British songbird Rumer has recently unveiled album number four in the shape of This Girl’s in Love: A Bacharach and David Songbook, a collection of hits that have inspired the singer-songwriters musical journey from a young age.
This Girl’s in Love: A Bacharach and David Songbook pays homage to the iconic songsmith’s partnership while also showcasing Rumer’s exquisite voice and talent at making the work of others, her own. It is also the first record that pairs Rumer up with composer and husband Rob Shirakbari, resulting in a collection soaked professional and personal inspiration for the musician.
Ahead of the release we caught up with Rumer to find out what inspired her to record the tribute collection and what it is about the Bacharach/David songbook that has been so influential to her own musical upbringing and path as a recording artist. Here is what she had to tell us…
Brendon Veevers: How are you Rumer and where does our interview find you today?
Rumer: I am in rainy London!
Rumer: I feel good I just want to share it with everyone. I am really proud of it, I think it’s a great album.
BV: The album is called This Girl’s In Love: A Bacharach and David Songbook and it pays tribute to one of the most influential song-writing partnerships in music – Burt Bacharach and Hal David. What made you fall so in love with the songs of Burt Bacharach and Hal David?
Rumer: I think I have loved the songs of Bacharach and David all my life without realising. Growing up I didn’t make a connection between Dusty’s Look of Love, Karen’s Close to You, and Aretha’s Say a Little Prayer, they were just great songs performed by greats. I never made the connection till much later.
BV: With records like this – where the tracks you have recorded are covers and not original works of your own – is there a different sort of pressure on you to deliver something that will get the stamp of approval from the original recording artist/writer?
Rumer: Yes, we want the original artist/writer to love the way we have handled their work, and Burt’s feedback was amazing. I was especially happy that he noticed that Hal’s lyrics shined through, because that was the thing I was focusing on the most, to get his words across really well.
If you haven’t already seen this, this is the quote we received from Burt: “When you are gifted by an Artist doing an Album of your music you accept that as a compliment but then you get to hear it and it’s so damn good. The Lady has a golden voice and the vocals are clean and clear with great sincerity and Hal David’s lyrics shine through. There are some songs I’ve almost forgotten about and Rumer has given them new life. I thank you for this gift Rumer its special. – Burt Bacharach”
BV: You have a long and strong relationship with Burt throughout your career but what reasons are behind releasing a Burt Bacharach and Hal David covers collection as your 4th album release?
Rumer: I was asked to do it by a record company called East West at Warner just days after I had parted ways with Atlantic Records mid campaign during Into Colour, and it seemed like a good opportunity to move on to something new at the time,and it didn’t seem frivolous, I had enough experience by then to make a songbook album.
BV: Did you work with Burt during the recording process of the record – how involved was Burt in the creative process of this new album?
Rumer: Burt features on This Girl’s in Love with You, playing and singing the introduction. He also requested we cut a couple of songs, The Last One to Be Loved, and In The Land of Make Believe. Rob produced, conducted and arranged the album, but crucially, and I would think to Burt’s satisfaction, Rob was essentially trained by Burt. Rob had been working with Dionne Warwick and Burt Bacharach since the early 80’s and spent decades on the road with Burt as a keyboardist then MD in his live show, so he has learned so much from Burt. Rob’s devotion to the catalogue and his respect and love for Burt is obvious to hear. So indirectly, Burt had a lot to do with it.
BV: Of the songs featured on the new collection; which one resonates with you the most and why?
Rumer: I think What The World Needs Now is Love because we are at a really pivotal time in human history, and there is so much to be concerned about.
BV: There is a pattern with your releases in that a covers collection follows the release of an original studio set; Boys Don’t Cry followed Seasons of my Soul and now This Girls In Love following Into Colour. Do you feel the covers collections allow you the creative space between original releases to really find your voice and grow into new music or is it more of a spontaneous decision to release records in this order?
Rumer: I think anytime you perform great works you get better at singing and songwriting yourself. For example, I have become a better singer from doing this project. I have had a very steep learning curve. I think it’s very important to study the greats just like classical musicians do. Otherwise you just become an echo chamber, and you won’t grow. I think interpretative singing is it’s own art form. I always say, why would an actor insist on only performing their own work? I am interested in learning about all types of emotional experiences, from the points of view of others, all types of people from different places, different genders, different ages, it makes life more interesting. Of course, it takes time to distill real life into noteworthy autobiographical experiences. Rather than leave a space, I prefer to share my passion for interpretative singing… Some people understand that, some people moan. Either way, writing takes time.
BV: You have long left the metropolis lifestyle of London for the sun-drenched surroundings of the U.S. Are there plans to return to the UK or is life very much U.S rooted now?
Rumer: I have decided to stay on in the UK till next summer. I want to see how things will land over there. I love America, I love the big wide open spaces, but I also miss my family and friends.
BV: Aside from the release of This Girls In Love: A Bacharach and David Songbook, are there any other projects or events in the calendar that fans can look forward to? I am doing some shows next summer in the Uk and the USA. Sign up to www.rumer.co.uk to get email updates or follow me on www.facebook.com/rumerofficial.
BV: Thanks so much Rumer – best of luck with the release and we can’t wait to catch you on the road.
Rumer: Thank you!
Rumers brand new album This Girl’s in Love: A Bacharach and David Songbook is out now.