12 Songs, 45 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

“Yes! That’s it! They’re luxurious pop songs.” Will Young and Apple Music have reached an agreement on how best to describe Lexicon’s 12 tracks. “I’m stealing that.” The singer/actor/podcaster's seventh studio album arrives four years after 85% Proof and after periods of challenging mental health. “Having been so ill, I really didn't think that pop was going to be something that I was really going do again,” he says. “But I surrounded myself with people I love and people I trust. And you need a bit of fight. I feel like what I've gone through personally, it's a kind of success story.” Young decided to open up the album to a fleet of songwriters and truly enjoy being a singer. “About 15 years ago, you were dismissed as an artist if you didn’t write every line,” he says. “You were a pop puppet. The artistry of singing became immaterial in pop. This album celebrates that—and celebrates the team that worked on the record together.” Explore Lexicon’s team effort with Young’s track-by-track guide.

“All the Songs”
“I do a podcast called Homo Sapiens with my friend [and filmmaker] Chris Sweeney, and he called this song ‘melancholic pop’. I love that dichotomy of an upbeat song but with a very sad lyric. It's unashamedly a pop song. The chorus lyric is mentioned lots of times. It's fully embracing what a pop song should be.”

“My Love”
“Straight onto the dance floor for this one. I like how it suggests me desperately trying to woo someone back by performing some sort of crap dance moves. I feel like we might be at a wedding. There might be a sort of square, light-up disco dance floor somewhere there.”

“Scars”
“I think the lyric is beautiful—talking about how we become attached to people and addicted to people. There's a sadness to that, because I don't know if there's a resolution in this song.”

“Get Me Dancing”
“I've worked with Eg White for 16 years. He wrote ‘Leave Right Now’. He basically gave me a career. Sometimes you just find people where you just click creatively. There's something about the sadness and the pathos and the empathy in Eg's songs that just get me. They choke me. I think 'ballad' has sort of become a dirty word in the last 10 years, like they dumb down what a beautiful song should be. And this is quite an odd, beautiful and generous song.”

“Ground Running”
“I love this song. The guy that's written it, Danny Shah, he's a new star. He is like the male Sia. This has a really interesting melody in its timing. His timing's very different than how I would write the song. I think there’s a yearning here to try and get a relationship going. It's like, ‘When are we going to start being in the flow rather than having this awful bit of picky arguments?’ It's quite euphoric.”

“Dreaming Big”
“Richard [X, the album’s producer] is so hot on vocals. He's really in tune with singers, and I love that because he's always getting me to do really nuanced things, which I've got to really work hard to do it. But for this one, I was like, ‘I'm giving you Annie Lennox.’ I will often say different singers. So I'll be like, ‘Right, this one I'm Róisín Murphy. This one I'm Grace Jones.’ I could sing this kind of song every day of the week. It's really honest and vulnerable but somehow not self-pitying: 'If you were my lover, I'd do anything for you.'”

“I Bet You Call”
“It's another Eg song where he just hits the nail on the bloody head. I love the line about an ex calling to ask you out for a Wednesday afternoon drink and knowing what that means. They’re clearly not a nice person. They dance on tables and it's all about them. And so it makes it even doubly painful 'cause you're in love with an arsehole.”

“Forever”
“This has been around for about three years, and I love it. At the time I was having really bad insomnia, so I would drive around London very late at night or early in the morning. I don't know what else to do. So that's why the first line is about being alone in the city. The lights are shining. Everyone's waking up but I am not. There's a weird time in a city between like one and five in the morning when the people you see are coming out to do these vital but unseen jobs.”

“Freedom”
“This song and ‘I Bet You Call’ are the fulcrum around which the album centres. It’s what Richard does so well as a producer. Even though it's a more upbeat pop song, he still gets the space in the record. He's giving my vocal the space.”

“Faithless Love”
“A fantastic Tom Walker song. I was doing some radio shows at that stage on Radio 2, so I was playing his songs a lot, quite unaware that he was doing so well. And then this song came in, and I was like, ‘Oh, I recognise that incredible voice.’ I wasn’t initially quite sure how I was going to make it fit, but I needed to sing it.”

“Say Anything”
“It's a dreamy one, isn't it? It's got a rhythm and a lilt to it. I remember being with someone once, and he would just not express anything. And those kind of relationships are impossible, because how can you find any kind of sense of joining or coupling, or teamwork, which you have to have in a partnership. So I think there is a lot of bleeding particularly towards men, I think, who just cannot talk. And this song communicates that.”

“The Way We Were”
“This is another Danny Shah track, and I think he had someone like me in mind when he wrote it. He was very protective of that song but was honest about why—and how vulnerable he had been writing it. So Richard and I really approached that song with a lot of care and attention because we really respected the manner and the context of which it was written.”

