Broken By Desire To Be Heavenly Sent (Apple Music Edition)

Broken By Desire To Be Heavenly Sent (Apple Music Edition)

In typical Lewis Capaldi fashion, the title of the singer-songwriter’s second album, Broken by Desire to Be Heavenly Sent, is both a bit of a joke and a sign of something more profound. “I’m a big fan of The 1975, and I like their long titles because it’s a bit silly,” he tells Apple Music’s Rebecca Judd. “I thought, ‘I’m going to have me some of that.’” But the (rather wordy) title is also a neat encapsulation of where Capaldi was as he came to craft his second record: crumbling under the pressure to match the mammoth success of his first, 2019’s star-catapulting Divinely Uninspired to a Hellish Extent. “I think we all attempt to be heavenly sent. I think what I mean by that is to be good at something,” he says. “[But] the pursuit of perfection or satisfaction in one’s work can leave you feeling a bit dejected and just a bit broken. I really want to be good at this. And sometimes, I feel like I fall short of that.” The album was never, says Capaldi, about “reinventing the wheel”—he just wanted to return to the music he enjoys making. So you can expect plenty of the colossal ballads he’s made his name on, with songs about heartbreak (“Wish You the Best,” “Burning”) as well as unerring love (“Pointless,” “Love the Hell Out of You”). All of which proves that Capaldi is indeed very good at what he does. But there are also moments that reveal new sides to the Scottish superstar, from the upbeat, ’80s-inflected, and completely inescapable “Forget Me” to the spacious, synth-led, and Max Martin-assisted “Leave Me Slowly.” And in this album’s most powerful moments, you’ll hear the rocky route to this point breaking through, with Capaldi delivering startlingly frank assessments of impostor syndrome (“The Pretender,” arguably the album’s standout track) and his mental health (on the raw, vulnerable “How I’m Feeling Now”). Here, discover the stories behind every song on Capaldi’s second album and hear exclusive orchestral versions of two of its tracks. “Forget Me” “We wrote this song in Scotland in an Airbnb in some guy’s front room. I wrote it with Michael Pollack, Phil Plested, and Froe from [British songwriting and production team] TMS. I actually had to go to see Scotland versus Croatia in the Euros that afternoon [in June 2021], so I wanted to get it written quickly so I could get to the pub! It’s a song I wrote about a relationship that I had been in where I was seeing the other person move on.” “Wish You the Best” “This was the last song I finished for this album. It was written by myself, JP Saxe, and Malay. We initially started writing it in LA and it came out of an idea I had for a song called ‘Good News,’ which was: ‘Tell me the good news that you got what you want and you’re finally happy, I guess I’m sorry I was the problem.’ It was my first time writing with JP and we just very quickly bashed this out. The chorus that you hear on the song is the chorus that we did on the day.” “Pointless” “Ed Sheeran, Johnny McDaid, Steve Mac, and myself wrote this one. The first day I met Johnny and Steve, we wrote a different song in the morning. We had a bit of time before we had to leave, so they played me an idea they were knocking around with Ed, but which they couldn’t find a chorus for it. That call and response in the verse was already an idea, then I went in and sang a chorus.” “Heavenly Kind of State of Mind” “Myself and [songwriters and producers] Nick Atkinson and Edd Holloway were in Scotland working on some other songs. We started this synth-led ballad that was all falsetto in the style of Bon Iver, which I don’t usually do. We couldn’t work out where to go with it. Cut to a few months later, we’re in Hitchin recording in a studio with [British songwriter and producer] Jamie Hartman, who I worked with on the first record. We showed him this idea and he just sang, ‘Whether you were heaven.’ The first kernel of the chorus melody came out of his mouth and from there it just kinda flew out. There was a worry that people would think this song was about how much I love Jesus, and listen, big fan of JC. I wanted it to sound like I’d been saved by a partner, rather than Jesus, but it works both ways. So if you love Jesus, this song’s for you.” “Haven’t You Ever Been in Love Before?” “This was the first song we wrote for the album, at the peak of lockdown. I wrote it with Nick Atkinson and Edd Holloway. I had the melodies and the actual verses were born from listening to The 1975 and trying to work on a melody that I could imagine Matty Healy singing. In the past, I’ve leaned more into ‘could I imagine Adele singing this lyric?’ But Matty’s a massive inspiration to me and I’m a huge fan of The 1975. This was the first song where I was like, ‘I think we’re onto something here.’” “Love the Hell Out of You” “We wrote this the same day as we did ‘Forget Me’—a very, very fruitful day, it turns out. Again, very quick. When I came in, Phil and Michael were knocking around this idea of, like, loving the hell out of someone in the sense you love them so much but that idea of also someone loving you so much that they’ve taken away all this shit that you’re going through.” “Burning” “Another song that was written at the height of lockdown. It was written by myself, Nick Atkinson, and Edd Holloway. I had all the melodies and a fair whack of the lyrics, and Nick and Edd are two guys I really trust when I just can’t get a song over the line, so to speak. The lyric 'Can’t set fire to my soul just to keep you from burning alone’ was actually from a conversation with my mother. I was kinda seeing this girl and there was a point where I felt a bit overwhelmed by my problems and her problems. I felt I wasn’t in a position to be helping someone else, and my mum said to me, ‘You can’t set fire to yourself to keep someone else warm.’ I thought that was just an interesting lyric, so thanks to my mum for that one.” “Any Kind of Life” “This was written with Froe and Merf from TMS and [British songwriter and producer] Jimmy Napes. It was the first time I’d worked with Jimmy and TMS together, and this song really just flew straight out. I was listening to a lot of folklore by Taylor Swift and I really liked some of the melodies, so it was trying to write something that had that sort of feel to it. It’s not as good as Taylor Swift, but we definitely tried.” “The Pretender” “[British songwriter] Phil Plested is one of my favorite writers in the world. He’s also an artist, so he gets where the artist is coming from and he wants to help. We were up in Scotland; I had been loaned a piano from Yamaha—it was the first time I had an upright piano in my house and I wrote quite a lot on it. ‘The Pretender’ sort of came from that. This was the most honest I’d been about my mental health and the feeling I have with impostor syndrome. Speaking to people like Elton John and Ed Sheeran, it’s interesting to hear people at all levels of their careers who’ve felt like they’re not good enough for something, or friends of mine who’ve been promoted recently who didn’t feel worthy. I thought that was an interesting concept to explore.” “Leave Me Slowly” “This was written in Sweden with producers Oscar Holter, Savan Kotecha, Fat Max, and Max Martin. The way they work really blew my mind, and the attention to detail with regards to melody is second to none. When we were tracking the vocal to this, it was incredible to watch them work, to see the slight changes they make to make a song so much better. Also, I never expected in a million years to come away with [a song sounding like this], it was very bizarre. They had the idea of ‘If you’re gonna leave me, don’t leave me slowly’ and I said it should be ‘If you’re gonna leave me, leave me slowly.’ That switch made it feel better. They had set up this soundscape that was this sort of ’80s power ballad, which I was so up for—something completely different.” “How This Ends” “‘How This Ends’ was the first melody I wrote for this album. It’s quite up in my register rather than starting low and getting high. Some of the chords here are very Radiohead-esque. Production-wise it leans towards ‘Iris’ by The Goo Goo Dolls, which I’m a massive fan of, obviously. It was initially supposed to be the last song on the album, which would have been nice with the title, but then we wrote the song after it, which felt like a better ending to me. I can’t wait to play it live. I absolutely love it.” “How I’m Feeling Now” “Genuinely my personal favorite on the album. It’s just got this raw emotion I haven’t had in any other songs. The version you hear on the album is the demo—I didn’t want to go back in and rerecord anything. This song in particular took the openness I had on ‘The Pretender’ to a whole other level—I felt like I was being much more honest and much more vulnerable than I've ever been. I don't think I'd have been able to write this song had I not written ‘Pretender.’ It’s about one of the lower points in my life over the last couple of years and not feeling strictly fulfilled or feeling like I should be happier all the time with the life that I’m living. Everyone I played this song to fucking hated it, which is exactly why I had to put it on the album. I felt like a lot of it had to do with the things I was saying. Being fully open and honest is not the easiest song to hear if you care about me, but I love it and I’m really glad it’s on the record.”

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