With barely a break between albums, 26-year-old Aimée Ann Duffy is back with her sophomore effort, Endlessly. Co-created with songwriter (and father of Strokes guitarist) Albert Hammond Sr, Duffy 2.0 has amped up the drama, alternating between string-backed epics and sassy soul-pop.
You’ve said that prior to recording this album, life got so complicated that you didn’t know if you wanted to make a second record.
People became complicated. I never have a problem with life, I just have a problem with who’s in it. That’s where you realise how vulnerable and fragile you are. It wasn’t my life, it was the people. People treat me like a child sometimes. And that’s okay. I’m 5ft 2ins, I’m blonde, polite, I’m shy and I’m quiet, but I think a lot of people underestimate the inner strength. Yes, I appreciate your point of view, but I will only take on what’s right for me. People often make other people’s journeys about themselves.
You’ve been through some well-chronicled trials in your life…
But haven’t we all? I don’t consider myself exceptional in that department. I know it comes up as topic of discussion and I often find it quite humorous. Like, wow, isn’t it amazing that everything I’ve ever stood for counts for something? I took for granted that everything I ever did would come up as part of my story. I never wanted a story. I don’t want me to interfere with my music. But that’s just not the way. Suddenly I was a kid from Wales who had been born a recluse and had all these things [happen to me]. I guess that makes me stand proud. I have to acknowledge my past and everything I’ve been through. It’s like therapy – it’s made me appreciate everything I’ve been through and overcome. I never used to think about it.
This album is lyrically pretty love-centric.
I’ve always been love-centric – that’s never going to change. I don’t think I’m going to talk about hate. I can’t. I’m not that person. So when I refer to the relationships in my life – personal, professional – that let me down, I’ll tell you that it broke my heart.
And lead single ‘Well, Well, Well’ is all about jealousy.
I’ve had so many relationships that involve jealousy. I know what it feels like to feel like someone’s possession, and to feel judged and resentful. I think I can be quite feisty. I’ve really learned to tell people to f*** off and I can’t believe it!
What’s been the most surreal situation you’ve experienced of late?
I befriended a young girl who has Asperger’s syndrome, and I took her in and gave her a place to stay. That was the most surreal moment, understanding Asperger’s and what it was like for her at times being a social outcast and helping her get back on her feet. Her family wanted nothing to do with her, she was in a home, she was the same age as me… it was awful to see somebody so vulnerable. To be able to help for a moment in time, that’s when I realised I had maybe come to womanhood and I too could help another.
Duffy’s latest album, Endlessly, is available online now.