British singer/songwriter Billy Lockett has had an exciting year so far, with the release of “Hard Act To Follow” in June, “Not Okay” in July and now, his latest single, “Freaking Out” today. All three songs are taken from his just-announced debut album, Abington Grove, out February 17th, 2023 via Photo Finish Records. Named after the street of his dad’s house where he grew up, Abington Grove has been ten years in the making and marks and deeply personal release as well as the beginning of a new chapter for Lockett.
Arriving today is “Freaking Out”, which puts a whole new spin on the classic break-up track with emotive lyrics and a groovy electro-pop sound. The dichotomy of the track is the perfect teaser of the songs to come on Abington Grove, which finds Lockett striving to make music that is fun to listen to, while also diving deep into himself. With “Freaking Out” out now, we caught up with Lockett to reflect on his year so far and discuss his plans for the new album. Read more and listen to the new single now below.
Prelude Press: You’ve released two new singles this year, “Hard Act To Follow” and most recently, “Not Okay” on top of a handful of live shows – what has been the highlight of your year so far?
Billy Lockett: I think this whole year has been a bit crazy but the highlight for me was playing Lafayette in London! I feel like I’ve finally started to really enjoy being on stage now. It was such a laugh and like I was having a “sing along” with 600 mates.
“Not Okay” is a very vulnerable track – can you tell us a little bit about it?
Yeh it’s about the embarrassing illogical things you sometimes find yourself doing when you’re heart broken. It’s probably the most upbeat song I’ve ever released and one of the songs I’m most proud of.
What would you like for fans to take away from the song?
I don’t mind what the fans take away from it as long as they take something away, whether that’s the story aspect or just the general vibe of the production/key/sound.
“Not Okay” is taken from your upcoming debut full-length album, Abington Grove, planned for next year. What can you tell us about the album so far? What are you most excited for listeners to hear on it?
This album has been therapy for me! I’ve genuinely loved every second of the process of making it. It’s kinda sad I’ve finished it in a way, haha. I love the story, the lyrics, warming melodies and interesting chords and so I feel like this whole album is ear candy to me. I’ve always been known for my ballads so this may be a bit of a shock to some people but I’m so excited by the new sound! We’re gonna be rolling out singles through this year until the album in February and I can honestly say every song feels like a single. I’ve waited a very long time to release an album because it had to be perfect to me and this genuinely is everything I hoped it would be. God I’m so happy with it!
When you first began working on the album, did you have any major goals in mind? Any specific subjects or sounds you wanted to touch on?
For me the goals are purely focused on making the sickest album on the planet that my grand kids, grand kids, grand kids are like “wooooaahhh this album is so good man”.
I wanted to try and talk extremely openly and honestly in the lyrics, like I wanted it to be brutally and unapologetically me. I think other than that it was just about making cool fun vibey tunes and I wanted to experiment a bit more with upbeat pop/indie styles.
How do you feel you’ve grown as an artist since you started working on the album? Have you learned any important lessons along the way?
The most important thing I’ve learnt is that as soon as you stop having fun your work gets really bad. With everything in this job it has to be exciting you in some way and if it isn’t it’s wrong! It’s as black and white as that! Music is emotional and if it doesn’t give you a strong feeling in some way it’s totally pointless. I think I’ve learnt how much work goes into everything too, like the team you have around you is so important…I genuinely would be nothing without my management and label helping make my crazy ideas a reality!
What has been the most rewarding part of the writing and recording process?
The most rewarding part is when you get the mix back after the first day of recording and you get that first glimpse of what the tracks actually feel like. I love that moment cuz it sets up a tonne of new avenues to go down.
You also just released “Freaking Out” from the album, which has a more upbeat tone to it than your last two singles – can you tell us a little bit about the song?
The song’s about trying to keep a long distance relationship together but on the other side of the coin Freaking Out is just an absolute club banger. The chorus man….it’s ridiculously bouncy, haha! I think it’s the most pop/dance one on the album but yeh, total ear candy from start to finish. I just remember thinking to myself I really wanna try and write a song people can dance to and sing along when they’re hammered. Haha I don’t wanna jinx it but I think this might be THE ONE!
Do you have any other big plans for 2022?
I’m hoping 2022 and 2023 is mainly touring. I’ve been getting a band together and rehearsing these songs live has made me so excited to get back out playing to people in the flesh. The album has really come to life with the band.
Pre-order Abington Grove now HERE.