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‘It doesn’t have to be “baby I love you” lyrics’: Dundonian rocker Kyle Falconer on the making of new record, No Love Songs For Laura

There’s a point near the end of our interview where both of Kyle Falconer’s pre-school daughters burst into the room while he’s on the phone, noisily looking to play.

While his partner Laura takes over, he goes outside to finish talking, and we can hear the sound of Broughty Ferry seagulls in the background.

Just the sound of it all conjures up an idyllic family scene in the life of the sometime-frontman of Dundonian rockers the View.

Even just before the pandemic, with his debut solo album No, Thank You having been released in 2018, he was so busy touring that he moved with Laura and their young family to Los Angeles to see more of one another.

Kyle Falconer moved to LA with partner Laura and their young family.

“We sold the house in Dundee and moved, I was going over there to have a break from touring and stuff,” says the 34-year-old, getting ready for the release today of his second solo album, No Love Songs for Laura.

“The two of us moved there thinking it would be easier, but I was away just as much, always working.”

‘We were hidden away – it was cool’

Falconer had already started writing No Love Songs for Laura in America, but what really changed things – as it did for so many people – was the pandemic. “It was pretty scary over there, so we got back as soon as we could,” he says.

“We ended up living out in the country past Arbroath – which was pretty cool, because we got some quality family time and I wrote a load of songs. We were hidden away from the world and we didn’t see anyone, it was kind of cool.”

The album was originally a 33-track doubler.

For this album, Falconer is managed by the former boss of Creation Records Alan McGee, and it was the Glaswegian who convinced him not to go with a 33-song double album.

“He was like, ‘it’s crazy to do that right now, we should just stick to a normal record’,” says Falconer.

“I whittled it down to thirteen tracks, and it ended up being like a concept album, all about what was going on at the time and the struggles of me being away and touring all the time.”

All love songs for Laura

Where the last album was about Falconer’s experiences getting through rehab, this one is – despite the title, which is pretty tongue-in-cheek – a record for Laura, who appears on the cover alongside him, and a record about the experience of settling down and growing into responsibility.

Recorded in the Libertines’ studio in Margate with producer Frankie Siragusa, it’s a diverse album which takes in the glam-pop of Stress Ball, the cheerful, glossy pop of Wait Around, and the bittersweet, anthemic melancholy of Mother.

“All the songs are love songs, but done in a strange way,” says Falconer.

“It’s about the troubles and the great times and everything put together, just a mash-up… but ultimately it’s love, do you know what I mean?

Kyle Falconer.
Kyle recorded the new album in the Libertines’ Margate studio.

“It doesn’t need to be ‘baby I love you’ lyrics, it’s just there’s problems and there’s resolutions. I don’t want to say too much about it, because it ruins it, but you have to listen to the record in full to get the gist of it.”

The next album is written already, but he’s not sure what form it will take – he wants to see how this one is received first. In the meantime he has plenty of other projects, including the musical he and Laura have been working on.

“We’re always working on something new, always trying to change it up,” he says. “I’m non-stop in my head and I’m always wanting to do something, when you’re not allowed to do stuff it’s quite frustrating.

“If I’m in the house I can’t just sit on my arse, I’ve got to go and run a marathon or write a musical or do something that keeps us going. I can’t even sleep sometimes, I’ve got so many ideas.”

‘Eventually you’ve got to listen to people’

He sounds happy with the situation, and with the good influence of people like Laura and McGee. “He’s great, man,” says Falconer of his new manager.

“Keeps you on the straight and narrow, he’s not a Yes Man. He’s been through it all.

“I’ve had over twenty-five managers, I’ve never really had the chance to grow a bond with someone, because I’m always sacking them or they’re sacking me.

Falconer has come a long way since wild days with The View. Picture: Drew Farrell.

“Eventually you’ve just got to listen to people. I’ve learned from a lot of mistakes, and I just need to not make them – but I probably had to make them at the time, you know?”

Kyle Falconer’s second solo album No Love Songs for Laura is released today. He’ll be performing a short acoustic set and a Q&A with his manager Alan McGee at Assai Records, Dundee, at noon on Sunday, with a live show to follow at Church, Dundee, on Monday 13th September.

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