Luke Rainsford is streaming his new track Nightmares right here on Close to Home. It's taken from his upcoming second full-length album which is out on February 17th.
On top of that, in light of the release, I managed to catch up with Luke and get him to talk me through what each song on the album is about.
If you're unaware, Luke is an alternative / acoustic artist who released his debut album back in June 2016. His honest, storytelling form of songwriting style puts him akin to the likes of The Front Bottoms, Aaron West and the Roaring Twenties and This Wild Life - having even shared the stage with the latter.
On I Feel At Home With You, Luke elevates the emotion displayed on his debut with far more developed, in depth and personal songs. If you're ever looking for something to make you feel like you're not alone, you will probably find it somewhere on this record layered on top of a jangling acoustic guitar - the perfect recipe to let you know that at our core, we're all just sitting around hoping everything is going to be alright.
With his debut record being praised for its brutal honesty, Luke has pulled no punches with the new record, which can be previewed ahead of released with Nightmares below:
"Nightmares is a song that came about quite quickly. I was writing songs for the record, and just playing some generic chords in order to get over some writer's block. Eventually, I just started humming melodies and lyrics started coming really naturally to me. This song ended up being one of my favourites, with references to a song later on the record dotted throughout, and also a shoutout to my old band, Layover. I feel like this song is very honest, open, and I definitely feel this is one of the strongest choruses on the whole record." - Luke Rainsford
You can read what Luke had to say about the rest of the tracks on the album below:
All My Songs Sound The Same:
"I wrote this song whilst I was dating a girl that had a massive impact on me. She was one of the first people to properly understand my mental state, and really helped me deal with a lot of things. This song is mostly about driving someone you care deeply about away from your life, but knowing that they helped you, and that they will always be special to you because of that. The last line refers to the fact that even though things didn't work out, you know that they still care about you."
"This one I wrote about a night where I got drunk, kissed a girl I was really into at the time and just had a great time, forgetting all the terrible things I was going through. A lot of the song is about the time after the night, when things went back to normal. Things never worked out between the girl and me, so this song is more of a "I'm glad we at least had that one great night" kind of song. The line "I'll never learn that I'm not destined to be happy" is about me always finding someone that makes me feel good about myself, and brings out the best in me, only to have it not work out for some reason."
"I've had chorus melody and chord sequence of this song for a very long time, but could never find the write lyrics for it. It always came out far too cheesy, but I worked around this by using quite a dark lyric in a quirky way, to juxtapose the upbeat and happy guitar chords and vocal melody, with a quite dark yet also vaguely positive lyric. This track is about the same girl as the first song on the album and is just about being truly happy in a certain situation. This song doesn't have the same sad overtone of the first track on the album, as the lyrics for Home Safe were written whilst everything was still going really well."
"This song is one of the most personal on the entire record. My Mum passed away from Cancer on the 19th of November 2016, and this song was written during the last few months of her illness. The song is about feeling selfish for spending all my time worrying about myself and my own mental illness, rather than being there for her when she needed me more than ever. It's also a song that features a lot of guilt from myself, for never telling her (or any of my family) about my mental health issues, and just ending up quite distant from my family because of it. The final line of each chorus is just me hoping that I make my Mum proud, despite the person she may have seen me as before she passed away."
"This track initially might seem like quite a dull song at first listen, but I am really proud of how this song came out. The whole song is about how unmotivated I am a lot of the time, and how much time I spend wallowing doing very little with my time due to my mental health. I recorded it in a key that was very low for me, in order to make it sound tired, which I feel worked really really well."
"I wrote the guitar part for this song years ago, but never really wrote much vocally for it. I brought it back after listening through old guitar parts on my laptop, and ended up writing a lot of it whilst I was demoing some songs with Alex from Coast to Coast. Originally, the chorus hook was a Layover reference, but I felt like it didn't suit the vibe of the song as much, so I used the album title as inspiration whilst recorded and changed it whilst in the studio. There are a lot of layered harmonies and strings also in this section, which I feel is one of the standout parts of the whole album."
"This is the first single I released for "I Feel At Home With You", which I did because of the way the song starts fully acoustic, before switching to a much fuller arrangement at the end. This song is about never being able to let certain moments in your life go, and thinking about how important some people or places can be to you. The lyric "remember walking in the rain, you asked me to write a song about this, but I already did" is a shout out to a friend of mine. We were walking through Cannock Chase once, and we got caught in a lot of rain and ended up getting soaked, and she asked me to write about it as a joke. I already had referenced certain events beforehand, so I found it quite funny that she would be asking me to write a song about her, and included it in this song. Derek's guest vocal came as something of an accident. I originally had a few people in mind for it, but when he sent me a version of the mix with his vocal on, I knew that it couldn't be anyone else."
Boy Meets Girl, Writes Song:
"I've had this song title for quite a long time, and I've always wanted to write a song on ukulele. This song was originally written to cheer up a friend (the same girl I refer to in Fingernails). I originally wasn't going to keep the song around, but I think it's really catchy, and lyrically really fun, so I kept it on the record."
I'm Bored of Being Heartbroken:
"When I was first recording the album, I never liked this song as much as the rest of the record, but over time this has become one of my stand out tracks. This song is just about getting sick of opening up to people before having them walk out of my life, and how lonely that can make me feel. The last line of the chorus is in reference to how I spend my time chasing love and drinking coffee in order to try to make myself feel better, sometimes neglecting my actual care to do so. Personally, I think this song has the catchiest chorus on the record, and I will probably be playing this live for a very long time after the record is out."
Bury Me With Nothing To My Name
"I actually wrote this song without a guitar in my hand. I wrote the structure to the lyrics whilst waiting for a train that was really delayed. I'd ended up having to jump a lot of trains and travel trying not to pay due to how broke I was. I'd travel to shows on public transport in the cheapest way possible, doing my best to avoid not paying on trains if possible. The time I'd writen this song, I'd payed for my train ticket with my overdraft, whilst working a job I hated, and it just struck me how broke I really was. This whole song is just about learning to accept that, and the song title sums up the theme of the lyrics really well I feel."
"I don't really know how to talk about this song. It is so personal to me in so many ways. The song is mostly about depression, and how it affects me. It's about relying on other people to make me happy, and it's about heavily disliking certain aspects of myself. A lot of it refers to how my mental health can make me feel disconnected or unmovitavated towards things I love doing, even to music. I feel as though I'm most proud of this song out of anything I've ever written, just because of the emotions I convey throughout the entire thing."
I'm The Coward I Never Thought I'd Be
"This song was completely improvised one day whilst in the studio. I had a spare guitar part I'd never really used for anything, which I recorded just in case it would become useful. Whilst listening back to it, I had the idea to improvise some spoken word over the part. It took me a few tries to get the confidence to try it, but everything you hear on this track was a first take, and completely improvised and natural. The chorus vocal melody I added in later, with a single harmony, and I think it came out so so well. After listening to this song, it was obvious it had to close the record, though it's only available on physical versions of the album."
I Feel At Home With You will be released on February 17th on 12" / CD / Cassette as well as digitally via Scylla Records.