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Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

Lucy Rose Gives All She's Got At The Hotel Cafe

Cortney Riles |
March 12, 2013 | 8:29 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

You’ve heard of Adele, Jessie J, Mumford & Sons, Florence & The Machine and most recently Ed Sheeran, Ellie Goulding, Emeli Sande and One Direction—although you may not admit to rocking out to the last one’s “What Makes You Beautiful” while stuck on the 405.

Despite their differing genres and audiences, all of the above artists have one thing in common: they’ve made their mark on the American charts. Make that two: they all have that loveable British accent that many of us Americans attempt and fail to mimic.

It’s the new British invasion—a road paved by the Beatles—and it’s not stopping any time soon. So, it’s time you listen to Lucy Rose and keep her on your radar.

Hailing from Warwickshire Rose, 23, started recording her first album “Like I Used To” in her parents’ basement. Nearly one year later the album was released and she was signed to Columbia records. The record deal didn’t change much aside from furthering exposure, as the petite ginger – whose riveting tone redefines the beauty found in simplicity – already had a wide fan base. Following her live sessions with All Saints (clothing store) Basement, City and Cryptic, and Beatnik Rose received a multitude of comments complimenting her voice and chord progressions. The number of covers of her originals – today’s most sincere form of flattery for artists – established her popularity. And that popularity is still growing, as one YouTube listener commented (on a video shared in 2011) “If I could sing like anyone in the world it would have to be her,” just 2 weeks ago. But last night, nearly selling out Hollywood’s Hotel Café, Rose proved why she has so many admirers.

Singer Lucy Rose at The Hotel Cafe (Cortney Riles/Neon Tommy)
Singer Lucy Rose at The Hotel Cafe (Cortney Riles/Neon Tommy)

Before the show, awaiting a burger from Scout with her band, Rose shared a bit of her background, goals and charm, all indications of a promising future.

Q: When did it all start for you? Where did your spark for music come from?

LR:  I don’t know because I never thought that I would go into music until it happened. I think I just bought a guitar when I was like 15 and I taught myself how to play it and then I started writing little things. When I started writing little songs that’s when I thought, “oh maybe I could go into song writing.” I never thought my voice was strong enough when I was younger. It was just something that I went for and I don’t know what happened really.

Q: Who are some of your favorite artists today?  

LR: I’m loving the Maccabees, I love Foals, obviously I love Bombay Bicycle Club and tons of music. There’s so much good music out at the moment. 

*Rose performed on a few of the Bombay Bicycle Club’s tracks early in her career.

READ MORE: Foals Takes Their Sound To New Heights On 'Holy Fire'

Q: What do you think about this “British Invasion” that’s happening in America between Adele, Mumford & Sons, etc.

LR: It’s great, it’s wicked!  It’s amazing to see artists who you hear about and they just go massively…international and global. I’m excited for them!

Q: Tell me a little bit about the album. Did you write all the songs on it? How long did the process take?

LR: Yeah, I wrote the songs and I decided to start recording it in January, and I was still unsigned so that’s why we recorded at my parents’ house, because I didn’t have any other options at the time. It was only once we finished the album I got signed and then it got released. So last year was pretty busy because I only started recording it in January and it was released in September, so it was really great.

Q: How has your life changed since you’ve signed with Columbia?

LR: It’s been amazing because now I can say I’m employed. I was unemployed for so long. I had bar jobs and I was working in retail and shops and things like that. But now I can say I’m actually employed. You know when you want to get insurance for your car and it gets like you always have to check unemployed and self-employed and stuff? Now I feel like maybe other people have belief in me which is nice.

Q: What would classify your music as? What genre?

LR: I can’t ever answer these questions seriously because I just don’t know! I mean I always, in a serious way say acoustic sort of music. But really I feel like it’s way louder than that in ways. So I always say, indie/alternative or you know, I say casual/funk but I don’t know what it is. (chuckles) We’ll see.

Q: What do you want your listeners to get out of the songs?

LR: A connection. There’s music that means a lot to me because I listen to it at a certain time and I felt like it helped me and it comforted me or I connected with it…it reassured me. And really, all I want is my music to do something similar. And when people come watch me live hopefully they’ll have a moment, which will make the, feel something.  

Q: What’s your favorite song on the album?

LR: Oh that’s so difficult. Umm I love so many different ones for different reasons. But if I had to choose one, I think, “Shiver.”

Q: Why is that your favorite? And tell me about the video too.

LR: “Shiver’s” just a song that just happened easily. Sometimes you think about songs a lot more than others and you change the arrangements so it takes a while for them to get there and “Shiver” just was there. I mean I feel like I just picked up my guitar and it was there. It’s a special song to me.


The video is a lot of fun because when a songs important you want to do something well with the video. But at the same time I’m like anti-cheese, I hate to do something really cheesy. So it’s difficult to do something that’s a motive but not cheesy at the same time. So the video was a lot of fun to make and the guy in it as great. And I think it was the first time people had seen me in a skirt for a long time.

Q: Did you choose the order of the songs and if so why is “Gamble” last?

LR: It was a discussion with the songs because I’m not really good at that sort of thing. “Gamble” being last because – well that’s on the deluxe one it’s a bonus track – on the other one “Be Alright” is – but “Gamble” for me was last because it’s probably the most intense song on the album. And it’s just a really intense song. Whenever I play it live I feel like I’m lowering the tones so much I’m never going to get it back, so it’s always difficult. I wanted it on there but I didn’t know where to put it. 

Q: How many songs do you think you’ll be performing tonight?

LR: I don’t know because I keep wanting to play more. If it was up to me I’d be playing way more than what they give me. But it’s just dependent on how much time the venue gives me I suppose…until I get thrown off.

Q: How would you say the Internet, YouTube, and the live sessions have impacted your career?

LR: Massively. There’s a lot of different ways that people can find out about your music. It could be off radios, it can be through anything. But I think it was important for me because it was people sharing it and telling their friends about it and those connections right at the beginning are the most important ones and I felt like they were getting something that was true and raw and honest since it was just the live videos that I was putting up. It helped me a lot.

Q: Where do you want to see yourself in 5 to 10 years?

LR: Where do I want to see myself or where do I? HA! 

I don’t know. If I’m still doing this I’d be very happy. If I could still just keep doing this, playing to however many people every night then that’s the best thing for me.

Q: If this was the end, if this was your last performance, what else do you think you’d be doing?

LR: If I couldn’t do this, I’d probably be an accountant.

Lucy Rose values her connections with her fans (Cortney Riles/ Neon Tommy)
Lucy Rose values her connections with her fans (Cortney Riles/ Neon Tommy)
Los Angeles was the first stop on Rose’s UK/US tour and her performance was sublime.

Beginning with “Watch Over” and closing with “Bikes,” the crowd, a mix of Hollywood hipsters and London transports, was engrossed by Rose’s raw talent and the undeniable chemistry held between her bandmates.

Developing a connection with each and every member is a primary goal for Rose. “I wish I could see you all better,” she said as she squinted her left eye. The house lights were lifted, per her insinuated request, allowing Rose to see just how many fans she has in LA alone. “Wow, I didn’t know that many people showed up,” she continued as the crowd chuckled.

They didn’t just show up. Rose fans arrived ready to sing along to their favorite tracks like “All I’ve Got” and “Middle of the Bed.” Their gazes and memorization of the lyrics put kept a genuine yet sheepish smile on Rose’s face, while her stage presence made their virtual dreams a reality.

Next stop is South By South West. And after, well, let’s just say—guard those Grammys, Adele.  

Read more of NT's show reviews here.

Reach Staff Reporter Cortney Riles here.



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