• Charlotte Hardman

LOUDER FEATURES: Mixtape Medley with Luke Rainsford

Welcome back to our Mixtape Medley feature, where we take you on a deep-dive inside the record collections and daily mixes of some of your favourite upcoming artists. In this edition, we chatted to the prince of emo pop, Luke Rainsford. His new EP, 'The World In Colour' was recently released to rave reviews, but what were the songs that fed into Luke's personal musical journey?

All the tracks mentioned below have been combined into this handy playlist - listen along here:

Are there any songs that remind you of your childhood? My favourite band growing up was Green Day, so the song “Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)” will always remind me of being a kid and thinking it was the deepest, most emotional thing ever. Kind of funny to look back on, but that doesn’t stop that song, that entire record (Nimrod) and that entire band to mean a hell of a lot to me.

Who were the first live band that altered your perception of what music could be? For me, that was The Wonder Years. Until that point, I’d never been fully emotionally connected to music, I mostly just listened to music that I thought was cool, or that I’d found through the internet. Seeing them play “Came Out Swinging” around the time of my 18th birthday in Manchester completely changed the way I listened to all music, right up until today.

If you could show any song to your teenage self, which would it be and why? I would show myself the song “Revenge” by Fresh. I had a very low opinion of myself growing up, and suffered with huge self esteem issues related to my depression and anxiety that affected me and my worldview for so long. I think I needed a lot more music that was self empowering, and that would definitely have had a huge impact on me if I’d heard it during that time of my life.

Has the genre of songs you listen to shifted over time? Are there songs that you used to dislike that have grown on you over time, and vice versa? I listen to a lot more “pop” tinged music now than ever before. I used to really dislike anything with synths, or with heavily tuned vocals, and now they are some of my favourite things that feature in music. One particular use of synth I love is in “Tired Of Sex” by Weezer, and an example of a poppier song I love would be “ILYSB” by LANY.

What is the best song to listen to in the middle of the night when you can’t sleep? For me, this will forever be “Funeral” by Phoebe Bridgers. It is so calming, and peaceful, and her voice is just one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever heard. Any song by her is something that I can listen to at any time, but late at night with my eyes closed in a warm soft bed is just perfect.

What song would you play on the aux to keep spirits up on a long road trip? I have several go to songs that I always play on tour. Some of which are dumb inside jokes, and some of which are just amazing. Highlights include “Beverly Hills” by Weezer, “The Few That Remain” by Set Your Goals, and “Mine” by Taylor Swift.

Are there any songs that always evoke particularly strong emotions or memories for you? Too many to count, but I would have to go for “Cigarettes and Saints” by The Wonder Years, “Off Brand” by itoldyouiwouldeatyou and “Your Love Has Ruined My Life” by Holding Absence.

If you could choose any artist to feature on one of your songs, who would it be and why? I would love to have Hayley Williams on one of my songs, she is just incredible. Her solo music, and all of Paramore has been so inspiring to me over the last few years. She has such a distinctive voice, managing to be equally as technically impressive as she is emotionally captivating.

If you had to choose one song to describe yourself and your music to a group of new people, which would it be? I would go for “In Spite Of All My Worry”. It is emotional, raw, simple, yet deals with emotions a lot of us go through, yet struggle to put into words. I would hope that people could listen to this song and get a good idea of what my music is about.

Which song do you wish you’d written? I wish I had written “The Futile” by Say Anything. I love this band with my whole heart, and even though I have only properly delved into their work recently, it has inspired my writing and my listening a lot. This song is a great example of a mixture of fun, over the top honesty, but mixed with raw emotion.

Which is the song you are most proud of writing? I am so proud of the song “Lack”. It turned out exactly how I wanted it to be. I wanted to let in some of my newer listening habits into my writing process, and I could not be happier with the combination of pop music with emo inspired lyrics and songwriting. I hope people love it as much as I do.  

Luke's latest EP, 'The World In Colour', is out now - stream the record here.

Check out the video for 'Lack' itself here:


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