On November 4, Pixie Geldof releases her debut album ‘I’m Yours’. Here, alongside an exclusive preview of the record’s slinky, country-sounding opener ‘Sweet Thing’, Pixie tells us about her foray into music, the process of making the album, and how she coped with the loss of her sister, Peaches.
She didn’t know it at the time, but when Pixie Geldof was writing Hole and Libertines inspired tunes under the pseudonym Violet, she was laying foundations for the debut album she would release six years later. And ‘I’m Yours’ would have been out sooner except, says the 26-year-old now, “I just forgot about it”.
It wasn’t until her sister Peaches died from a heroin overdose in May 2014, aged 25, that she realised she had to finish it. “I felt very disconnected from a lot of things,” she says. “I needed to work and be busy with something I loved, and know there was something solid in my life. I had to pull myself back into that mindset of ‘this what you do, this is who you are, this is what you’ll finish and once that’s done we’ll go again’. It was important to try and draw a line under the last few years. I don’t know if I can draw a line under a lot of things, but y’know. I had to go hard every day for a long time.”
Interestingly – partly because lots of ‘I’m Yours’ was written a while ago, partly because it’s how Pixie wanted it – ‘I’m Yours’ isn’t full of songs about Peaches. Only ‘Twin Thing’ (“Wish I’d known you like my own skin, so I could feel the hurt you were in / Wish we had that twin thing”) addresses her directly. “The lyrics are a reference to how they say twins can feel each other. We were very close. When I wrote it I didn’t realise what was going on for at least the first verse. I remember being surprised.”
Writing it was “very precious, and it was important to be accurate and to do it justice. It was difficult.” Even harder was revisiting it during recording sessions in LA at the end of 2015, where she worked with producer Tony Hoffer (Beck, The Kooks) and a bunch of session musicians to put together the songs she’d written. “Going back to it was tough. Having to sing it again, and bring my brain back to it, was harder than I anticipated.”
Away from ‘Twin Thing’, ‘I’m Yours’ is an intimate and personal blend of country (a genre she got into via her parents, musician-cum-activist Bob Geldof and TV presenter Paula Yates) and dream-pop, which includes the string-led ballad ‘Wild Things Grow’ from those Violet writing sessions six years ago. It is “a love letter to everyone I’ve loved, or has told them a story about themselves, or needed me,” says Pixie. And her ambitions for it are modest: “I don’t care how many people hear or love it. I just hope there’s one person who gets it.”