Lie Out Loud

Lie Out Loud

Bloxx’s debut album, as the West London trio’s frontwoman Fee Booth tells Apple Music, is about “lying to yourself that a relationship is still working. It’s about the brunt of a relationship ending and going through the bad times.” But if that sounds like Lie Out Loud might be a morbid affair, it isn’t. Bloxx loads the pain of love and loss into a confetti cannon and aims it straight for the dance floor at an indie disco, with soaring, hook-filled melodies and sing-along choruses. The fading embers of a relationship aside, Booth’s direct lyrics also cover what came next (the jangling “5000 Miles” is a lovelorn ode to her new girlfriend), the ups and downs of friendship, and, on “Off My Mind,” her late-night desires. “I think that the record does a good job of being relatable,” says Booth. “Because everyone's been through hard times and breakups and angry times. I want to be a voice for young people, for gay people, for people who want to be able to sing about whatever they want. I want people to feel like they can listen to our music as a safe haven.” Releasing Lie Out Loud, she adds, is “surreal,” coming four years after the band—also made up of bassist Paul Rau and guitarist Taz Sidhu—put out their first single, “Your Boyfriend,” which unexpectedly went viral and anointed Bloxx rising stars. A stream of subsequent singles showcased the band’s dexterity, something they were keen to continue on Lie Out Loud. Beyond indie pop bangers, there’s the darker, more angsty “Swimming,” the dreamy “Changes,” and “What You Needed,” Bloxx’s first-ever foray into acoustic guitars. “I wanted this to be a collection of songs that people don’t really expect,” says Booth. “I feel like our back catalog was the same sort of thing—every song was different and it kept exciting people a little bit more. It’s crazy for us that people have been waiting for this album. We feel extremely lucky.” Let Booth walk you through her band’s debut, one song at a time. Lie Out Loud “We wrote this song while we were in the studio recording the album. I was in the worst mood I've ever been in. I have ADHD and need to be busy, but when you're in the studio for the first four or five days, you don’t get to do a lot. You're just sat there tapping your fingers, waiting. One day I came in and was like, ‘Right, I'm ready to do some guitars. Please say we're ready to do some guitars.’ And [award-winning US producer] Jennifer Decilveo was just like, ‘No. We're not ready yet, so chill out. Go write a song or something.’ The boys were already playing around, so she took me by the arm, went over to the piano, and started playing. She sang what became the bridge bit of 'Lie Out Loud,’ and I was just like, ‘Okay, that would sound really cool.’ And then we just got into it. The song took us 20 minutes. It was one of those moments where we went from zero to 100 on the buzz scale. It was a great moment, and the whole album ended up being called Lie Out Loud. It’s the one song that wasn't supposed to be on here, but without it, it would be a completely different record. It wouldn't have the same journey in it.” Coming Up Short “This would have been the first track if ‘Lie Out Loud’ hadn’t happened. And I love it—it might be one of my favorite songs I've ever written. Everything about it is just so me: the melodies, the backing vocals, the chorus. And those chorus oohs: I’ve done that 10,000 times before. In the demo I did this really horrible, awful guitar thing, and when we came to the studio to try and make it better, Taz was doing some cool thing with it. But our [producer] James Dring was just like, ‘No. Play it exactly how Fee played it. Even though it sounds awful, it sounds great.’ When you write a song with him and he's in the room, he knows what perspective it's coming from, how much you're into it, how much you like it, and he won't overproduce it. I was in a shitty place when I wrote that song. It’s so, so personal to me, because it depicts exactly what I was going through—never feeling like you're good enough.” Go Out With You “There's a really shabby voice recording of me playing the guitar and messing about with melodies and ideas. The original lyric was ‘Please say you do,’ and looking back now, I’m like, ‘Wow, that was a terrible lyric!’ I don't know how I ever thought that that would work. We just wanted to make a really fun, lighthearted indie song that would make people want to get up and dance. We did it with the intention of being a pop banger. That melody is still one of my favorites I've ever done, because it's so catchy.” 5000 Miles “I wrote the lyrics and a little bit of the melody to this on a plane ride back from the States. It's about my girlfriend, Alex, who I had just met while we were on tour in the States. I had just come out of a relationship with my ex and was getting my head clear. Then on one of the last dates, we played in New York and Alex came to take photos of our show. We started talking and spent the night in some weird bar and then went to her apartment. I took her on the last two days of the tour and then when we got on our 5 am flight back to the UK, I was on the plane crying, drinking wine, and writing lyrics on my iPhone. It’s a very personal song.” Thinking About Yourself “I was angry about some stuff and was having a few issues with friends. I hadn’t spoken to this person in a long time, and they called me up wanting the fucking world from me. I was just like, ‘Yeah, this is not happening. You’re just thinking about yourself.’ I had a writing session a couple of days after with Luke Fitton, who is an amazing songwriter. And he was like, ‘So, anything happen to you recently?’ And I said, ‘Oh yeah. Funny story.’ We were trying to get that beefy bass sound, with a really warped guitar. And we just wanted it to be a little bit more angsty, rather than energetic. It’s got a darker vibe to it—it’s almost Halloweeny.” Off My Mind “I love this song, which Jenn and I wrote together. We’d never actually met—she was late, I was late, she was tired, and when she got to the studio, she didn’t seem like she really wanted to be there. But I know her now, and she did. I put the chords down and sang the first line, and she was like, ‘Okay, cool, well, this song is about sex.’ She’s so in touch with being as creative and open as you want, and I think she brought that out of me a lot. I hadn't been comfortable enough to ever just write a song about that before, because I was aware that my mum, my nan, my grandad, and everyone else and their dog in my family listens to our music. But it happened, and it really is so empowering. It must be like how Marika Hackman felt when she released her song [‘Hand Solo’] about masturbation. You don’t think you could ever have the courage to release a song that’s so explicit, but now it’s come out, it’s like, ‘This is cool.’” Give Me the Keys “This is in the midst of an argument—the kind where you just want to leave and completely get out of there. We had all the lyrics, but we were just stuck on the last bit of the chorus. I was like, ‘Why don’t we make it a bit fun? Something that people can shout back at you at a show.’ ‘Give me the keys’ then ‘I need to leave!’ just felt a bit funner rather than something so serious. I am quite cheeky, so I guess that comes through in a lot of songs.” Hey Jenny “I'm really proud of the lyrics in this song. It’s about a show I used to watch called The L Word and a character called Jenny Schecter. She's in the whole thing, and she has a very lovable, hateable character the whole way through. This is a spoiler, but at the end of the show, she takes her own life. So I wrote that whole song about her. We recorded this song about eight months before we did the record, and we’d been playing it live, which really brought it into its own world. But there isn’t that much going on in it, and each part of it is different. We wanted to keep it as simple as possible, because I felt like the lyrics and the meaning and the chorus drove the song more than anything else.” Changes “Collectively, this is one of our favorites as a band, but it was the one that took the longest to finish. I wrote it with Luke—we started it one day, and we knew it was something special. But we didn't get back in the studio together for a while because life kept us apart. He was away, I was away, but I was just gagging to get it finished because I knew that it was going to be a special moment. When we finally got back into the studio together, I put the second verse down, and put the second chorus in, and the middle eight, and I just remember listening to the whole thing on the tube back to my house, over and over again. I knew that demo couldn't change. I knew that it had to stay exactly the same. It’s a totally different song to the rest of the album, and I was scared by that at first. But then I realized that it’s the standout point to me on the record. It’s kind of our moment. On this album, you also need a bit of a break. ‘Changes’ just takes you somewhere, I think.” It Won’t Work Out “Everyone says to me that something about this song sounds like The Wombats. I don’t know if I agree! The song is about being coerced into something that you know you shouldn’t get into, when you’re in a relationship already, because that's what people around me were going through at the time. I think I was quite young, and a lot of my friends were irresponsible. And it was just kind of knowing that you have to grow up from that, and telling yourself that it won't work out. That's the best way to describe that song.” What You Needed “This was another one done with Luke. I was hung over or he was ill, and we weren’t really in the mood to write a big, upbeat song. The song is personal in terms of my past relationships, and it’s about being told that you're not what someone needs. Because that happens a lot—people say ‘I don't need this’ all the time. I did a version where it was produced, with drums and guitar. But it didn't feel like the same song. We have never, ever done something acoustic before, so it feels like a bit of an experiment.” Swimming “I wanted to end the album with a bang and to pay homage to our roots and where we've gotten to. This song sounds like our earlier stuff, and that felt like the right way to end our album—on something really familiar to our fans that have been here for the longest time. Hopefully they're the ones who are going to listen through to the end. I also think it’s important to end with a song you’re really proud of, and the lyrics in ‘Swimming’ are some of my favorite lyrics that I've ever written.”

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