By Jess Goulart
Photos courtesy of Lucy Hill.
If ever there was an artist capable of convincing you to “Remember The Highs” (the title track of her new album), it’s UK singer-songwriter Lucy Hill.
Under the moniker Little Lapin, the veritable songbird delivers honest, insightful renditions of the human condition, inviting us into her world of “Summer” and “Magnet Eyes” with astounding openness. That emotional vulnerability is met with a structural depth that explores the raw beauty of acoustic guitar.
BTR first sat down with Hill in 2014, during her five-year-long tour through New Zealand after her self-titled EP dropped. When we caught wind of Remember The Highs, which was released on May 15, we tracked her down to hear how she thinks her music has evolved.
BreakThru Radio (BTR): So the last time we chatted you were camping all over New Zealand, playing music, and touring. What was that like?
Lucy Hill (LH): Having lived in New Zealand for five years, I’d definitely recommend camping to travel around because it’s one of those countries that’s so diverse from the north to the south–different weather, different vibes, like, extremely different. It’s just such a beautiful country and so unpopulated that you truly can find yourself in the middle of nowhere.
BTR: Now you started playing music really seriously in the last few years or so, right?
LH: I started playing probably about six years ago now. I began at open mic nights and really just writing poems, and then putting music to them. Then a few years ago I taught myself guitar. That developed my sound more, because I began writing my own songs.
BTR: How does Remember The Highs diverge from your previous self-titled EP?
LH: Because I used the same producer it’s pretty similar in sound, but I’d like to think my songs have a bit more maturity in the writing and that they’ve developed in that way. Perhaps the sound is slightly more in keeping with my live sound because I play a lot of the new tracks with an acoustic guitar, whereas on my EP there wasn’t any acoustic. When you see me play live (and hopefully you do one day!) I’m always playing with an acoustic guitar on stage. My producer, Ben, really wanted to hear more of that in my recorded music.
BTR: Why do you prefer acoustic in your live shows?
LH: Hmmm, good question, really. I think because I’m so, like… An electric guitar you really need to know so much, it is like a weapon, and I like things to be simple. It’s very fussy, and I don’t like fuss; I don’t want to fuss with all those pedals. It’s a bit like having a car, it’s so much easier having a car with manual windows, because if you get electric windows then more can go wrong with it. Same kind of thing with a guitar. What happens if your battery runs out, or something happens to the amp. Acoustic is pretty much, like, you can just perform.
BTR: We talked last time about how you write songs based around what’s going on in your life, so tell me what was going on when you were writing these new ones.
LH: Well, as you probably know this album has actually been a year in the making, so a lot of those things have been put to rest now. Although some of the songs I’ve written a few years ago and then recorded last year, so it’s been a long time waiting for this record actually [laughs]. Perhaps my next album could be about waiting.
BTR: We loved the title track, “Remember The Highs”. What inspired it?
LH: Yeah that was when I just had a sort of a bad spell and started thinking about how some bad things happen to us in life and you can either look back and resent it or look back and think, actually, I’ve had some really good times. It’s a silver lining song to give hope back to people.
BTR: What are your plans for the future? Touring, writing, recording?
LH: To be honest I want to do a little bit everything–I really love every aspect of music: performing, writing, and recording. I’d like to keep going as long as possible. I’m going to put on some shows in Europe and looking at a European tour this year, and I have plans to release an acoustic album. Then I’ve also got a side project happening for which I’ll be recording an EP soon.