About Last Night... (Apple Music Edition)

About Last Night... (Apple Music Edition)

Mabel likens her second album About Last Night… to a “fantasy house party”—and, in a sense, she’s added us all to the guest list. “It’s definitely meant to be an inclusive space, not an exclusive one,” the London-based singer-songwriter tells Apple Music. The follow-up to 2019’s High Expectations features euphoric, club-ready collaborations with DJ-producers Joel Corry (“I Wish”) and Jax Jones and Galantis (“Good Luck”), but it is also deeply personal and lyrically surprising. By imagining each track as “a room in the house with a different mood,” Mabel was able to explore thorny themes such as loneliness, heartbreak, and jealousy (on the brutally honest bop “I Love Your Girl,” she delves into her unhealthy fascination with an ex’s new girlfriend), as well as more uplifting subjects including LGBTQ+ liberation and her own resilience. At its core, About Last Night... is an album about partying the pain away, from an artist who, as she puts it, was just missing dancing and being with her friends during the pandemic era. But as she came to write her second album, Mabel was also in need of a boost. “I was a little bit burned out by the time we went into lockdown,” she says. “You can't really prepare for some of the horrible comments you get online, so I'd taken a massive knock to my confidence. But making this album has definitely helped me get to a place where I know I'm a super strong performer and a really good songwriter. It's reminded me that I'm meant to be doing this.” Read on as Mabel guides us through each song on her thrilling second album, including the four “The Morning After” tracks on this exclusive Apple Music edition. ”About Last Night... (Intro)” “I wanted the album to have this gorgeous cinematic intro because it's almost the opposite of the messy house party that's to come. I'm picturing people walking into that space before the music and the madness begins. And then they just about see the ringleader come into view—the ringleader being me, of course.” “Animal” “I think there's something so beautiful about the animalistic side of my personality. I'm in a place now where I'm done being submissive: I will never let that happen in a relationship or in a work environment. And to get to that place, I've had to be a savage sometimes. This song really sets the tone for the rest of the album. I've been underestimated a lot as an artist, but people have judged me on about 20% of what I'm capable of. So on ‘Animal,’ I'm really saying: 'You thought I was this person? You have no idea.'” “Let Them Know” “This is me paying tribute to gay clubbing, voguing, and drag culture. [Renowned fashion stylist] Judy Blame was my godfather, and I remember him saying to me that none of my female pop idols would perform the way they do without the influence of drag queens. I've always been really aware of that link, so I wanted to make a record that's about strength, sexuality, and owning who you are. And I definitely wanted it to be a record that would get played at gay clubs.” “Shy” “It's kind of been forgotten that so much early house music was Black, so I wanted to pay tribute to artists like CeCe Peniston and Whitney Houston by putting an R&B spin on a dance record. I made 'Shy' with MNEK and we decided to make sure that every single vocal ad-lib could appear on an old-school R&B song. I just love where we ended up with this one.” “Definition” “This song is about seeing a guy on the dance floor and thinking, ‘No, I'm not going to wait for him to come over, I'm going to make the move myself.’ At the same time, it's also a bit of a personal mantra for me. For a long time, I felt like I didn't deserve a lot of the things I've achieved in my career. I needed to say to myself: 'I'm amazing at what I do, and yes, I deserve this.' So that's what I think about when I sing it.” “Good Luck” (with Jax Jones and Galantis) “KAMILLE is one of my favorite songwriters. She started this song at home with her husband [producer Tazer]; then I finished it with MNEK and Tre Jean-Marie. We kind of felt it was missing something, so we sent it to Jax Jones and Galantis so they could work on it too. As an artist, I like making records that make people feel good, so I loved writing this song that puts a fun slant on a breakup. It's amazing to perform live with full choreo.” “Take Your Name (Interlude)” “Here we're going back to that cinematic mood. It's a real juxtaposition from the last song where I was being really overconfident and singing, 'Good luck finding someone better than me.' At this point in the party, I've gone from having a great time on the dance floor to suddenly seeing everyone else fade away and feeling so alone. I went through a really bad heartbreak situation that I dealt with by partying and burning the candle at both ends. Sometimes I'd be out and not feeling sad at all, but then this sudden wave of sadness would hit me hard. We've all been there.” “Let Love Go” (feat. Lil Tecca) “I wanted this one to be really anthemic. I feel like ‘Good