Luke Rainsford

Luke Rainsford on ‘I Feel At Home With You’ and maintaining honesty

Luke Rainsford is a midlands based solo artist about to release his second album I Feel At Home With You. We caught up with Luke on a weekend set of shows before his lengthy album release tour co-headlined with Crater Face.

First off, we wanted to know how much Luke was looking forward to the tour.

Oh yeah, really looking forward to it. The last tour I did was with Layover as part of a band, it’s going to be weird just being with one person for ten days but also really cool.

Luckily, Luke and Dru Lintott of Crater Face get on well. “I think most shows he’s ever played have been with me. We’re really used to playing shows together so it should be fun.”

If anything can test friendships however it’s touring, and the duo have decided to take the whole tour via public transport, which is set to be an interesting venture. “It was a really good idea at the time, and now we’re getting closer to it we’re kind of realising it’s gonna kind of suck but I think it’ll be worth it. We had a driver originally but he pulled out on us, but we didn’t want to cancel the tour.

Moving on to discuss the upcoming album, how has he found the response to the two current singles Ties and Home Safe?

I was a bit scared at first but after the stuff I’ve released has had a really good response and people have actually been learning the words already which is really really cool.”

Speaking of nerves, Luke elaborates he’s been treading a fine line between nervousness and excitement in the lead up to I Feel At Home With You.

Naturally I’m really nervous because the songs are so personal to me, almost uncomfortable in a way because it’s putting a piece of myself out there and if people don’t like it that’ll be quite heart-breaking,” explains Luke, “At the same time I think it’ll be worth it because as long as one person gets something from it or if someone relates to something and it helps them out in some way; even if people don’t like it overall I’m happy with it.

Thus, it’s with nothing but good intentions that Luke bares his soul through music. I Feel At Home With You broached a more dynamic, expanded sound to his debut I’m Nothing Like My Dad Turned Out To Be. How did this come about?

Growing up” is the simplest reason. Luke details that his first album was written over a few years of his late teens, not specifically as an album. This record on the other hand was written over a six-month period in his early twenties in a much more focused sense.

The first album was basically, in essence like a break-up record. It does delve into slightly more mature themes just because I’m older and I’ve had more experience growing up. I’ve gone through loads of different things, it’s different perspectives I guess, and listening to different music.

A move away from pop punk and into the territory of more niche, low-fi musicians inspired Luke greatly. Furthermore, it’s undeniably honesty that Luke believes is the most important element of music. He explains how any song can be musically incredible, yet feel weaker through lack of genuine emotion.

Discussing how difficult it was for Luke to recorded his own anecdotal and exceptionally honest songs, he admits it was incredibly challenging.

“It was really hard. Writing them was really different to my first record, I was trying to make it relatable. I was trying to keep it personal but I was trying to word it in a way that people could hear and relate to really easily. With this one I kind of scrapped that idea, I wanted to make it more so it’s not for people to relate to, but for people to understand ‘this person’. My perspective on the way things happened to me.

It’s not about relating to lyrics it’s about understanding your own emotions and yourself. I think having these songs as a reflection of that might help someone more than just having a lyric which is easy to relate to.”

Luke’s insistence on honest bleeds into his advice for any up-coming solo acts. Primarily to be honest and not worry about imitating bands, even those you love. Equally, to be nice, make friends with everyone possible and don’t let it get too serious to have fun. “If you’re not enjoying it, there’s no reason to do it.

I Feel At Home With You will be releasing through Scylla Records, and we spoke about Luke’s partnership with the label. This began when Richard Hughes, the manager of Scylla Records reached out to Luke for a place on a charity Christmas compilation. Later, inspired by his lack of funds to produce physical releases, Luke asked whether Richard could be interested in helping to release the album.

Having established their partnership, Richard has been helping Luke book shows and “in general making me more professional” with an eye for marketing distribution and helping to make the most of the album.

When asked about his goals, both short and long term, Luke details his ambitions of playing some shows in Europe, and even America, although he reaffirms “I don’t really have anything set in stone, more like ideas.

For the short term it’s just plug my album as much as I can. This record means a lot to me and I want as many people to hear it as possible. If someone needs an honest record like that, because I think sometimes people need some honest music. If one person loved, it and maybe it just helped them out with how they’re feeling that’s me happy. And of course I want as many people to pre-order it as possible. I want it to spread, I want to keep building.

Finally, we asked Luke if there were any solo artists or bands he’s most recommend others listen to. Crater Face of course, as well as Proud Ember as well as James Leese. The bands mentioned were Better Than Never, Coast To Coastespecially”, Pushing Daisies, Tuskens and “any band I’ve ever played with to be honest!”

Essentially, support local bands wherever you might find them.

