Rebecca Connelly - The Talk Tonight Podcast 02
Rebecca Connelly - The Talk Tonight Podcast 02

Episode #02  |  12 May 2020


Rebecca Connelly

Rebecca Connelly, an award-winning singer/songwriter, has graced stages in the USA and UK for 15+ years. Notably, she triumphed as Best Female Artist at the So Cal live music contest during her 8-year stay in Los Angeles. She held a remarkable residency at the renowned Riviera Resort in Palm Springs, performing for notable figures like Harrison Ford, Avril Lavigne, and more. Her EP “Days Like This,” produced by Grammy winner Justin Gariano, propelled her to the prestigious House of Blues and on a Scotland tour, including Edinburgh’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon and the Hootananny in Inverness.
After returning to Scotland in 2013, Rebecca connected with husband and drummer Scott Burrell, embarking on a successful residency at Crieff Hydro and a sold-out 2019 Scottish Tour. Her second album, “California,” and singles showcased her unique country/pop/folk sound. Despite pandemic challenges, Rebecca garnered a substantial online following through live streams. As the world reopens, she eagerly anticipates returning to the stage to share her music and stories.

In this episode of The Talk Tonight podcast Rebecca joins me to talk about her life in music, moving to LA and starting her own business Red Rock Music. We all discuss her love of songwriting and her favourite songs and records that have inspired her.

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LEE HOUSE: Welcome to episode two of the Talk Tonight podcast. This week’s episode, I’m joined by the wonderful Rebecca Connelly, a singer songwriter from Arbroath, and she talks to me about her career in music, living in Los Angeles, songwriting and her new business Red Rock Music. Remember, you can follow the podcast on Instagram at the Talk Tonight podcast and also on Twitter TalktonightPC. Enjoy. So here we go. It’s episode two of the Talk Tonight podcast, and I’m delighted to be joined by Rebecca. How are you doing, Rebecca?

REBECCA CONELLY: I’m very good, thanks. How are you doing?

LEE HOUSE: I’m excellent. I’m excellent. After we had some technical issues there, we managed to get on to each other, but it’s been a bit of a bit of a tricky start learning all the technology. But I wanted to find out how you coping in lockdown with so far?

REBECCA CONNELLY: Oh, it’s been a roller coaster, I think. I think everybody is kind of up and down. The first few weeks. It was a bit of a novelty in sort of the middle weeks have been really tough. But now I’m actually I think I’m used to it though, so it just seems like normal life. It’s really weird how quickly we kind of get used to things.

LEE HOUSE: Yeah, I’ve been like, it’s the routine for me and like I’m set in this routine. I do the same sort of things every day. I work in the morning, I make lunch, I do a workout, and then we go a walk and then it’s like teatime and then the bar for the little one and then put it to bed. And then I go to bed and it’s just like the days just roll in. But I know slowly after the weeks have went by, it kind of feels like normal now. But then it’ll be weird to go back to like, freedom.

REBECCA CONNELLY: I know it’s going to be really tough, I think. You know, um, a lot of things have changed for us. I mean, we’re not, we’re not really out gigging or anything anymore, but we’re still able to do but teaching and stuff and but so much don’t know. And I’m still not used to that at all. But so I think I’m actually really enjoying it, but maybe a bit too much going to really struggle to go back of whatever going whatever we’re going back to. I mean I don’t know. I’m always a look forward kind of person, so I don’t know if we will go back, you know?

LEE HOUSE: Yeah, it’s it’s crazy to think what will be the future sort of hold for everyone. But know in the now where we’re talking, I want to get straight in and talk about your new record that’s out. It’s called California. It’s now released and you can get it on all the usual platforms. So I wanted to talk about a little bit about the making of that. And I know you recorded that in Scotland, but about the songs and how you kind of wrote them leading up to recording. What’s your kind of where do you go to do that? What’s your what’s your thing?

REBECCA CONNELLY: It’s really changed. My writing style is it changes. Like sometimes I’ll just go and I’ll just be mucking about on guitar or piano and in a song I’ll just suddenly appear and there it is. And other times I’ve written the lyrics first, and then I’ve come straight home and put the music to it. And then other songs I’ve actually just sat down and be like, Right, I’m going to write a song today, which is probably the hardest way of doing. If and when I set myself that task, that’s where it’s more difficult to achieve. So yeah, I think the songs for the album of kind of been a culmination over a period of time over my life, probably for the last sort of 5 to 6 years, maybe a little bit before that. And the song, the title track California, wrote that when I came back from the States. So it’s just yeah, the they’ve all come from different places and totally different times in my life in the last sort of six or maybe like eight years. I think it’s been a long time since I’ve recorded anything. So yeah, there, there’s some pretty old tunes on there and then some newer ones as well.

LEE HOUSE: It’s time. Certainly it does fly by pretty quickly.

REBECCA CONNELLY: You know, my mum used to say when you get older time goes really quick and I never believed her, but now I’m like, Oh my gosh, she was totally right.

