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Interview:
Lily Allen at Saint Andrews, 3 Things to Know
 

By Gary Graff
ggraff@digitalfirstmedia.com, @GraffonMusic on Twi

» See more SOUND CHECK

Lily Allen has been through a lot since we last saw her on these shores.



The British songstress went through a divorce and suffered what she calls an "identity crisis," some of it coming from dissatisfaction with her 2014 album "Sheezus." Much of that is chronicled on "No Shame," Allen's fourth studio, which came out in June to mostly positive review -- and has been short-listed for Britain's prestigious Mercury Prize. Emotionally raw and revealing, "No Shame" was created with a large core of collaborators -- with Allen serving as executive producer -- and cuts a broad stylistic swatch through electropop, dancehall and reggae.



These days Allen is living the "Shame" on stage around the world -- but, she says, is feeling much better about it...



In making no shame with a corps of producers and songwriting collaborators, Allen, 33, says by phone that "No Shame" is not only a product of her life leading up to it but also a reaction to its 2014 predecessor "Sheezus." "I wanted to make an effort to make a record that made me feel something this time. The last time touring here in the States I didn't connect to the material (on 'Sheezus'), and that combined with a lot of other things led to things getting quite messy and disturbing. So I needed to be connected to the material in order to justify leaving my kids for long periods of time."



Despite that connection to the songs on "No Shame," performing them finds Allen having to relive a dark period of her live every time she steps on stage. "It's difficult because it was such painful times. It's an emotional roller coaster, so that's a challenge. Usually at the start of the song, when the first few chords come in, I try and put myself into that shape I was in when I wrote it, and then by three-quarters of the way through or it's starting to come to an end I start to feel, like, a sort of relief or something that I'm not there anymore. It's a journey."



Though Allen still has "quite a lot of touring" still left to support "No Shame," she's already begun work on its successor. "I've already written quite a big chunk of it and recorded it. It's a lot more optimistic, for sure. My music is always a reflection of where I am, and I'm in a much better place than where I was when I wrote 'No Shame,' and that will be reflected in the music for sure."



Lily Allen performs Tuesday, Oct. 30, at Saint Andrews Hall, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit. Doors at 6 p.m. $38. 313-961-8961 or visit saintandrewsdetroit.com.

Web Site: www.saintandrewsdetroit.com

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff

 



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