Guitarist Lucy Arnell released her new single “Do It Again,” from her upcoming analog LP, Anyways Any, produced by Jason Abraham Roberts (Norah Jones). Her LP will release this September, and she recently celebrated her single release with a free party at The Love Song Bar, featuring special guests Henry Wolfe and Lael Neale. Purchase “Do It Again” here. Arnell has recently performed as the guitarist for Jackie Cohen of Foxygen and will continue to tour with Cohen this summer.
Arnell has been through quite a lot in her life, having survived the removal of an 18-pound tumor and having a book of her art published by Andre Leon Talley and Rizzoli Books at age five. Her music is a reflection of who she is, and shares that “Do It Again” is a song about “the notion of not regretting your mistakes.”
You’re gearing up for your newest single, “Do It Again,” available now. Why did you choose this song as the first single from your new album?
How did your life experiences cumulate your writing and recording process of your forthcoming LP, Anyways Any?
Lucy: It’s the little things. There’s SO many little things. Some big, but mostly little. As you get older, you learn, and you learn what’s worth holding on to and what’s worth letting go of. I’ve let small things bother me for too long, but I think we’re all guilty of that. We’re all human. Sometimes the best solution is to say goodbye to something beautiful. Making Anyways Any forced me to grow up because it’s an honest record, through and through. You can’t make honest music if you aren’t brutally honest with yourself. That’s my goal; not only with this record but with my life.
What is your songwriting process?
Lucy: Very random. Any time, any chord, any day, anywhere. I’m finding recently that I work best late at night. You can hear a song you hate or love that can inspire you; it comes from anything. After I get the song together, I take it to my producer Jason Abraham Roberts (Norah Jones), and we build it up. The organic and analog recording process is extremely important to both of us, and we keep that in mind while working. The studio is an instrument itself.
When did you decide you were going to learn to play guitar and continue to do so?
Lucy: After college, I lived alone in Italy, and it seemed like the right time to try “Dead Flowers”…does everyone remember their first song? It took me a month I think to play an A to D chord change. Soon after, I found out I had an 18 lb tumor. It was really that strange experience that got me to fully commit to learning and playing.
Are there any other instruments you play?
Lucy: I mainly focus on the guitar. One of my idols consciously gave up the pedal steel and banjo, which were his two real loves, to hone his craft on guitar for the sake of his band. I always admired that.
What gear do you use when you record and when you perform live?
Lucy: Part of the fun in recording is going into a new studio and using all the gear they have. It’s often a surprise, and I prefer it that way. Just do the research and find the right place. For live, I almost always play Leon, who is a 1972 Gibson 335TD through a Vox. No pedals. When I play as a guitarist in other bands, I go through a Fender Deluxe and whatever pedals I need for those songs. My friend recently suggested adding an MXR Microamp to the chain, and I’ve been really into that.
Who are some of your female musician models?
Lucy: So many, but I’m currently very into Hole. Courtney Love does not get the artistic credit she deserves. She does this thing that most women are terrified of doing, which is to be real and real about their pain. She’s one of the most legitimate female punk rock singers alive, and she worked extremely hard for an education on what ‘punk rock’ truly means. She has so much respect for the genre itself, which I really admire. Her music is respectful of the shoulders she knows she stands on, but she’s also not afraid to make it hers. When she screams “go on take everything” in “Violet,” every woman knows exactly what she’s talking about. It makes your blood curdle. Whether she can admit it or not, every woman can relate to that in her own way. She’s very powerful and striking, and that’s just a quality I’m drawn to in men and women alike. People like that don’t come around too often.