LEE HOUSE: I know as soon as you turn 21, it’s like, Oh my God, I’m 40. I’m going to be 40 this year.


LEE HOUSE: So I wanted to find out a bit about I’m going to ask a lot of musicians this about the sort of songwriting aspect of that. You said there that sometimes you want to sit down and write a song, but I’ve heard a lot of artists saying that sometimes it falls from the sky. That kind of analogy that the song just comes and you can write it in the best ones. I’ve written in like 20 minutes, half an hour. What do you think about that? Is that true?

REBECCA CONNELLY: Or so true? And so I think my song so near that’s on the album. I wrote all of the lyrics for that in about ten minutes. And while I was standing in a kebab shop, I love it after a few drinks and literally the minute I got home, I put the music to it and it was done in about 20 minutes. And that’s like one of those songs that I don’t remember right in it, if that like, I remember it, but I don’t remember it. And and I’ve got a couple of songs like that where I’ll listen back to my little voice recordings and I’m like, Oh my. Like, it’s weird. Just like, you have no real time recollection of that even happening. But obviously it did because you’ve got the recording of it and you’ve written the lyrics in front of you, but you don’t. It’s like you’re disappeared for ten minutes and then came back and here’s a song that you did that’s weird.

LEE HOUSE: That’s just crazy. I think it’s just like, amazing how that like, you hear a lot artists saying that, that it just appears from nowhere like it’s falling from the. And it’s there often tend to be the most memorable ones as well. I think so, yeah. I want to talk about one that I love on your album and I’ve been listening that me and my wife will listen to it yesterday and we were just chatting about it and we just like sitting listening to music and learning sort of new artists and things like that. So I showed her this song. It’s called We All Love Now the intro of the song. Honestly, the neck, the hairs on my neck were just like standing up. I just loved the little sort of melody and everything that came into it. And of that sort of drum sound, I don’t know, awake enough about timings. I know you’re Scott. Your husband will be able to kind of tell us all about that. He’s a fantastic drummer, but I just loved the way that came in and the lyrics as well. Just I’ve been reading some of the lyrics again today or just writing some of them down as I was listening and talk to me about that intro or even just the start of that song, Where did that come from?

REBECCA CONNELLY: So the intro came much later after the song was kind of when we were in pre-production and at home, just kind of working and rehearsing the song actually for the tour. And because the tour and 2019 came kind of sort of the same time as the recording was happening. And so we were, as we were rehearsing for the studio and the tour, that kind of little mallet, I just like played it on the piano like during rehearsal. And I was like, Ooh, that’s really cool. And it would sound really nice if it was like, you know, more slinky, punky and a bit almost like a child’s sort of little piano sort of thing. And the song is about I wrote it when my nephew was born. So it’s really about that deep rooted love that parent has for a child. And basically you would give your life for a little person and, and yeah, so that’s, that’s where all the the words and the sound, the feeling comes from. Sorry, my dogs barking and.

LEE HOUSE: That’s allright. I like the idea like that. Every song can mean something different to everyone. And you’ve just said obviously about I would never have cottoned on to that. Obviously that’s something a songwriter has within them. And I had some interviews today with Laura marling, and she wrote a song in a new record called Song for My Daughter. And she doesn’t actually have a daughter, but she wrote it from her perspective of a mother. And I just find that fascinating that so many fans or listen to your records and think they know what it means, but it actually means something totally different.

REBECCA CONNELLY: Yeah, that happens a lot. And I think, you know, everybody can take something different from from a song. They can find a connection that’s totally not what the songwriter intended.

LEE HOUSE: I love that in a lot of interviews you hear about artists, they’ll just say, I don’t really want to maybe go too much into. I just want people to take what they want from it. So like, there’s a lyric in the in the chorus, “If the shadow brings you down, I will find you. If the light should never leave your eyes, I will guide you.” I just like love that. But that to me was not like I wasn’t. I was. I was shocked. Now to hear that, obviously you’re talking about a family and your nephew and the love that you have, but that to me could mean so many different things, especially around like if someone was going through some tough times that just to read that lyric. I think that’s fantastic. Like what? What sort of like when you’re doing like your choruses and your melodies and your hooks and things like that, is it the melody first or do you go for the lyrics or how does it work for you?

REBECCA CONNELLY: Most of the time it’s it’s kind of they go hand in hand, so I’ll start I’ll have like a little chord progression or something that comes and then I’ll just sing something over it. And then a lyrical just kind of start to come. And so the rest of the song kind of flows from that with the lyric and the music happening at the same time. And most of the time that happens We Are Love is another one of those songs. I don’t remember writing so and I reworked it a couple of times. Some of the lyrics weren’t quite right. So, you know, I’ve gone every time I write a song, I kind of go back over it and make sure that what I’ve written make sense. And that’s what I’m what I’m trying to say. And I think like when it comes to songwriting or creating anything really, I think you have to be willing to go back over it and change something and work at it a little bit. Don’t Sometimes songs are just perfect. Do you think that’s it’s done five minutes, but other times you do need to kind of work at a song a little bit just to get it where you want it to be.

