"It'd be easy to be inspired by all the hatred and division in the world, but that’s when we need love and togetherness most!" We chat with Roseanne Reid
The genre of country-pop in the UK is awash with acts that are echoing the sounds coming out of modern day Nashville. But there's a new groups of artists starting to gain ground in the UK as well in the more earthy Americana leaning sound. Roseanne Reid is adding the weight of her terrific debut album to that mix, and we had the chance to catch up with her to ask about the process of writing and making Trails, as well as getting to know her.
Hey Roseanne, what have you been up to today?
Hi there! Today I got up early to rehearse some new material, I’ll be heading to Glasgow later on to record a radio session.
Introduce yourself to our lovely readers.
Hello lovely readers! My name is Roseanne Reid. I’m 26, born in Leith, grew up surrounded by music, and now write and perform myself for a living. I write Americana/roots music, and my debut album is just out. I enjoy chocolate and football, occasionally (often) at the same time.
Tell us about you, what’s your first memory of playing music?
My first memory of playing music is my Mum teaching me some country songs on guitar, and then a few months later, hiding away in my bedroom practicing 'Jolene' by Dolly Parton. I realised my parents and all three siblings were listening outside the door about halfway through the song, and my Dad was nodding his head by the end of the song, that gave me the bit of belief that I really needed.
What can you tell us about your new album, Trails?
This album was recorded at the very end of 2017 in Brooklyn. I raised the money to do it through a Kickstarter, and went out to America for five days. It was produced by the wonderful Teddy Thompson and features an incredible group of musicians.
How did you approach starting to make the album?
The vast majority of these songs had been written for a while, with the exception of just a couple. So the start of the process was just Teddy and I throwing ideas back and forth to each other across the Atlantic, until we were happy with the form the songs were going to take.
What’s your approach to writing songs? What’s the start point, a melody, a lyric, a title?
I have a fairly loose approach to writing songs, it’s never rigid. Saying that, my songs have a fairly consistent format with two or three verses and a chorus. Sometimes I’ll start with the verse that ends up at the end, but I’ll rarely get a melody and lyric separately. I’ll be sitting around with the guitar, working through all the terrible ideas until I get to something good!
What one song of yours do you really want people to hear, and why?
That would have to be ‘I Love Her So’. It was the first song I wrote for my wife, and what started as a quiet, intimate acoustic song has morphed and evolved into a big-sounding, Motown track on the album. Teddy heard horns on it in the early stages of album-planning, and he just ran with it. He’s knocked it out of the park with the production on that one!
There are some really cracking songs on the record, one of my faves is ‘Me Oh My’, what can you tell me about that song?
'Me Oh My' was one of the few songs where the melody came to me first. It’s a romantic, lonesome tune. I think what works well is the juxtaposition of it - the longing in the lyrics, with the lively melody. Particularly on the album, it sounds like something The Pogues would do - I love that!
And what about ‘Out In Space’, what’s the story behind that?
That was written within a week of going into the studio to record the album. It’s a particularly intimate, personal song. It’s reflective of the way I was feeling at the time, and still feel - a little vulnerable and very in love!
That song also sounds like the only song where your accent really comes through, was that a conscious choice?
It wasn’t really a conscious choice - it’s what came most naturally to me when I sang it through. There’s every chance I have some sort of subconscious complex about singing in my own accent with my Dad being so renowned for it, but I never fight it when something feels right. Singing in my own accent felt right on that one.
Who or what inspires you the most?
Love. Love always! It would be very easy to be inspired by all the hatred and division swirling around in the world right now, but to be honest, that’s when we need love and togetherness most! I get angry at the state of the political landscape like anyone else, but I also count my blessings. I think that comes through in the songs.
What kind of thing is on your Spotify playlist?
A lot of Folk and Roots music, from Luke Kelly to Kate Rusby. Some classic Pop like The Vengaboys and some walking-to-clear-the-head music like Jack Johnson and Jose Gonzalez.
I asked Chris Stills whether he minded talking about his famous Dad, I think he did. Do you?
Not really! I love my Dad and he’s one of the best songwriters I’ve ever seen. Obviously I hope the main reason someone wants to talk to me is because they like what I do, but I understand the interest in my Dad too.
What’s coming up for you in 2019?
Getting this album out is the main thing on the horizon right now, but there’s lots of cool gigs coming up too, including Kings Tuts with Wildwood Kin as part of the Under The Apple Tree tour, and Black Deer Festival in June. Towards the very end of the year, I hope to go back into the studio to record album No.2!
Obviously there’s a lot of talk about equality in general at the moment, what’s your experience of being treated differently as a woman in your industry?
Hmmm, my experience has been pretty smooth for the most part so far. I’ve met so many incredible women in this industry, and I like to believe things ARE progressing. There’s still a long way to go, but we’ll get there. The world is changing, we have to move with it.
If you could recommend one artist to hear this week, who would it be?
Blue Rose Code.
What’s the question we should have asked you today but haven’t?
Music or football? Just as well you didn’t ask it really, as you would have got a huge paragraph on the merits of both and no discernible answer at the end haha!
Finally, how do you take your coffee?
Very milky most of the time, black and in great quantities if it’s a long day ahead!
If you want to find out more about Roseanne you can follow her on Twitter, like her on Facebook. You can buy her debut album at all good music selling places, or stream from the usual.