by Alexandra Pollard Contributor | Photos by Justine Trickett

In the record store: Florrie picks her favourite vinyl + books

Ahead of her debut album's release, Florrie talks us through the records that inspired her

 

Florrie 2016 interview, in the record store, Chet Baker, Jimi Hendrix Photo: Justine Trickett

"Who would have thought Rough Trade don't have the Spice Girls?" We've spent nearly an hour leafing through the treasures of London's Rough Trade East, and Florrie still hasn't found all the records she's looking for. A polite enquiry as to where we might locate Spiceworld is met with bemused looks. "I feel like we're not allowed to utter that name in this building," she says, dejected.

Still, we end up with a good, eclectic haul - even if there are a few pop gems missing from the store's shelves. Her own new single, 'Real Love' - the Wes Anderson-inspired video for which has racked up over 2 million views in a matter of months - is an exquisitely-crafted, bombastic pop anthem, with a bridge even catchier than its chorus. It's no surprise to learn that her tastes are deeply rooted in the world of pop - but there's a lot more in there too. Jazz, for example, which she only got into after a trip to a Paris jazz cafe, and Chuck Berry - whom she refused to get onstage with as a sulky teenager.


Fleetwood Mac - Rumours


"I was a bit of a latecomer to this. I've been songwriting for six or seven years now, and I listened to this for the first time maybe four years ago. I feel like if there could be a lesson in songwriting, this would be it. I'm such a fan of melody - for me I almost listen to melody more than I do lyrics. I do think you write the best songs when - this is from experience - when you're going through something either really difficult or something amazing, when you have two extremes of emotion. I don't know how your brain does it, I don't know what happens. I don't just mean from the lyrical point of view, it's everything. Something's heightened.”


The E.T. soundtrack - John Williams


“E.T. is one of my earliest memories of watching a film that's made me sad. That bit at the end, when Elliot's saying goodbye... It's a great film. I've also been getting really into classical music in the last year, and they play a lot of this soundtrack on Classic FM, which is like the Radio One of classical music. I started getting into it from driving around and just needing a break from listening to pop music. I get like that sometimes, if I've been in the studio for a long time, it's nice to have classical music to chill out to.”


Chet Baker - Sings & Plays


“I've played drums since I was about seven, it's how I got into music really. I had to be in the jazz band at school and hated it. I was the only drummer in the whole school, and I had a music scholarship so I had to be in everything, but I grew up being like, 'I don't like jazz music. It's not happening'. Then a couple of years ago, I went to a jazz cafe in Paris and saw these old school jazz musicians playing, and they were amazing, and it completely changed my view on it.

"I’ve since got into playing a bit more jazz as a drummer, and I like listening to it because it's completely unpredictable and you don't know what happens next. Lots of classically trained musicians find it really difficult to play jazz music, and I think it's because they want to know what's coming next, They're used to reading a score, but I never really got into reading music and I just play by ear. Chet Baker's awesome... and I wish I could play the trumpet. I did play the trumpet once in a music video, and everyone was like, 'You play the trumpet as well?!', and I was like 'No, I don't! But I wish I did!'"


Jimi Hendrix - Are You Experienced?


“I feel like I don't need to tell you how awesome he is. When I first got into drumming, I grew up with loads of 50s music, and I had this drum teacher who basically looked like Jimi Hendrix, and was in a Jimi Hendrix tribute band. When I was 9 or 10, he asked me to play with his band for a couple of gigs, because their drummer was out, and I remember listening to this record and... I mean I played a simplified version of everything because I wasn't that advanced, but that was the first time that I'd ever listened to Jimi Hendrix. His guitar playing is awesome, and if I could have a teeny weeny ounce of his talent that would be very cool.”


Chuck Berry - One Dozen Berrys


“I saw him live a few years ago, and that's my one biggest regret. I was like 15, and he tried to get me to go on stage with him, and I was having one of these really embarrassed teenager phases, and I was like, 'No Dad, I'm not doing that', and now I'm like, 'Why the hell did I not go and do it?!'

“There's this lyric on 'Nadine' that I love: 'As I got on a city bus and found a vacant seat, I thought I saw my future bride walking up the street', and that's like the perfect opening line. My Dad's very into lots of this music, and I spent a lot of time listening and singing along in the car. He was in a band back in the '70s, and I was hoping - it's a weird genre, it's like spoof, comedy rock 'n roll - and I was hoping they'd have it here. They're called the Stan Arnold Combo. It was full-on sparkly suits. My favourite record is called 'Ladies Man' and it's basically him hanging outside a ladies' toilet looking really dodgy. Like, Dad! Oh my god.


Circa Waves - Young Chasers


“It's just really feel-good summer music. There's a song I love called 'T-Shirt Weather'. I've never seen them live, apparently they're really good live. I love running, and I like happy music to get me out the door. It does annoy me when I'm not running in time, so it kind of limits your choice. I always do this thing where if I like a record I will literally play it a thousand times and then get completely sick of it and not listen to it. It's really bad isn't it? I want to know the science behind that. What is your brain doing? The last thing that happened with was Justin Bieber. I really was not into him until this record, but I did play that a lot and then…”


Blondie - Parallel Lines


“Debbie Harry is just so cool, and I love the fact that she got recognised when she was a little bit older. I think there's a lot to be said for older musicians, people who've lived a bit and had a bit of life experience. That's not to say that younger people can't do it, I just think that as a young female singer, listening to her records and what she was writing… I've been writing records for five years now, and I'm older than when I started, but I like to think having that bit more life experience is a good thing.”


Book choice: Pocket Atlas Of Remote Islands by Judith Schalansky


“I picked this because I'd quite to live on a desert island. I just sometimes get the feeling, I don't know if it's something everyone has, I could definitely be happy just - this sounds really sad - but just by myself, on an island doing everything for myself. Catching my food. I probably would get lonely at some point, but every now and again I'm like, just everyday stuff like TV or looking at my phone or driving around London. I've done this new rule for myself this week which is no phone or laptop in my bedroom, and it's going quite well. Otherwise I'll be in bed looking at Instagram like, why am I doing this? I should just be reading a book and going to sleep!

“What would my Wilson be? I had a little rabbit called Boo Boo that I loved, and I was doing a gig in Berlin and I left him on an Air Lingus flight two years ago. No, not a live rabbit! My toy rabbit. Oh god. I literally slept with him every single night up until when I lost him.”

Florrie's latest single, 'Real Love', is out now.


Alexandra Pollard

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