Luke Sital-Singh announces details of new album, Dressing Like A Stranger, and shares new single “California.” The LA-based Londoner’s fourth album and debut with new label Nettwerk Records, Dressing Like A Stranger, will be released on September 2.
The third track to be lifted from the album, following previous singles “Me & God” and “Blind Missiles” (“If you’re searching for empathy in an increasingly polarized world, ‘Blind Missiles’ will strike a chord” Songwriting Magazine), “California” rides a steady beat and glassy riff towards a warm hook bathed in SoCal sunshine. “The lyrics reflect on the way I live in L.A. compared to the U.K. I thought I would feel different, but I didn’t. I’m the same dude – just wearing shorts more often,” laughs Luke.
The follow-up to 2019’s A Golden State (“…abounds in the chords and textures of classic West Coast songwriting, with nods to Springsteen,” The Sunday Times), which preceded his move to Los Angeles, Dressing Like A Stranger was written and recorded in the Golden State, with Luke initially working alone at home in Los Feliz as COVID-19 descended upon the world. He later rented a studio and cut a few songs by himself before enlisting fellow Brit and singer-songwriter Dan Croll as co-producer and Tchad Blake(Fiona Apple, The Black Keys, Elvis Costello) for mixing.
The album includes another collaboration with Ben Cramer, a.k.a. Old Sea Brigade, who co-wrote the upbeat “Can’t Get High,” following the duo’s 2020 joint EP All The Ways You See In The Dark.
“I love collaboration,” reveals Luke. “When I started this album, I missed that part of the process. Dan enjoys the puzzle of music. He’ll have so many different versions of songs, whereas I’m more instinctual. It was nice to have Dan say, ‘We don’t need this!’ Dan saw the music from a bird’s eye view, maintained the momentum, figured out the puzzle, and pushed me to do more takes than I would’ve alone.”
It was the purchase of a rubber-bridge guitar that opened up the songwriting floodgates for Luke. He penned the title track “Dressing Like A Stranger” with the guitar and embraced it as a creative north star. “‘Dressing Like A Stranger’ was the first song I wrote, and it unlocked the whole album,” he recalls. “The guitar has a very specific sound. I didn’t want just to do another ‘singer-songwriter acoustic’ thing. My first album was a shiny pop record, the second album was rawer, and my third album was more lyrical. The sound of the guitar was how I felt now.”
It’s a decade since Luke Sital-Singh released his debut single “Fail For You,” introducing the world his rare ability to craft songs rich in empathy and emotional resonance, qualities which have garnered him an impressive worldwide fanbase and seen his songs rack up almost 150 million Spotify streams. In 2018, Luke was invited to give a TED Talk at the official TED conference in Vancouver, where he spoke about the cathartic effect of writing and performing ‘sad’ songs, a theme that runs throughout his work.
“I’m moved by sad music,” explains Luke. “It makes something beautiful out of something painful. It allows listeners to realize they’re not alone. I’m at a confusing age where I don’t know if I’m doing the right things in my life. I just know I’m Luke, and I made an album.”