Luke Sital-Singh’s latest single, summer somewhereis taken from the forthcoming album by the Los Angeles-based Londoner Dress like a strangerdue out September 2. It will follow with a UK tour, which is set to stop at the Portland Arms in Cambridge on September 29.

Luc Sital-Singh. Photo: Andrew Paynter

Although summer somewhere is a general reflection on life in Los Angeles – the city he has lived in for three and a half years – not all is fun in the sun in the Golden State.

“I miss the rain – I’m more of a winter soul than a summer beach type person,” he reveals, “so I can’t wait to get my jeans and knit sweater back on and relax somewhere, in a pub.

Before moving to Los Angeles, Luke and his wife lived in Bristol. He notes that he didn’t feel particularly inspired or creative there at the time. “My wife Hannah has always dreamed of living here [in the US]and I had been back and forth a lot, just for musical stuff,” he recalls.

“So we had visited together and stayed here a bit and I could imagine that too…I’m a bit more of a homebody – a bit worried about everything – so I had to convince myself to go for the big leap It was just one of those things too. It was kind of now or never.

“We didn’t have children, we didn’t have a lot of connections in the UK. I had my visa which I have here to tour and stuff, so that means we could live here.

The sequel to Luke’s 2019 album A Golden Statethat preceded the move to Los Angeles, Dress like a stranger was written and recorded in California, with the musician initially working alone at home when the pandemic hit.

He later rented a studio and cut a few songs on his own before enlisting British artist Dan Croll, also based in the United States, as a co-producer. Strangely, living in much sunnier climates hasn’t necessarily made Luke’s music ‘happier’. “I think it kind of went the other way, in some ways!” he observes. “Lyrically, I had to write a song about it. [track three, California].”

Luke says all 11 tracks on the album – my personal favorites, for what it’s worth, are blind missile and I can’t get high – are “sad songs”, especially lyrically. “It’s really my bread and butter,” he explains, “I just tend to focus on that world…

“To me, they’re not meant to be sad or to make people sad. I like to write about more melancholic aspects of life, and it’s really interesting to write this kind of music when it’s sunny outside every day.

He adds: “It wasn’t too difficult for me because I’m more of an ‘in my head’ type. Where I am or what he’s doing doesn’t always affect me too much.

Luc Sital-Singh.  Photo: Andrew Paynter
Luc Sital-Singh. Photo: Andrew Paynter

There’s “exploratory stuff” on the record, and the “craziness of the last two years” is touched upon. “Being in America has also been strange because I’m not American, I don’t feel like I’m in a lot of American ways of thinking about the world,” says Luke, who has performed “a few times” at the Cambridge Folk Festival. .

“It’s interesting because you get the impression that we’re quite similar – the British and the Americans – in some ways, but in many more subtle ways we are definitely different.”

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It’s now been a decade since Luke released his first single failure for youwho showcased his talent as a singer-songwriter to the world – talent that has led to an impressive fanbase and nearly 150 million streams on Spotify.

In 2018, he 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 through his work. .

Luc Sital-Singh.  Photo: Andrew Paynter
Luc Sital-Singh. Photo: Andrew Paynter

Luke Sital-Singh will perform at the Portland Arms on Thursday, September 29. For tickets, visit theportlandarms.co.uk. To learn more about Luke, go to lukesitalsingh.com.