Lucette Salutes Ex-Love on Sturgill Simpson-Produced 'Angel': Premiere

Fairlight Hubbard


"Angel," premiering exclusively below from Lucette's upcoming Deluxe Hotel Room album, is the rare happy love song about a relationship that's no more -- but had a happy, or at least "amicable," ending.

"I wrote it when I was starting to date someone, and they were just the most fun person I'd ever met," Edmonton singer-songwriter Lauren Gillis, aka Lucette, tells Billboard. "It was kind of a short-lived romance, but I still have such an admiration for this person. They just had so much joy, and the song's kind of about that giddy, dizzy sort of you're-on-drugs feeling when you're falling in love with somebody -- especially when you fall in love with somebody really fast and it's this mutual sort of explosive love. I really feel like we capture that essence."

The relationship's quick burn, Gillis says, was without malice. "Another song, 'Crazy Bird,' is totally about that situation," she notes. "I honestly couldn't keep up with him. He was such a wonderful person, the life of the party -- almost to a detriment. We would be at the bar every night of the week. It was super, super fun, but I kinda lost steam."

Deluxe Hotel Room is Gillis' sophomore Lucette album and follows her debut by a frustrating five years. "I'd be touring and feeling like I want to play all these new songs, and people would come up to the merch booth, 'Hey, do you have that new song?' ','" Gillis says. "The first song I wrote for this album was four years ago. I just felt like I wanted to do it right, so I took my time. To me, there's no point in putting something out unless you're really, really ready to do it."

One of the key steps was finding the right producer, which Gills discovered was Sturgill Simpson, who she met in 2013 while making a video for "Bobby Reid," a single from her last album. She enlisted Simpson to play the title character and maintained a friendship since then. "We've always seen each other at a level of creativity that was very similar," says Gillis, who recorded Deluxe Hotel Room, out May 17, on Thirty Tigers, in Nashville.

"I feel like we both had a lot of similar interests when it comes to musical genres,” she says. “When I was starting to talk about making my second album he said, 'If you're interested, I think we should make this record together,' and I was like, 'Of course.’ We'd talk about the songs, talk about ideas about the songs and each other and music and it just came to be. It was very easy and natural.”