After finding huge support for her recent releases, including praise from the likes of Jessie Ware and Huw Stephens, West Midlands-based artist Loveday returns for 2023 to deliver her dreamy new single 'Ugly Smile'.
Capturing another heady dose of warm and tantalising flavours from start to finish, 'Ugly Smile' makes for a wonderfully rich and alluring listen. With her distinctive bedroom-pop aesthetic matched effortlessly with her glittering voice throughout, she is returning with one of her more passionate offerings to date.
So with the new single available to stream now, we sat down with her to find out more about her origins and what has been inspiring her most lately.
What was the first instrument you fell in love with?
The guitar. I was up to grade 5 in keyboard before I ever picked up a guitar but I found practising for my exams such a chore. I begged my parents for guitar lessons and they finally gave in when I was 11. I picked up a guitar for the first time that day and then again almost every day since.
What kind of music did you love when you were younger?
I was raised on British indie bands such as Arctic Monkeys, Kings of Leon and Kasabian. Then in my early teens, I started to get really into female alternative pop artists such as Lana Del Rey and Lorde.
What was the first album you remember owning?
Let Go - Avril Lavigne. I can’t begin to explain how badly I wanted to be her in 2004.
What is the one song you wished you could have written yourself?
It’s so hard to narrow this down to one song. An example of one of the many songs I desperately wish I came up with that I can’t stop listening to at the moment is Washing Machine Heart by Mitski.
Do you have any habits or rituals you go through when trying to write new music?
I never seem to be able to write music when I sit down and try to write. The original melody or lyric idea almost always comes to me when I’m driving. I guess it’s become a bit of a habit to frantically pull over in the lay by so that I can get the idea in my voice memos ASAP before it leaves me forever. RIP to the amazing ideas I’ve had when I was on the motorway.
Who are your favourite artists you have found yourself listening to at the moment?
Alt-J is my all time favourite band. All of their albums are masterpieces but ‘An Awesome Wave’ really did change my brain chemistry forever. I can’t imagine ever loving an album more. At the moment I’m seriously into Biig Piig. I think she’s a genius and she’s yet to release a song that isn’t an absolute bop.
If you could open a show for anyone in the world, who would it be?
Billie Eilish. Her shows are next level incredible.
What do you find is the most rewarding part about being a musician?
Listening to the music that I’ve made throughout my life. I’ve got demos dating all the way back to when I was 13. These are like musical diary entries and when I listen back I can hear the evolution in the music and also in my life. It makes me so proud.
And what is the most frustrating part?
Something I find frustrating is that I feel like the music industry is becoming less and less about music and more about social media stats. In 2020, had 20+ self-produced demos ready to show industry professionals, but I couldn’t get anyone to take me seriously because I didn’t have enough followers on TikTok. I understand it, but I find it frustrating how the line between artist and influencer is becoming increasingly blurred.
And what is the best piece of advice you have received as an artist?
There’s no way I could tell this as beautifully as he did, but my old manager Kwame once gave me this analogy when I was frustrated that my music career was moving way slower than I’d hoped. He said that when you’re climbing a big mountain, it takes a long time to get to the top and your body adjusts to the temperatures and the change in altitude along the way. If you managed to take an elevator to the top instantly, you’d get altitude sickness and you’d be freezing. I didn’t take much notice at the time but now I realise how back then when I wanted my music to blow up so badly, I was nowhere near ready. I’m so glad it didn’t happen for me then. Good things take time.
Tell us about your new release 'Ugly Smile' and the production process behind.
I produced this track myself. I was finding it hard to write at home with so many distractions so I had a look at the cheapest air bnb’s I could find that were cosy enough to get my creative juices flowing. I found a tiny room in Leeds that was named ‘writers retreat’ for £30 a night. I thought that was definitely a sign. I stayed there on my own for 4 nights and only really stopped writing for food breaks, walks and ‘inspirational drives’ as I call them. During my stay I wrote about 10 songs, I’d taken with me enough instruments and recording equipment to make some rough demos. Ugly smile was born on day three and it immediately stuck out to me, I knew by the time I’d only finished one verse that I better make the rest of the song amazing, cause I was definitely releasing this one. I finished the rest of the demo at home in my bedroom, I remember I stayed up until 4am trying to finish those vocal takes with a bad cough. I kept some of the takes where I cough my guts up in the song; it was strangely fitting.
Loveday's new single 'Ugly Smile' is available to stream now. Check it out in the player below.