Song Deconstructed: ‘Follow Me’ by Lucy McWilliams

Lucy McWilliams. Photo: Luvi Crezia
Lucy McWilliams. Photo: Luvi Crezia

Lucy McWilliams: “Sometimes I feel I’m chasing the song but this was different.” Photo: Luvi Crezia

With both songs and love, something that has the capacity to be difficult and frustrating occasionally unfolds effortlessly and naturally

Emerging Irish songwriter Lucy McWilliams returns with enchanting new single, Follow Me, coming after the well-received releases of Slow Dancing and Plastic. Embracing a dreamy pop aesthetic, the track adds a rich and heartfelt layer to McWilliams’ innovative music. McWilliams, hailing from Dublin but based in London, via a stint studying in Berlin where she also formed a band and began to hone her writing skills, draws inspiration from Ireland’s storytelling tradition, and her musical versatility spans indie, R&B, acoustic pop, and 90s rock.

As she gears up for headline performances in the UK, we got the lowdown on Follow Me, a love song capturing the excitement and myriad possibilities that a newfound connection can bring…

INSPIRATION

I think the universal feeling to find someone, and to be loved, is something that most people crave. People walk through life, wanting to find connection with people, it’s just natural. Sometimes, at least for myself, you seek it in the wrong places, but just before we wrote this I had an overwhelming sense that I was finally looking in the right place and that love and a connection suddenly felt something of ease. As opposed to what I’d previously attached it with.

LYRICS

They actually came really fast; the whole song did. I had arrived at the studio with the first two lines from the second verse, and suddenly the rest just came. They’re very simple really, just about that beginning feeling when you meet a stranger and you know they will become more, and that almost fantasy world you begin to imagine with them. I guess it’s just the idea of meeting someone and not wanting to let go, imagining a whole life with someone who you just met. It sounds a little insane, but I guess when you know you know.

Lucy McWilliams. Photo: Luvi Crezia

Lucy McWilliams: “The most alive you really feel ever is when you are falling in love.” Photo: Luvi Crezia

MUSIC

This too came so quickly, which never happens. We got the guitar and vocal melody quickly, the rest was a little more work in progress. The lines I had come up with before the studio had the melody as you can hear now. From there, the rest just came naturally. Once we finished writing the song and it was bare, then we began the production on it.

This is where Zach (Daws) played a huge role! We listened to The Stone Roses for inspiration for a bass line. We wanted a more busy and moving feel, so we had the drums almost on a loop, and they stayed consistent throughout the song, which none of the other tracks do. It makes it feel more alive, which is supposed to be what falling in love feels like, the most alive you really feel ever is when you are falling in love.

IN THE STUDIO

I brought a melody and the line, “All the things I’d do oh for you, I swear I’d drown myself,” to the studio on one of the last days we were writing. That might have been the reason as to why it happened so fast. We had been in the flow for a few days so I guess we just gelled so well working together. It’s funny how that happens. Taylor [Locke] was playing guitar under the melody I had, and just kept going over and over and following me as I was signing. Usually I don’t really write like that, sometimes I feel I’m chasing the song but this was different.

Lucy McWilliams

Lucy McWilliams: “It can be a lot easier to write from a dark place, but this one felt different, finally something with more hope and light.”

FINAL THOUGHTS

I tend to take days and sometimes weeks or even months finishing and finalising songs, but for this it felt so natural and just happened so easily. I suppose the song is about that, just all of a sudden feeling right and in control. I think that’s why I hold it so closely. It can be a lot easier to write from a dark place, but this one felt different, finally something with more hope and light.

Follow Me is out now and Lucy McWilliams will be performing at Servants Jazz Quarters, London, (27 March) and The Grand Social, Dublin (28 March). Learn more at linktr.ee/lucymcwilliams

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