Introducing...Slow Moving Millie
Chances are even if you don’t think you have heard of Amelia Warner, aka Slow Moving Millie, you have. Her cover of The Smiths b-Side ‘Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want’ is the haunting piano ballad behind the John Lewis Christmas advert. You know the one - the little kid counting down the days until Christmas, simply because he is so excited to give his parents a present. Aww.
Having previously dipped her toes into the world of acting and film scores, Millie is now set to release Renditions, an album of 80s covers next month. Describing herself as ‘odd’, The Music Fix spoke to her about her new album, future touring plans and an odd phobia of umbrellas.
So your cover of The Smiths’ ‘Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want’ has been featured on the John Lewis Christmas advert. There’s been a lot of hype surrounding it: how does it feel to hear your song on such a major advertising campaign?
It’s really exciting, I’m really happy! I love the ad, I think it’s really beautiful, so it’s nice to be part of it - and it’s lovely that so many people can hear my music in such a kind of direct way.
Your album of 80s covers ‘Renditions’ is out next month - is that the era that you are most interested in? Would you say you have had a lot of influence from the period?
Yeah, I think so. I was born in the 80s so I didn’t really experience it first time round. Well I did, but I wasn’t conscious of it at the time because I was a kid, but I kind of rediscovered the music later on and just really loved it. I just thought they were interesting songs to cover because 80s music was very much beholden to the trends of the time, which tended to be really massive big production, lots of bells and whistles, lots of synths. So the songs were kind of, slightly overwhelmed with huge production, so it’s quite nice to strip away all of that, see the songs in their own light.
Your single at the moment is very simple, piano and vocal driven.
Yes, but not all of my songs are just piano, some have quite a lot of different things going on. But it’s just taking it out of that electro-pop kind of thing and being a bit truer to the lyrics. The lyrics of those songs are actually very heart breaking and very sad.
Do you have any plans to release more of your own material?
Definitely. Next year we’re going to be doing an album which will all be my own material. There’s two songs on Renditions that are mine and then next year there will be a full album.
Have you got plans to tour?
There are definitely plans to play some gigs. I think in London first, and then I’d love to try and go on a tour of the UK in the New Year, just a small one. At the moment nothing is set in stone but just hopefully playing some shows in January.
We’ve been told some rather random facts about you. For example that you have a phobia of umbrellas.
Yeah I do, I just hate umbrellas. I just hate them. I just think they are the most ridiculous objects. I just think in this day and age when we can invent iPads and have the slickest, loveliest things, we still just have fabric on pointy wire for protection from the rain. They’re so archaic and I hate them.
So if you’re out and it rains you just get wet?
Yeah, I’d just much rather get wet. My absolute pet hate is people that have an umbrella up when it’s not raining. Honestly, I want to kill them. It kills me; it’s just the most ridiculous thing. People should be trained before they are allowed to have an umbrella, like a driving test, because people are just so dangerous. I think I’ve just been poked in the eye one too many times.
You’re also very into your football?
I support Liverpool FC because I was born there and that’s where most of my family still are. So I’m a big Liverpool fan, which is quite challenging at times. But I love it, I can’t imagine my weekends not being slightly centred around football. It’s just a nice thing to do, to watch games.
If you could sum up your sound in three words, which would you choose?
That’s really hard… Really hard! It would be…whimsical, poignant and odd.
As the fastest climbing track in the chart last week, do you think you’re on track for a Christmas Number 1?
To me that just seems completely ridiculous. It’s amazing that people are even saying it, but I think… I can’t even contemplate something like that. But I’m just really happy that people are buying it. I’m really surprised, I’m pleasantly surprised!
Renditions is released on 12 December via Universal / Island.