At a time where staying connected is more important than ever, House of Solo has launched ‘Party of One’, a series providing intimate insight into how your favourite artists are dealing with isolation and what we can expect from them during lockdown.
This week’s hero is London-based singer-songwriter Lucy May Walker. Known for injecting wit and warmth into her tracks, she has her new EP out today entitled: Bad Day. We caught up with her over email to discuss the perils of supermarket self-checkout, homemade granola and her future plans for getting down the pub.
How are you getting on? Now there seems to be a light at the end of the isolation tunnel, how has the time been for you?
Hey! I’m actually doing pretty well, thank you. I have loads of projects to do with my upcoming EP, I think I would have gone a little bit insane if I hadn’t stayed so busy.
Where are you isolating? Describe your favourite room in your space and why you chose that room?
I actually moved house around the start of lockdown from living with my aunty and uncle into a flat share in North London, sharing with five others. We have an open plan kitchen/lounge area which I love because it’s where everyone congregates making food at night. In the day time it’s really calm so it’s where I’ve set up my little merch shop, packing orders for my Kickstarter Campaigners – it’s my little bit of calm with the nicest views overlooking the city.
I love your track ‘Bad Day’ especially your lyric ‘when you use self-checkout I hope your items don’t go through’. What’s been your worst day recently?
Haha, thank you – so annoying when that happens, isn’t it?! That “unexpected item in baggage” message haunts me. On the whole I haven’t had too many bad days, but I did a food shop last week that got me down. It was really stressful because it seems a lot of people have stopped caring about the 2m distance rule once they get in the shop.
I laughed out loud listening to a few of your lyrics, what have you been doing to keep your spirits up?
For me, keeping busy is always the answer. Sometimes you just want to mope around and lock yourself in your room, but the more time you spent doing that alone with your thoughts, the more damaging it can be. I’ve been really lucky to have my EP coming up and a single release during this time, so I’ve spent time creating loads of things around that. What’s been great for me is instead of thinking I might do a live stream one week, or upload a video the next – I’ve announced exactly when I’m doing things online, because it means I have to go through with it. That has really helped me to stay motivated and the busier I am, the happier I seem to be.
You seem to have adapted really well to creating solely online content, producing multiple beautiful isolation sessions. What were these like to create and how have you found moving exclusively online?
Thank you so much! Isolation has really given me the time and space to be more creative. I’ve always wanted to create more online content but I perform live so often that I don’t make it as much of a priority. Luckily my boyfriend is very talented in the camera department, and with us both in isolation with no work to do, it’s been a nice project to keep both of us busy. He’s been the mastermind behind all of my live streams too.
You’ve got a new EP ‘Bad Day’ coming out on June 5th. Which tracks should make it on to people’s summer playlists and why?
ALL OF THEM?! Well, apart from Bad Day, I think ‘Happy For You’ is pretty good bop for the summer. It’s got a catchy part in the chorus I can imagine people singing along to in their gardens.
Your music is often described as country-tinged, do you listen to a lot of country music? If not, have you discovered any new songs/artists/genres while in lockdown?
Not massively, but I am a big fan of the duo, Ward Thomas. What I do love about country music is the story-telling element of it – that’s what I do with my songs. ‘Bad Day’ in particular automatically felt really country as soon as we wrote it and I decided it was better to just go with that vibe than to fight it.
Laura Marling released a new album last month called ‘Song For Our Daughter’ – anything she creates is just perfection. It’s been great to see her doing a lot of guitar tutorials in lockdown.
Is there anything you’ve found yourself doing that you didn’t expect?
Making granola! Every morning I have weetabix, granola and raisins for breakfast – but I was struggling to find granola in the shops so I decided to make my own. I know it’s not exactly the pop star lifestyle you might be expecting, but I’m well happy about it. It actually tastes better than the shop bought ones but now I know it’s not as healthy as I thought…
How has this pandemic changed your opinion concerning the concept of community?
Seeing how many people tune into facebook lives and watching strangers actually talk to each other in the comments has really warmed my heart. My friends and producers ‘The Dunwells’ do a live stream every day at 6pm and it’s so lovely to see everyone come together and feel a part of something.
I used to get annoyed at people for asking if I’m streaming my headline shows on Facebook. Live music is an amazing thing and it’s so important we keep that industry alive – you can’t compare to being at the actual gig and I don’t think we should kill that industry by making everything online.
However, this has opened my eyes to the fact that not everyone is able to go to gigs as often as you’d like them to. People work nights, they have children – maybe I’ve been neglecting that side of my fanbase, and that’s something I want to get better at. I definitely will not be live streaming actual shows after this, but I do think there is a place for live streams and I plan on doing more to reach more people going forward.
What experience are you missing the most, from hugging mates to going to the pub?
Oh my god, the pub. I love going to the pub with my mates, so much. I used to take a pack of cards, have a pint of cider and put the world to rights. My best friend had a baby who’s turning one this month and I’m really desperate for a cuddle with him and to see him walk for the first time. Is it weird to say I kind of miss the tube? I saw my oyster card the other day and that was the first time I felt sad- ha.
Has this lockdown taught you anything that you’re going to bring with you into your future endeavours?
Yeah – I think it’s definitely given me the motivation to create more online content. I do covers of songs every day busking, but I forget most of my fanbase never get to see those songs.
What message of yours do you wish could be tomorrow’s headline?
Corona Virus has GONE. Pubs are OPEN…
Lucy May Walker’s new EP is No. 1… ?