That’s really deep! Sean O'Hagan, in his review of The Sea, noted that “[your] voice has changed, deepened and become a more expressive, more expansive instrument.” What other less-noticeable changes do you think you have made over the years?
I feel like I’ve just been more myself. I think partly the way I wrote the songs was different. On the first album I was collaborating with people. And, you know, you’re both in a room together and I guess you must, sort of, fend yourself. You know, you think: “Oh, I’ve got this idea. Is it good? Oh, I don’t know. I don’t know what they’ll all think about it. Maybe I won’t say it.” And I’m sure the other person is thinking that, as well. So you come out with things that maybe are a bit safer or maybe are more familiar, or maybe you think more acceptable or accessible.
Whereas, when I was writing this album, there was no one else, sort of, in the room. There was no one else to run it by. And I felt like I was just, kind of, singing out. So I wasn’t thinking: “Right. What’s a good melody for this? Oh, okay, what words would work?” I was just more playing my guitar and just kind of improvising and moving around. You know, to me, it’s made some quite weird songs that some people will like. I guess some people won’t like them, you know. But, to me, I just felt a lot of freedom in actually being able to sit there with my guitar and with a tape recorder, you know. And play, and sing, and not really think about what was doing and not even think, like, trying to remember it, because it was going to get recorded.
And then, sort of, get on something and think: “Oh really? Well, like what I just did? Oh, I’ve forgotten what it was.” And then, sort of, revisit it. I can’t really play the guitar well. I’m not a technical guitarist. I just feel like I find chords by accident. But, to me, I loved making this record because I just felt like there was so many, sort of, happy accidents happened. And finding the way around the guitar, and, sort of singing out things. And certain tensions I really liked. So, I feel like I’ve just been given a lot of freedom. I feel really lucky that I was able to just, sort of, do it. And the label wasn’t saying, “Oh, you shouldn’t work with this person. You should work with this person.” I just feel really privileged that I’ve been able to, sort of, get out that bunch of songs into the world.