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The last eighteen months or so have been an extraordinary time for Rumer. Consider that just before her debut album – ‘Seasons Of My Soul‘ – was released, the 31-year old was a completely unknown singer and songwriter. Then factor in the decade spent in pursuit of a record deal, plus an emotionally-eventful personal history, which can all be felt across her music.

The rise of  ‘Seasons Of My Soul‘, has taken Rumer from the North West Frontier of Pakistan to the Californian home of Burt Bacharach. Along the way, she has been nominated for two BRIT awards, been named the much-coveted Breakthrough Act at the Mojo Awards, reached #1 on the American iTunes chart and played shows everywhere from the Royal Albert Hall to the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury. Famous fans were soon forthcoming, but it was Elton John who perhaps summarised Rumer’s story most succinctly: ―it‘s great to have a singer like that in Britain. They don‘t come along that often.

With little time to take stock amidst the euphoria, it‘s been an exhausting as well as elating period of activity for Rumer. She wasn‘t quite ready to rest up. Rumer spent 2011 quietly completing work on a brand new studio project: the tantalisingly-entitled ‘Boys Don’t Cry‘.

Boys Don’t Cry is a collection of lesser known songs from the 1970‘s, all of which were originally sung by men. ―I just love songwriters, says Rumer, when introducing the project. ―I feel more like an actor or a painter when tackling their work, as you‘re just trying to find the character underneath. This cast of characters is nothing short of formidable, spanning the likes of Todd Rundgren, Townes Van Zandt, Ronnie Lane (and Ronnie Wood) and Tim Hardin. Even the more well-known artists – Leon Russell, Isaac Hayes, Bob Marley – have had their relatively forgotten tracks revisited, and re-imagined.

The songs don‘t always sound that much like the originals by the end, suggests Rumer, ―but they are emotional impressions of them.
Tracks have been specifically chosen to tap into a broader range of themes, beginning with what it means to sing  masculine‘ songs.  I wanted to try and inhabit these male voices, which at first seemed distant to me, Rumer explains. This is perhaps most evident in her take on Neil Young‘s haunting A Man Needs A Maid, which may have upset feminists at the time, but today sounds more like the plea for love and care that many interpret it as.

Boys Don’t Cry is essentially a selection of narratives, held together by Rumer’s stunning voice, and underpinned by the staggering stories Rumer herself has encountered in the last year or so.


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