Corinne Bailey Rae Talks Her Return with 'The Heart Speaks in Whispers'
Published May 19, 2016"I feel like it's always a surprise to me every time I make another record," Corinne Bailey Rae tells Exclaim! The British singer-songwriter hasn't released anything since The Love EP in 2011, but she just ended that five-year silence with the release of The Heart Speaks in Whispers, out now on Virgin Records.
"I've been living with the record for so long, and working on it, and writing new songs and changing songs, and producing and working with new musicians. It's really been a non-stop little world," Rae says as she characterizes the time outside the spotlight. "Me and my friends, and all the people that worked on the record, we know it so well, so it's nice to share it with other people."
Rae's love for music began in her teens when she played for a guitar band. While studying English Literature at the University of Leeds, she found her love for soul, jazz and writing. Her 2006 self-titled debut was a Grammy-nominated success, while its follow-up, The Sea, found her exploring the death of her husband who passed away just two years before the album's release.
Taking her time on The Heart Speaks in Whispers gave Rae the freedom to explore. "Using the studio as an instrument and being able to experiment and build up layers, and make things lush, and kind of noisy, and vibrant, that was important to me," she explains. "I just wanted things to be vibrant. I wanted it to really reflect a sense of life, transformation and joy."
"Been to the Moon," the album's first single, is atmospheric, soulful, and vibrant, while the video is simple yet cinematic. Rae gracefully frolics in naturally scenic landscapes. When writing and performing her music, Rae explains much of her inspiration comes from life's simple pleasures.
"As an artist, I want to write what our experience of being people is like, and I really want to make music that's useful to people, helps people feel and helps people experience their joy, and all of those things, so poetry and nature has been a really big influence. I like to feel. I like the wind in my hair. I like being able to feel the sunshine. All of these things that help me feel alive and experience life feed back into the music."
Check out the video for "Been to the Moon" below.