single released but ended up being the sixth. I didn’t know it at the time, but suddenly I was on the artists’ path so they were then making me write for me. I never really got to see what would have happened as a result of writing ‘Cheers’ which was interesting because it was almost as if it was all in the grand plan. Like, ‘You’re gonna be a songwriter for these two years and you’ll think that’s all you have but then you’re gonna unlock this prolific nature you didn’t even know you had’. When I was younger I would write fifteen songs and put thirteen on a record and think I was amazing. Then when I got signed, my first two major label deals from 2006-2009, made me write every fucking day. It was just constantly like squeezing my brain until it was empty which I didn’t realise was possible. I didn’t know you could do that so I was like ‘Shit, I can write five songs a week if I had to’ but that would have seemed so excessive to me. The thing with all these great songs is, any great songwriter I have worked with – and I’ve worked with some really big guys – they’ve played me some of the biggest clunkers you’ve ever fucking heard of and it’s like ‘I can’t believe you wrote that song.” 

What makes a great song is relative to each person. I may say a deep, acid house track is the best song in the world whereas you may say the new Arctic Monkeys track is. With the songwriting prowess LP possesses, I was interested to know what they believe the compound of a great song is. “I think it’s as soon as it’s over, you need to hear it again. If we’re ever hanging out with our friends, playing songs and saying ‘Oh my god, play that shit again!’. I remember back in the day, being in the club when ‘Hey Ya!’ by OutKast was out and they played it five times. It’s one of those songs which has like 800 fucking hooks in it and think it’s a great song. But other than that, just something that moves you.”

“I’m not trying to be the lesbian artist, think about Melissa Etheridge if she didn’t have those fucking songs. It was those great fucking songs, she is just a great writer. Tracy Chapman, that kind of shit, you know? It’s people breaking through because of songs so I just believe in songs. If Boy George didn’t have those songs back in the day with that funk and pop…. it was undeniable. The songs are what is going to get you through at the end of the day, no matter what anyone says. Then you have some straight douchebag behind the desk saying ‘I knew it!’, you didn’t know shit until the song was a hit so just shut the fuck up!” We both laugh. 

Looking ahead to the future, LP is full of anticipation for playing the new record live. “I have some videos to make for the new album, some other singles, and more touring. I’m very excited to play this record as a whole on the North American tour. Even playing these two, sometimes three songs from it, feels so insane. I can’t wait for the whole record. I always have a lot on my plate as I said, learning how to sing these songs night after night takes a lot of vocal dexterity so I gotta get my own program going. I’m in that place where I have this record done so there’s this little thing in me going ‘Next record…’ even though I haven’t even started touring this one yet [laughs]. But the most important thing right now is what I’m going to drink next!” 

Write a response

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

House of Solo Limited © Copyright 2022. All rights reserved.