Will Young Announces New Album And Tour
by Geoff Ford
Will Young has released a new single Daniel as a taster for his forthcoming album Crying On The Bathroom Floor, set for release on 6 August via Cooking Vinyl.
Daniel is an interpretation of the Bat For Lashes classic and is the first track to be heard from the new album which will also feature re-imagined versions of songs from the likes of Lykke Li, MUNA, Robyn, Solange, Sky Ferreira and more. The track comes accompanied by an official video directed by the renowned Andrew John “W.I.Z.” Whiston (Disclosure, Mika, Kings Of Leon).
“I’ve always enjoyed singing other people’s songs. There is a liberation to it”, says Will Young of his new album. “It’s how I feel when I approach a script. I have reverence for the piece of art and the artist who created it. After 18 years of recording and performing a lot of original material, I loved the idea of creating an album that celebrates some of the modern female artists I so admire in pop. In today’s times it’s so much easier and accepted to occupy other genders, ideas and explore new avenues. I wanted to understand what it might be like to sing their lyrics; a song about a boy called Daniel; crying on the bathroom floor, feeling like Elizabeth Taylor. This is not a covers album as such, well certainly not in the standard way. I wanted to bring songs from female artists who I admire into a new arena. I wanted to work with Richard X again and create a true pop record.”
The album has been recorded through the lockdown period and Will described, with some enthusiasm, the joy of recording at home. “We started in a rehearsal studio, socially distanced of course! Myself, my pianist, musical director and guitarist. We found the right keys and then the right feel for each song.
“Richard X was sent those rough versions, often just a verse and chorus to start with. Then Richard created a recording space at the end of my dining room table with cable ties, much to his excitement, with an old pair of curtains and a lot of string! I could see out into the garden from my makeshift studio, so I put up a bird feeder so while I recorded I could watch my resident robin feeding!
“The dogs could be problematic! Paws and claws on wooden floors not conducive to making a record! I think it has allowed me to be even more focused and more content in the whole process. I mean for someone who is agoraphobic not having to travel is the dream!”
I feel I have a piece of work that feels truly me
Whilst the tracks are all associated with female artists, this is not unusual for Will who has worked with female writers throughout his career.
“It’s not the first time I’ve sung songs written by others or by women. My debut single Anything Is Possible (the double A-Side with Evergreen) was written by Cathy Dennis. Cathy also wrote a song with Burt Bacharach for my first record. Karen Poole wrote the track Stronger for my second record. Leave Right Now was written by Eg White and Who Am I by Eg White and Lucie Silvas, both artists in their own rights. I’ve sung Belinda Carlisle, Blondie, Joni Mitchell, Joan Armatrading, Nina Simone all on Radio 2 over the years and the list goes on…!
“It’s strange because I feel I have ended up with a piece of work that feels truly me, despite the songs not being written…. by me. I feel connection to the lyrics, and the stories, and the women who wrote them. I felt the same way when I played the EMCE in Cabaret. The songs became my songs, the words my words for all the time I was performing. Now they are there for the next person to interpret and embody.
“I’ve written to all ten artists whose songs I have taken on to thank them. As a nosey podcaster and writer, I hope to speak to each one about their careers, how they create and their process.
“I’m so so so proud to have an album that can bring these songs to a new audience, introducing artists who I celebrate and revere. It’s been such a pleasure and I think the result feels so united and strong, as well as vulnerable and open.”
Crying On The Bathroom Floor track listing:
1. Daniel (original by Bat For Lashes)
2. Crying On The Bathroom Floor (original by MUNA)
3. Till There’s Nothing Left (original by Cam)
4. Indestructible (original by Robyn)
5. Strong (original by London Grammar)
6. I Follow Rivers (original by Lykke Li)
7. Everything Is Embarrassing (original by Sky Ferreira)
8. Losing You (original by Solange)
9. Missing (original by Everything But The Girl)
10. Elizabeth Taylor (original by Clare Maguire)
An activist, author, singer, songwriter, radio presenter, DJ and performer, Will recently released To Be A Gay Man through Penguin Books; discussing gay shame, revealing the impact it had on his own life, how he learned to deal with it, and how he can now truthfully say he is gay and happy. The paperback version of the book is due to be released April 29, and is now available to pre-order.
This September Will embarks on a series of intimate live shows including a date at the City Varieties, Leeds. He will be performing several of the new tracks alongside classic songs acoustically and chatting with audiences. Fans can pre-order the new album now for an exclusive ticket pre-sale next Weds 28 April. For more information please visit Will’s Official Store.
Will Young 2021 tour dates:
Wednesday 1 September: Cardiff Glee Club
Thursday 2 September: Glasgow St Luke’s
Sunday 5 September: Leeds City Varieties
Monday 6 September: London Earth
Tuesday 7 September: London Earth
Wednesday 8 September: Birmingham Glee Club