EDITORS’ NOTES

“Yes! That’s it! They’re luxurious pop songs.” Will Young and Apple Music have reached an agreement on how best to describe Lexicon’s 12 tracks. “I’m stealing that.” The singer/actor/podcaster's seventh studio album arrives four years after 85% Proof and after periods of challenging mental health. “Having been so ill, I really didn't think that pop was going to be something that I was really going do again,” he says. “But I surrounded myself with people I love and people I trust. And you need a bit of fight. I feel like what I've gone through personally, it's a kind of success story.” Young decided to open up the album to a fleet of songwriters and truly enjoy being a singer. “About 15 years ago, you were dismissed as an artist if you didn’t write every line,” he says. “You were a pop puppet. The artistry of singing became immaterial in pop. This album celebrates that—and celebrates the team that worked on the record together.” Explore Lexicon’s team effort with Young’s track-by-track guide.

“All the Songs”
“I do a podcast called Homo Sapiens with my friend [and filmmaker] Chris Sweeney, and he called this song ‘melancholic pop’. I love that dichotomy of an upbeat song but with a very sad lyric. It's unashamedly a pop song. The chorus lyric is mentioned lots of times. It's fully embracing what a pop song should be.”

“My Love”
“Straight onto the dance floor for this one. I like how it suggests me desperately trying to woo someone back by performing some sort of crap dance moves. I feel like we might be at a wedding. There might be a sort of square, light-up disco dance floor somewhere there.”

“Scars”
“I think the lyric is beautiful—talking about how we become attached to people and addicted to people. There's a sadness to that, because I don't know if there's a resolution in this song.”

“Get Me Dancing”
“I've worked with Eg White for 16 years. He wrote ‘Leave Right Now’. He basically gave me a career. Sometimes you just find people where you just click creatively. There's something about the sadness and the pathos and the empathy in Eg's songs that just get me. They choke me. I think 'ballad' has sort of become a dirty word in the last 10 years, like they dumb down what a beautiful song should be. And this is quite an odd, beautiful and generous song.”

“Ground Running”
“I love this song. The guy that's written it, Danny Shah, he's a new star. He is like the male Sia. This has a really interesting melody in its timing. His timing's very different than how I would write the song. I think there’s a yearning here to try and get a relationship going. It's like, ‘When are we going to start being in the flow rather than having this awful bit of picky arguments?’ It's quite euphoric.”

“Dreaming Big”
“Richard [X, the album’s producer] is so hot on vocals. He's really in tune with singers, and I love that because he's always getting me to do really nuanced things, which I've got to really work hard to do it. But for this one, I was like, ‘I'm giving you Annie Lennox.’ I will often say different singers. So I'll be like, ‘Right, this one I'm Róisín Murphy. This one I'm Grace Jones.’ I could sing this kind of song every day of the week. It's really honest and vulnerable but somehow not self-pitying: 'If you were my lover, I'd do anything for you.'”

“I Bet You Call”
“It's another Eg song where he just hits the nail on the bloody head. I love the line about an ex calling to ask you out for a Wednesday afternoon drink and knowing what that means. They’re clearly not a nice person. They dance on tables and it's all about them. And so it makes it even doubly painful 'cause you're in love with an arsehole.”

“Forever”
“This has been around for about three years, and I love it. At the time I was having really bad insomnia, so I would drive around London very late at night or early in the morning. I don't know what else to do. So that's why the first line is about being alone in the city. The lights are shining. Everyone's waking up but I am not. There's a weird time in a city between like one and five in the morning when the people you see are coming out to do these vital but unseen jobs.”

“Freedom”
“This song and ‘I Bet You Call’ are the fulcrum around which the album centres. It’s what Richard does so well as a producer. Even though it's a more upbeat pop song, he still gets the space in the record. He's giving my vocal the space.”

“Faithless Love”
“A fantastic Tom Walker song. I was doing some radio shows at that stage on Radio 2, so I was playing his songs a lot, quite unaware that he was doing so well. And then this song came in, and I was like, ‘Oh, I recognise that incredible voice.’ I wasn’t initially quite sure how I was going to make it fit, but I needed to sing it.”

“Say Anything”
“It's a dreamy one, isn't it? It's got a rhythm and a lilt to it. I remember being with someone once, and he would just not express anything. And those kind of relationships are impossible, because how can you find any kind of sense of joining or coupling, or teamwork, which you have to have in a partnership. So I think there is a lot of bleeding particularly towards men, I think, who just cannot talk. And this song communicates that.”

“The Way We Were”
“This is another Danny Shah track, and I think he had someone like me in mind when he wrote it. He was very protective of that song but was honest about why—and how vulnerable he had been writing it. So Richard and I really approached that song with a lot of care and attention because we really respected the manner and the context of which it was written.”

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