He’s been compared to Springsteen and his recent second album We Ain’t Got No Money, Honey, But We Got Rain is frothing over with dark, melody-led, soulful pop. Now going it alone having split from his record label, Manchester-based singer-songwriter Liam Frost spoke to us about duetting with Martha Wainwright, writing dirty love songs and how this year is all about focus…
Hi Liam – how are you today?
“Really good thanks. I’m in my flat in Manchester writing for the next album and learning some cover versions for a radio show I’m doing next week. It’s a good thing to be doing on such a cold day…”
Let’s talk about your new single Your Hand In Mine, a duet with Martha Wainwright. How did that come about?
“I wrote the song with Ed Harcourt who’s an amazing writer and he sang some lines when we were recording it in New York. But then it suddenly dawned on me that it’d be great as a duet, my producer suggested Martha and she lives in Brooklyn. I was thrilled but wasn’t really sure if she’d be up for doing it as she’s so famous, but then it turned out that Ed’s good friends with her and played at her wedding! So it came about through that.”
Were you in the studio together then?
“No – I wish I could say there was great chemistry round the microphone, but it wasn’t like that! I struggled with my vocal then left, and she came along a couple of days later and banged out her part in 15 minutes. Damn her for being so professional.”
You’ve described the track as a dirty love song which I love. Are you a fan of dirty love songs?
“I’m a fan of pop songs that are quite skewed – it keeps it interesting doesn’t it? Doing a song that sounds eloquent but contains a fair bit of filth is ideal – Nick Cave is a master of it.”
Tell me a bit about your album, We Ain’t Got No Money, Honey, But We Got Rain. It was recorded in New York right?
“Yes – it was a really lengthy process. It took a year to write and I went through some stuff during that time, then after we recorded it my label contact left and it became apparent that nobody was going to support it so we made the decision to go it alone – and luckily, the label let us take the master tapes.”
And how’s it been releasing it independently?
“Well we’ve broken even so far and we’re well on the way to outselling the first record – the radio play of the single is helping so it’s looking good.”
Have you heard yourself on the radio?
“Not until this week and it was really strange! I don’t listen to radio much, but I had 6 Music on in the background and it came on. I saw an ad on Spotify for the album too – it still really shocks me.”
You’ve been described as “a diamond in the rough” and “dripping with romance”. How do you feel about those descriptions?
“Oh wow! That dripping with romance one is the opposite of the dirty pop song reference isn’t it? At the heart of it though I think that is me. I am a sincere singer-songwriter, I just try to make myself more interesting by being a bit racey.”
What about the Springsteen comparison?
“I’m a huge Springsteen fan and I can see it so that’s cool – but I’m yet to write my Thunder Road!”
Is there anybody else you’d like to collaborate with?
“I constantly want to try duets with people, it’s just getting them to agree to it! I’d like to work with Emmy The Great so we’ll see if that comes off.”
Did you make any New Year’s resolutions and how have they been going?
“They can be dangerous things can’t they, especially with my lack of willpower! But I think it was to focus more – I’m the least prolific person that you can imagine so it’d be nice to remedy that. And maybe get ridiculously buff so if the music career goes off the rails I can take up professional wrestling or something. I’d have to grow a moustache though and I’m terrible at that…”
What’s up for you next?
“Releasing the next single, working to get the next album done and getting more people listening to my stuff and coming to shows – it’s all about focus…”
What’s the most played song on your MP3 at the moment?
“I’ve been listening to the Monsters Of Folk album mainly.”
If you could be the love child of any two artists, who would you choose?
“Mama Cass and Nick Cave.”
Liam Frost’s single Your Hand In Mine featuring Martha Wainwright is out now – to listen, click on the button below:
Album We Ain’t Got No Money, Honey, But We Got Rain is out now too. For more click here