Teddy Thompson releases new album Heartbreaker Please May 8th on Thirty Tigers. The title track is out today just in time for Valentine’s Day! Teddy is set to tour the UK in May as special guest to John Grant which includes a show at London’s Alexandra Palace May 7th.
Teddy Thompson said the song took form in the wake of a breakup: “When you find someone that seems ideal, it’s easy to be untrue to yourself in order to try to match that ideal”.
Recorded in Brooklyn and written and produced by Teddy, Heartbreaker Please sees the critically acclaimed artist at the top of his craft, serving up the medicine of resignation with sweet, catchy satisfaction. “Here’s the thing,” Teddy sings frankly on his new album, “you don’t love me anymore. I can tell you’ve got one foot out the door.” From its opening track, Thompson’s new album reckons with the breakdown of love with a wistful levity as satisfying as it is devastatingly honest.
And while the album is drawn from the demise of a real-life relationship, as told from Thompson’s perspective, it might also be seen as a projection of his relationship with New York City, the place he has called home for the better part of two decades. A member of the British musical dynasty first helmed by his parents, Linda and Richard Thompson, he left London for the States at 18, settling in New York five years later. “At the time I was just taking a long vacation that never ended,” he says. “I wanted to reinvent myself and it was easier to leave it behind and go somewhere new to announce myself as a musician, rather than explain to all the people who’ve known you since you were a kid. And you can actually reinvent yourself in America, step off the plane, say ‘my name is whatever’.”
“I guess I sound like who I am,” Thompson says, “which was probably embossed on me by the 1950’s American sounds that were with me in my childhood.” From a young age, Sam Cooke, Hank Williams, Chuck Berry, and the Everly Brothers made up the bulk of his listening and you can hear that ache in his voice. After releasing his self-titled debut in 2000, Thompson went on tour as part of Roseanne Cash’s band. Since then he’s released five acclaimed albums, collaborated with good friends Martha and Rufus Wainwright, contributed to numerous tribute projects, and produced albums for Americana singer-songwriter Dori Freeman, Shelby Lynne, Allison Moorer and his mother, Linda Thompson.
The songs on Heartbreaker Please are driven by references to someone else doing the heartbreaking. “I was dating an actress at the time and living a strange sort of existence. As an artist you can get used to being in the spotlight, but in this relationship I sort of became the +1 and I was skirting around doing my own thing.”
The relationship ended as Thompson was finishing writing the songs that would become Heartbreaker Please. “I tend to write sad songs, slow songs – it’s what comes naturally,” says Thompson, “so it’s a natural fit with the subject matter, but here, even where the subject matter was kind of sad, I’d set it against a soul beat, give it sort of an uplifting feel.”
Teddy Thompson plays the following dates with John Grant:
Mon 4th CARDIFF, New Theatre
Weds 6th BEXHILL, De La Warr Pavillion
Thurs 7th LONDON, Alexandra Palace Theatre
Fri 8th GREAT YARMOUTH, Hippodrome Circus
Sun 10th COVENTRY, Warwick Arts Centre
Wed 13th GATESHEAD, Sage Gateshead
Thurs 14th EDINBURGH, Festival Theatre
Sat 16th BATH, The Forum
Sun 17th MANCHESTER, RNCM Theatre