The Struts’ latest single is a real doozy. ‘Low Key In Love’, a ’70s inspired power-pop collaboration with Paris Jackson, details the conflicting feelings of excitement and nervousness that define the early days of a blossoming relationship. Fusing cutesy lyrics with whimsical chords, it’s an effortlessly dreamy offering.
The origins of the track evolved from a surprise Instagram DM. Jackson recounts the story to The Struts’ frontman, Luke Spiller, in the latest episode of NME‘s Friends Like These series (which you can watch in full above). “You slid into my DMs and you were like, ‘Let’s collaborate!’, she says, laughing. “And I was like, ‘Are you sure?’
[At the time], my music wasn’t out yet, so there wasn’t really much for you to reference. I was like, ‘How do you know if I’m good at all? Are you sure you want to work with a rookie like me?’”
Spiller, however, was adamant that Jackson’s distinctive vocals belonged on ‘Low Key In Love’. “You know what it’s like sometimes in this business, especially when it comes to these kinds of [collaborations], you get put with people that have been recommended to you,” he says. “But with this song, what I was really excited about was that we already knew each other to an extent, and had this mutual respect – and I knew that’s what was going to ultimately lead to something that was organic.”
Initially, Spiller and his bandmates hadn’t planned for ‘Low Key In Love’ to be a duet. As he explains to Jackson: “I think it’s really cool how much more character you brought to the song. It really helped to emphasise its context of being a cute romance song.”
When the pair began to lay down vocals together, Jackson reached a musical epiphany: this song quickly became an opportunity for the singer-songwriter to venture beyond the alt-folk stylings of her 2020 debut album, ‘Wilted’. “I thought this was a really big change from what I’m used to doing,” she responds to Spiller. “And so I knew it would be really great to do because I respect you as a person and as a musician, and I knew collaborating with you would be so great!”.
The Struts and Paris Jackson’s ‘Low Key In Love’ is out now