We’re thankful to Luke Rainsford for taking the time to talk to us and being one of the humblest musicians you could wish to find. I Feel At Home With You releases on February 17th through Scylla Records, and we’ll be catching Luke on tour next month so keep your eyes peeled for all the latest!

Album cover

Luke Rainsford – I Feel At Home With You

Luke Rainsford is a name cropping up more and more in the UK pop punk scene, even if he’s not exactly the sort of act you tend to find there. Luke Rainsford is an acoustic solo artist from the Midlands on the cusp of releasing his sophomore album I Feel At Home With You through Scylla Records. His first album I’m Nothing Like My Dad Turned Out To Be set a precedent for emotional and honest tracks which were well received, launching him into a busy live schedule.

I Feel At Home With You expands on his initial formula by welcoming in minimalist additions of other instruments, such as a subtle drum backing and the occasional violin. It leads the album into feeling much more wholesome, yet as intimate as ever.

The record begins with a song ironically named All My Songs Sound The Same, a quick strum of the guitar and a cheeky “Aw, fuck“. This track is a good introduction to the dynamic of the new album; it’s stylistically similar to I’m Nothing Like My Dad Turned Out To Be while introducing the listener to the expanded landscape of I Feel At Home With You. The lyrics are personal if not excessively deep at this point, and the track is jovial at times.

The somewhat upbeat atmosphere continues through the majority of Fingernails, before Home Safe turns down the tempo introducing themes of death and personal flaws. Home Safe might come across too cliché for some, but forgivably so with an almost tongue-in-cheek reference to finality.

Hell Bent and Nightmares are two of the strongest songs the album has to offer. Hell Bent sees Luke reach up into a stable falsetto, and demonstrates a rare sense of optimism as he croons “I’m hell bent on believing in myself!“. The song also addresses the singer’s desire to make his mother proud, a moment of unbridled intimacy as the song strips back for the phrase “I hope I make you proud Mum“.

Nightmares is one of the most vocally powerful songs on the album, as Luke pushes the strength of his voice to capacity with a sense of euphoria. As with many songs, there’s a flair of moderated self-deprecation, but the song maintains a sense of cautious positivity for the future. Luke expresses his anxiety over being who he feels he needs to be for those around him.

Although Burned does not expand the record much musically, it deals with a sense of mental instability. Moving back to the more downbeat tempo that inhabits most of the album is no bad thing, but leaves Burned feeling somewhat small after the soaring highs of Nightmares. Cliché follows a similar pattern, a minimalist window into the psyche of Luke Rainsford. There’s some beautiful backgrounded vocals here which is a new and interesting style.

Ties was the lead single for the album, and the highlight of the track is a climactic ending full of over-layed vocals including the iconic “I’m nothing like my Dad turned out to beAnother ironic title in the form of Boy Meets Girl, Writes Song sees Luke playing a ukulele in a high-toned trill. Equally personal but more light-hearted than the majority of the album, it’s a well-timed breath of fresh air in the album.

I’m Bored Of Being Heartbroken relates a story of romance and writing songs. It’s another song that doesn’t push the boundaries of the album, but it carries the album along nicely. Bury Me With Nothing To My Name begins the heavy-hearted close of the album as Luke sings about how he sees his future. It’s a desolate soundscape that will resonate hard with many who feel somewhat lost. Frame is another standout song from I Feel At Home With You considering painful themes of self-harm and morbid metaphors such as “I’m a skeleton, be my skinI’ll be the frame on which you stretch yourself out.” It’s hard hitting and personal but beautifully written. The chorus of Frame is one of the most memorable Luke has written, and is sure to be huge at any live show.

The final song of I Feel At Home With You is I’m The Coward I Never Thought I’d Be. It is emotionally hard-hitting in a way that outstrips any of the other songs on the album. Much of the song has very little instrumental backing, and is delivered in the form of an open letter from Luke to his mother, saying what he never managed to say about his suicidal thoughts and treatment. In terms of being honest and open, it is unparalleled not only by any of his previous work but by almost any music recorded. There’s no metaphor or obstruction here, but a pure perspective on some of the leading themes of this album. Undoubtedly difficult to write, let alone record and release, it’s something that will have any listener feeling the utmost respect for Luke.

I Feel At Home With You is thematically and lyrically darker that Luke‘s previous work, but not without some light-hearted moments. The album is well paced to deliver the listener some emotional relief when it starts to become heavy, but is unafraid to finish off true to form in a transparent self-admission. The few songs which aren’t quite as deep as the rest detract very little from the album, and work to provide contrast. I Feel At Home With You is an album that took unrivalled courage to create, and Luke Rainsford is rewarded with his most spectacular music yet.

[9/10]