Featured Photo Credit: Charlie Moore
British singer/songwriter Rhodes invites listeners into an emotional new chapter on his sophomore album, Friends like These.
The autobiographical release showcases musings and stories detailing love, loss, friendship, and hope. These ten stunning tracks were collected over the past seven years since his acclaimed debut, Wishes, which included the single “Let It All Go,” a duet with Birdy.
“It took me a moment to get here but in such a noisy world, I’ve always found that true beauty and clarity comes in the pauses,” Rhodes says of the hiatus.
We chatted with Rhodes about the independently released album, his upcoming tour, and more!
Excerpt from the podcast:
What inspired the title track, “Friends Like These”?
I was in New York…in the Catskill Mountains. I’d been doing all this songwriting and I’d got lost, really lost. I’d just kind of forgotten who I was. I think having done my first album and then having this kind of pressure, as much put upon upon myself as the industry, expectations, all that kind of stuff. I was staying in this little farmhouse and it was in a little village called Palenville. There was a gas station next door and it was just like neon. So that was shining right into the window of the bedroom I was sleeping in. I was like, ‘oh my God, how am I gonna sleep?’ I was jet lagged. I was just really struggling. I was just depressed and jet lagged and in America, away from my family and just wondering what the hell I was gonna do the next day in this songwriting session with a massive producer who has now become one of my best friends and mentors, actually. I was sitting there awake and my friend called me from London and he was out. He was out, out, as we say in the UK . He was like wasted and he was going on at me…And I was like, it’s the middle of the night here, I’m like trying to sleep, and I’ve got my friend on the other side of the planet calling me from a bar and rambling on the phone to me. I was thinking of that phrase with friends like these, who needs enemies? But obviously that’s a tongue in cheek phrase, but it was almost kind of a joke. I was just like, how do I spin that line into something beautiful and positive? Because really he was ringing me because he loved me and because he wanted to talk to me and he was excited about me being in America and doing writing and being in the studio and doing all these cool things. I just started humming the chorus, melody around my head. Then the next morning I met with this producer, his name’s Simone Felice. He’d just been doing a bunch of stuff with the Lumineers, and he’s like a fifth member of that band. He’s like their producer, so I was really nervous about working with him, and I showed him this idea and he was like, I love that idea, let’s go with it. And I was like, oh my God, this is so cool. I was just so used to people trying to enforce their own ideas upon me at that point. We just sat around this log burner in his barn, in his garden that he used as a studio. We wrote the song really quickly and it was just a kind of ode to friends and family and those people who pick you up when you’re feeling down. I was just kind of thinking about the most carefree days of life when you’ve just got beautiful people around you and you are your true self, I guess.
Listen to more from our interview with Rhodes here. For tickets and more information on his UK/EU tour visit: https://rhodes.ffm.to/tickets.bio.