Luck’ is almost a 'fake it till you make it' breakup song, whereas 'Let Love Go' is about that moment further down the line where the penny drops and you realise you're better off without them. I've wanted to do a song with an American rapper for ages because I listen to a lot of American rap music, so when Lil Tecca jumped on it, I was like, 'What the hell? This is sick!'” “Overthinking” (with 24kGoldn) “I'm reflecting on my life pre-lockdown. I was doing crazy [streaming] numbers and traveling all over the world, but I was partying as hard as I was working because I was so overwhelmed by everything. I had the wrong people around me and I was just really lonely. That's all in the past now, but I poured those emotions into a song about that point in the night where it starts getting messy: when you go from being 'the fun girl' to 'OK, now she's doing so much.' That's really what I picture when I sing, 'Ah, this should be the time of my life/This could be a glamorous occasion, yeah.’” “Crying on the Dance Floor” “This song is about me seeing my friend crying on the dance floor and saying to her, 'No, we're not going home yet, we're going to have a really great time!' It's kind of cheesy, but I love that about it. I think there's a moment on every album for cheese. Sometimes you can try to make things a little too clever lyrically, when it's best just to tell it like it is.” “I Love Your Girl” “Basically, I fell in love with this guy and it got pretty intense—he even met my family. Then he told me he had a girlfriend, which was scarring, to say the least. I remember saying to my friends that there was never anything particularly special about this guy. He didn't even treat me that well. But when I found out about his girlfriend, I became more obsessed with her than I'd ever been with him. I used to Insta-stalk her and be like, 'What does she have that I don't?' It definitely wasn't healthy, but I wanted to put that story into a song because I feel like so many people will relate to it.” “When the Party's Over” “This song is about that point in the party when you realize you should have gone home, like, five hours ago. But you didn't, so now you're walking through London carrying your heels in your hand as the sun's coming up. And, like, you end up bumming a cigarette from some guy in a suit standing outside his office. I'd love to make a one-take video for this song where it's just me stumbling home through London as everyone else is going to work. I can picture it already.” “LOL” “The night before I recorded this song with [producer] Steve Mac, who I worked with a lot on my first album, I stayed over at RAYE's house. We started writing down all the things we say, including one which we've decided is such a loser move: actually saying 'LOL' instead of just laughing at something. The next day, everything we'd written down seemed to fit really well with Steve's chords. It was so much fun to make: You can even hear RAYE and me cackling on the track.” “I Wish” (with Joel Corry) “This collaboration was so effortless because Joel has the most amazing work ethic. He's also this lovely, smiley guy who puts you at ease right away. When I told him I like to dance in my videos, he just said, 'Cool, use your choreographer and your dancers and it'll work out great.' And it did.” “Deal or No Deal” (with A1 x J1) “This collaboration is more like old Mabel. Basically [UK hip-hop duo] A1 x J1 sampled my song ‘Finders Keepers’ and I kept seeing it on TikTok. Then I met them at Reading Festival and they asked me to jump on the track with a new verse. At first, I was like, ‘Why did they sample my song instead of something from their childhood?’ But then when I met them and saw they were like 17 and 18, I realized they literally were children when ‘Finders Keepers’ came out! But again, they're such hardworking, inspiring guys who I loved working with.” The Morning After tracks: “Let Love Go,” “Overthinking,” “Crying on the Dance Floor,” “Toxic” “I wanted to record stripped versions of three tracks from the album because it's kind of a return to my R&B roots. It really puts the focus on my vocal arrangements and the lyrics: I find that sometimes the song takes on a whole new meaning. I also decided to record a stripped version of ‘Toxic’ because Britney Spears has always been a massive inspiration to me. I was thinking a lot about her strength and resilience when I was recording it, so I added in a little ‘free Britney’ ad-lib towards the end. I'm hoping her fans will really like that. I was so invested in watching all her trials. She was really everything to me growing up. So if I could ever send her a little message, I would love it if she heard that. Britney is really one of the greats, and people said so much horrible stuff about her. Obviously, she's been through hell. But she still got up there and did the damn thing. I'm just completely in awe of her as an artist and as a performer, but also, just to be where she is now. She gets to live her life and I'm so happy for her.”

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