EXCLUSIVE GIGSOUP INTERVIEW: Rupert Stroud opens up on track-by-track for new album

Yorkshire singer-songwriter Rupert Stroud is back with a brand new album this week, led by the anthemic slow-burn of the LP’s lead single and title track Along The Low. Fans of Kings Of Leon’s combination of reverb-laden guitars and rootsy indie rock choruses will find plenty to enjoy here – have a listen on Spotify now…

We sat down with Rupert for a chat about each song on the new album.

SPIRIT – This track is one of the most fast paced energetic songs on the album and opens up the record with a spiritual, mystic vibe. It’s also one of the more complex productions on the album. We even had my drummer play alternative rhythms with his sticks on a radiator and fire extinguisher in the hallway of the studio. I love opening the live set with Spirit when I perform with my band. The “omnisphere” synths and pulsing beat builds a sense of anticipation for the intro. I really enjoyed layering the haunting backing vocals to create the canvas for this song. 

FATE – Born from a conversation with a friend who was going through a rough patch and me trying to tell them that things would turn around for them if they kept faith with themselves and not to let other people opinions cloud their judgement. Urging them to stay strong and positive.

ON MY WAY – A song about self-belief, perseverance, battling my own demons and having that special person to come home to who keeps me strong. Building strong foundations. I loved layering up the different instrumentation and drum kits in this song as it builds to the chorus and the final double chorus/outro- we have 3 kits playing all together at one point, including a nice fat hip-hop beat which is different from my previous records. My vision for the song was to build it from a simple vocal and guitar at the beginning and to end with an exciting crescendo.

GHOST – When I wrote this song two things were on my mind. One was giving advice to someone close to me not to forget where they came from, but ultimately losing that someone despite everyone’s best efforts. The second inspiration came from reflecting on the troubles of the world we’re living in, being saddened about the world around us and the constant news reel and images of tragedy. Every day when I put the news on-there’s so much hate and violence and division in the world. We’re almost becoming numb to it all. It’s becoming so normalised by the media.

SET ME FREE – A song about meeting that one person who makes you feel complete. Your soulmate. Your best friend. That person who makes you feel on top of the world. Life felt empty and lonely until that person came along. When we’ve been hurt before we are left with an insecurity. Even when we meet someone right, it takes a long time for the defences to come down and for us to feel secure in that relationship. 

FOREVER LAND – This song has a real Americana/middle America, laid back, bluesy vibe to it. It was inspired following my world travels between Nov. 2018 and March 2019 where I played some shows in the US, OZ, NZ and SE Asia. Essentially it’s a love song-waiting for your lover to come back to you. Pondering on life’s ups and downs. I wanted to get a bluesy vibe with this song, the lazy vocal and the guitar line running alongside each other at a steady pace. But then a bit of a curve ball comes in with the introduction of the synth pads and the hip hop beats in the 3rd verse onwards giving it another dimension. 

ONLY THE BRAVE – Another love song. I wanted to achieve a real dreamy feel to the start of the song with the whirling atmospheric effect of the guitar synths, almost like a wave flowing around the track. The lyrics tell the story of going on a great adventure. A story about love and loyalty. Taking chances and pushing yourselves to achieve your dreams. Being bold, not standing still and taking hold of your own destiny.

THE SEA – This is a reflection of the darker side of my nature and self-doubt. It’s also about trying to help someone you care so much about but who has lost their way in life and the frustration you feel in trying to help them but ultimately failing. A song with an overwhelming sense of helplessness when trying to protect someone you love.

BELIEVE – This song was inspired by my spiritual beliefs that no matter the setbacks that you encounter in life, you should always try to hang on to self-belief no matter how hard that is sometimes. I wanted to create a haunting atmosphere with this song. The instrumentation was very important in conveying the message of Believe. It is the darkest song on the album-it’s very inspired by my love for gritty US dramas like True Detective, Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, Ozark and Big Little Lies. 

ALONG THE LOW – The song has a very uplifting, summery anthemic vibe to it. The truth is when I wrote the song, I was feeling very low. The lyrics were inspired by long journeys and late nights to and from home, on the road in all weather conditions. By the time I recorded the song my mood had lifted but the meaning of the song still remained. It’s a song about perseverance and positivity in striving for success and achieving your goals. Ultimately doing what you want to do with your life, regardless of the ups and downs, following your passion and never giving up. The life of a troubadour.

You can find Rupert at at rupertstroudmusic.com, facebook.com/rupertstroudmusic and twitter.com/rupertstroud now.