Following on from last month where I gushed incessantly about Lianne La Havas, I would like to continue what I hope to be a regular fixture on Safety In Sound. Welcome to the June edition of Girlcrush of the Month! This month I'm going to spoil you, by bringing you not one,but two very talented ladies. The first you will probably be familiar with as a regular fixture here at safetyinsound, and the latter is developing a similar place in my heart.
If you are not lucky enough to have discovered Lucy Rose in her own right, you may know her as a long term associate of Bombay Bicycle Club, contributing backing vocals to their album Flaws and A Different Kind Of Fix as well as touring the world with them over the past few years. However, with the announcement of her debut album and new single, Lines (see below), Lucy is ready to dedicate herself fully to her own music.
'Yeah it's true, they got a Lucy Rose replacement!', she explained when we caught up with her backstage following her impressive performance at Dot to Dot Manchester. 'The Bombay thing started as just playing gigs, I slotted in with their schedule whenever they needed me and then did my own stuff around it, but its got to the point now where they need to know that if they put even a last minute gig in, they have someone who is always going to be there. I couldn’t ever fulfil that, they needed someone 100% and I needed to do my own thing as well. This year for them is going to be so insane and it just seemed like the right time to part ways on the live front. But hopefully I’ll be recording with them in the future.'
Lucy went on to explain that her long awaited debut album will be out on September 24th, coincidentally the same day as Mumford and Sons second effort. 'Maybe my label did that on purpose!' she laughs. 'Bit of a bad move isn’t it! But oh well. It’s definitely not going to go in the top whatever so I don’t mind. I’m completely fine with that.'
Whilst Lucy might be endearingly humble, there is no denying that she has played an important part in the success of Bombay Bicycle Club. She was even responsible for introducing them to tourmate Rae Morris, a future Girlcrush of The Month.
'I’ve been friends with her for a year now, I sort of introduced her to Bombay which is really cool. She's immensely talented and a lovely person.'
Introducing... Amber Wilson
So with Lucy stepping out alone, who is going to be filling her dainty shoes on tour? With a bit of online research, I discovered that stepping up to the plate would be Scottish singer songwriter Amber Wilson. Describing herself on twitter as 'a social retard that loves biscuits, beaches, and rooibos tea.', Amber is a wonderfully down to earth talent, her voice very different in tone to Lucy's but equally as beautiful. An experienced live performer in her own right, she appears to have settled into life as a member of club Bombay already, and was nice to enough to fit in an email interview with us whilst on tour in Europe.
Hi Amber! How did you come to be part of Bombay Bicycle Club's touring band?
Adam Falkner, the former manager for Amy Macdonald recommended me to their manager and hooked us up. He'd seen me support Amy years ago in Aberdeen and thought my voice would suit the band.
Were you a fan of theirs before you joined the band?
I'm a big fan. I stumbled across their song Evening/Morning 4 years ago and bought their first album straight away. And even though I've had them on repeat for rehearsing, I never tire of listening to their music which can only be a good thing!
How did you first get into playing music? Did any particular artists inspire you to be a singer songwriter growing up?
I started writing music here in Aberdeen at the age of 9, after my 1st hamster Harry died. I was such an emo, I wrote a really depressing wee verse or two depicting my sadness over the event on a nylon string guitar that I got given for my 7th birthday. From then on, I started writing little bits and bobs, it became my way of coping with things like bullying at school, things I struggled to deal with at the time. It wasn't until I was 15 that I wrote my first complete song. My Mum was so proud that she phoned up our local radio
station and made me sing down the phone to the DJ! This led to me doing a live studio session that very next week.
The Beatles really inspired me as well whilst I was growing up, as well as Suzanne Vega, Elliott Smith and Simon and Garfunkel.
How would you describe your musical style and/or interests?
My musical style, hmmm. I don't feel like I've found my style yet. I started off solo and acoustic but I've been experimenting a lot over the past few years with having a full band & using electronic elements. I enjoy writing/ performing/ listening to all different kinds of music - it's really difficult to stick to one thing. I'm currently recording a track called "Voices" which borders on Electronica, I'm curious to see what people will think of it. I go through phases of listening to all of the genres to stay inspired.
What are you most looking forward to about being part of Bombay Bicycle Club?
Everything! But I'm super excited about going to America, I've always, always wanted to go there but have never had the chance.
Amber performing 'Shuffle' with Bombay Bicycle Club in Germany
Are there any other emerging musicians that you think people should check out?
I really like a lot of Irish musicians such as Gemma Hayes, Fionn Regan and Oliver Cole. They're all amazing songwriters. None of them have really hit the big time yet though which is a shame.
There are a lot of young talented female singer songwriters emerging at the moment, including you, Lucy Rose and Rae Morris to mention but a few. Why do you think it is now that this kind of music is making it's way into the mainstream?
I'm not sure. But I think it's great that Lucy and Rae are finally getting the recognition they deserve, they're both incredibly talented.
Over your career thus far you've covered some pretty eclectic songs, from Joy Division to Tupac. What has been the most fun to cover? Do you have any others in mind to try?
Tupac was hilarious to cover. For a long time I couldn't keep a straight face! I'd like to do another cover that's similar, just for fun but don't have anything in the pipeline as yet.
What has been your proudest achievement careerwise thus far?
I am rather proud of singing with Bombay, I'm just this average Joe from a tiny city in Scotland so it's really incredible to me.
Do you plan to formally release any solo material soon?
I'm going to be super busy with the band until the end of the year, but I'm working on an EP in my down time. I will hopefully get it out early next year. Fingers crossed!
So there we have it! It's seemed to be that for a long time, males have dominated mainstream music, and I feel it's the least I can do to give a leg up in any way that I can to young females with amazing voices like Lucy and Amber. We at Safety In Sound wish them every success in the future and look forward to following both their careers.
* Lucy Rose's debut album 'Like I Used To' is out is out on Columbia Records on September 24th. The latest single Lines is out on July 23rd. For more information visit www.facebook.com/lucyrosemusic
*Amber Wilson will be touring with Bombay Bicycle Club throughout Europe and America during summer 2012. For more information and a free download of her cover of Joy Division's Love Will Tear Us Apart, visit https://www.facebook.com/pages/Amber-Wilson/79935440445