Paloma Faith - soulful songstress, witty TV show panelist, eccentric dresser... Despite not having released an album for three years, she's all over our TVs and radios. Life is hectic for the Hackney vocalist, but today she's working from the comfort of her own bed. TMF caught up with Paloma between the sheets in the build up to the release of her sophomore record Fall To Grace
Hi Paloma, how are you today?
Good thanks, how are you?
Not bad, not bad. Where are you today?
I'm at home doing phoner after phoner after phoner.
Is it quite dull?
Well you know, I'd rather be at home in bed doing it than marching around London, so it's got its plus points!
Nothing dodgy but you're known for your quirky dress sense so I've got to ask, what are you wearing today?
I'm actually wearing my bra and knickers so it is a bit dodgy! [laughs]
So I've got the awkward inappropriate question out of the way. How was performing on Jools Holland last night?
It was good. It's always a bit nerve wracking, but in a good way. And I also had a bit of a steaming cold so I wasn't on my absolute best form because I'm ill. But yeah, I thought the line up last night was amazing, I enjoyed all the acts.
You haven't especially rushed to release your second album Fall to Grace. Is writing an organic process for you?
Yeah, I wrote solidly for a year and then took six months to find the producer and make the record so I wouldn't say that it was a relaxed thing. I haven't had a break; I was on tour for two years.
There's a deeper, more personal feel to the album. Do you find it harder to perform the songs?
Yeah, I do. I'm very close to them. When you write your first record you're kind of like writing for ages and then trying to get a record deal. So some of the songs on that album [2009's Do You Want The Truth or Something Beautiful?] were like five years old and I felt like I'd moved on from them, where as this record was all written in the last year so it's kind of still very recent.
Do you think the riots last summer in your hometown of Hackney had an influence on the darker tone?
I think 'Black & Blue' is probably quite influenced by that. I think that's the only song that references some element of that and sort of turning the symbolism of those riots into the bigger picture.
Let's talk about the video for lead single 'Picking Up The Pieces'. In it you melt. How was that effect achieved? Were you literally coated head to toe in wax?
I kind of got covered to a point and then I had a body double step in to finish it.
The single artwork was also interesting as you opted out of any photoshopping or editing. What was the reasoning behind this?
I think that the new record is more vulnerable and exposed; it was the first thing that people were going to see of that record so I just felt that I really needed to show myself. So my sort of imperfections and vulnerability... so yeah, I decided not to retouch it.
You always seem happy and enthusiastic when you're on the telly and radio. Do you ever have an off day? What's grumpy Paloma like?
Probably not that grumpy, but I can get snappy when I'm stressed! I try not to, I think negativity breeds negativity so I try to put lots of good vibes out.
So if an alien landed in London and asked you to show him around, where's the first place you'd take him?
Gelato Mio. It's an ice cream shop, there's one in Holland Park, there's one in Portobello...
And what flavour ice cream are you going to get?
Erm... Pistachio, hazelnut and peanut butter.
Not at the same time? (TMF is fussy when it comes to mixing ice cream flavours)
So, which is your favourite track from Fall To Grace'?
At the moment I'm loving 'Blood Sweat And Tears'. I think it's really fun to dance to.
Why should people go and buy it
Because it's the soundtrack of my life, so there's something on there for every single mood you have. So if you're feeling like you want to go out and be light, there's a song on there that does that, and if you feel like you wanna sit in your house, looking and the walls, thinking and reflecting quietly, then there's a song on there for that too.
Have you got a live favourite yet?
I don't know yet, I haven't done it yet. I've been rehearsing but I don't know.
What's in store for the Somerset House show in London this summer?
A spanking new band that are so amazing! Oh my god they're so good, they blow my socks off. I've got the same piano, bass and one of the backing vocalists but everything else has changed. Three people in my band have gone off to have solo careers, I'm very proud of them. Seye, Lianne La Havas and this girl called Jetta who was singing on the last Jakwob single. They're all like my little 'School of Paloma' graduates!
If you could collaborate with any artist, living or dead, who would it be?
I'd really like to work with Andre 3000.
So what's the plan for the rest of the year?
Sell my album like my life depends on it, and hopefully do some live shows in the process!
Fall To Grace is out now.