Alice Russell put a lot into her new album, To Dust. “The creative inspiration? Quite a lot of emotional stuff,” says the bubbly British singer. “It came from a lot of frustration and I think you can hear that on the record. With these darker times in life, they fuel the need to get these things out.” (Just for context, Russell’s album has three songs called “Heartbreaker.”) Out later this month, To Dust is an expansive set of vivid pop and soul, on which Russell speaks to her own romantic struggles. Here’s five factoids about the singer as told to Hive by Russell herself.
1. She Doesn’t Know How to Drive (But She’s Learning!)
I’m enjoying it. My reasons for not driving were partly financial, and partly because I’ve always lived in cities. So I’ve always just traveled around, walked, biked and gotten on trains. But now I’m like, “hold on a minute, it’s really annoying that I can’t drive.” I like traveling off on my own sometimes. Also, in the states, I wanna do the big drive from L.A. to San Francisco. It’s kinda like, “right, you’ve gotta learn to drive.” I’m 37! I’m quite old now .
2. Her Man is Spanish, So She’s Learning How to Speak Spanish
The last record I did with [producer] Quantic was in Colombia, and I just felt very frustrated not being able to communicate with some of the people and some of the older musicians that don’t speak a lot of English. The sound of Spanish, I’m really quite into. Also my boyfriend is from Galicia, so I should learn Spanish. He’s born and bred in London, but his mom and dad speak Spanish at home. If we have kids, I want them to be able to speak both languages.
3. She’s Taking Guitar Lessons
I’m learning a lot of things at the moment and it’s not the best time. I’m really busy [laughs]. I just wanna write differently, because I play the piano enough to write, and I play the cello. It’s quite a late time to start, but I think it’s a different way of writing. I think I’ll come up with different chord ideas with it. A guitar is more portable than a piano.
4. She Loves to Trampoline, Even if it Disturbs the Neighbors
My boyfriend made me throw my trampoline out because of the neighbors, but I love it and I miss it. The neighbors didn’t say much, but my boyfriend’s really thoughtful of others, and I think he was worried about the bouncing noise. Maybe he was worried that they thought it was something else [laughs]. I used to play loud music and jump up and down for ages, just to chill out.
5. She Just Wants to Feel Safe on Stage
Some shows, you’re fine and feel safer on stage than you do in real life. Other times it creeps up on you and you’re shitting yourself before a show. It’s a show you’d be fine about, and then all of a sudden, you’ve got the butterflies. But I think because I’ve done it so much, and I always have a lovely crew of people around me, that I feel safe. Sometimes I like to be on my own, ya know. There’s a lot of people around before and after the shows. I like a little bit of decompression time before and after.
To Dust is out April 30 on Tru Thoughts.