Acclaimed UK artist Rumer is releasing her latest record, Boys Don't Cry – an eclectic collection of songs written by famed male singer-songwriters from the 1970s – this week on Atlantic Records.
Rumer released her previous record, Seasons Of My Soul, in the United States earlier this year after having achieved platinum status in the UK following its release in 2010. She has been hailed by The Sunday Times as a singer that "has one of those voices - a sort of confiding, conversational sigh, equal parts Laura Nyro, Karen Carpenter, Dusty Springfield, and Joni Mitchell."
After taking a listen to Boys Don't Cry, trust me when I say that this Rumer is one that you'll want to hear repeated over and over again.
I recently had the opportunity to speak with Rumer, and she spoke candidly about the making of the record, from "the track that got away" to the painful split from her longtime collaborator and producer Steve Brown, and the passion she hopes listeners find after hearing her reinterpretations of songs written by the likes of Todd Rundgren, Jimmy Webb, Isaac Hayes, and Daryl Hall & John Oates.
What first drew you to music?
I think I come from a very musical family. Everyone in my family plays an instrument, so it seemed quite normal to play and to sing, and to write. Music was something that felt normal; a natural part of life.
Was being involved with music something you had envisioned for yourself as a career?
I think so, yeah. I saw Judy Garland singing and thought, “She has brown hair and brown eyes, and I have brown hair and brown eyes.” And I felt different. I thought, “Well, maybe that’s what different people do.” They sing and dance and stuff.
What inspired the concept behind Boys Don’t Cry?
I discovered a song called, “Long, Long Day” by Paul Simon that was on a soundtrack to a movie called, One Trick Pony. I just found it. I thought it was beautiful. We put it on the piano, we put strings on it, and it sounded beautiful. And I thought, “I want to make a whole album like this [with] songs that not everybody knows. We can polish them up and get them to people." There are a few exceptions, like “Sara Smile” and “A Man Needs a Maid,” which are popular, but the other stuff [people] may not have come across.