LEE HOUSE: When is that point? Where do you stop and go, Right, that’s it, really. Do you know or is it just like, we’ve done enough here?

REBECCA CONNELLY: And I think it’s just when I’m like, right, I just kind of lose interest. I’ll just get up and be like, Great. That’s how it’s done. Most of my attention’s gone now on something else.

LEE HOUSE: No, I know that you’re obviously out on the road. You play a lot of gigs and obviously, but due to the situation we’re in at the moment. It’s not possible. So how have you been going about? You’ve got any ideas coming up for promoting the album or are you hoping to go on tour again when this is all over? Hopefully.

REBECCA CONNELLY: And hopefully we’re going. We were meant to be doing a lot of gigs this year, but most of them have been cancelled and I have also been asked to play at the Hero Festival, which would be my first big festival, which I’m really excited about. It’s in October so fingers crossed we can still do that. Haven’t heard otherwise yet. Um, but yeah, obviously this year is probably going to be a tour next year and I’m trying to create some content, music videos and things just now, which is sort of hard to do in lockdown. But yeah, I’ve been reaching out to my fanbase and trying to get people just to be involved and engaged and given, you know, an opportunity for people to be part of something as well. So for Sonia, we’re making a music video right now and we’re asking people to send short videos of themselves singing along to the song. So we want to just kind of get as many people into that as possible and, you know, create almost like a community feel with with that video and with us. And a lot of music videos are kind of about the artists and things like that. But I don’t want it to be about that. I’d like it to be more about creating something with other people.

LEE HOUSE: I think it’s been really cool to see like the website Bandcamp, really supporting artists and dropping fees and things like that. So I know that is that that’s some place you can get your album at the moment.

REBECCA CONNELLY: Yeah, you can get it digitally and on Bandcamp you can also buy a hard copy of it from my website as well. Which is Rebecca Connelly. And so you can get a hard copy or digital download.

LEE HOUSE: Yeah, don’t worry everyone. We will get the links out for Rebecca’s album on the post that goes out with the podcast, so we will be pushing that for you. Rebecca. Don’t you worry about that.

REBECCA CONNELLY: Thank you very much.

LEE HOUSE: So we’re going to we’re going to get a little bit deeper into Rebecca Conway now. So. And I remember when you come back to Scotland, I think that’s a roundabout when we maybe caught up again. I want to my memory is terrible. I’m 40 this year, so could be wrong. But I was always intrigued about the story, like going to LA and what took you there in the first place.


LEE HOUSE: Now you can go. You can tell me as little, you know, don’t have to be too personal if there’s some stuff there. But yeah, I just wondered.

REBECCA CONNELLY: So I was in a relationship. I was actually married before and my ex-husband now, he was from America and we decided to move out there. And but when I moved there, he had already been there for like a year by the time I got my visa and everything. And I got two offers of jobs, one in Kansas or one in Palm Desert, which is just outside Los Angeles. And so I, we decided on California and I moved there, having never been there before to my life. So it was quite scary kind of getting off the plane at night time and arriving in a town that I had no idea anything about it, never been in my entire life to California. And so, yeah, that was that was an experience kind of moving somewhere sight unseen.

LEE HOUSE: What was it like maybe like 3 or 4 weeks and realising this was your new home? Did you take it quite quickly or was it a huge change for you?

REBECCA CONNELLY: Well, it was it was really a big change. I moved there in December, so when I got there it was like 75 degrees and everyone was out playing tennis in their shorts and t shirt. And Christmas Day was no no different. It was like it was so strange being in sunshine, like sunbathing on Christmas Day, like by the pool. And at first it was a bit of a novelty and then it was starting to be like, okay, this isn’t like Scotland and I don’t like that. This isn’t like Scotland. And but eventually I kind of, you know, became very ingrained in the culture there. And I spent eight years in California, so I was totally Californian. And so, yeah, it was, it was an adjustment to start with, but then very quickly found some really great friends and made friends with lots of musicians and joined a band and, and with gig in probably within like the first month I had a gig there and yeah, I made some real lifelong friends. And while I was there.

LEE HOUSE: What what would you say? How would that experience has changed your life? What has it done for you or has there been any look back on you would do differently? But was it just been a life changing experience in a whole?

REBECCA CONNELLY: I don’t know if it’s a life changing experience because obviously if I hadn’t gone to America, I have no idea what my life would have been like. I think I just have to take it as that was my life there, which was totally different to what my life was like now. And I feel like now I’m a totally different person. I mean, I did meet. 20. So I grew up where I moved to America when I was 22. 23. And I came back just before my 30th birthday. So those are a real kind of I think they were like super formative years for any person. You know, your 20s are like when you decide to or you try to figure out who you are and, you know, you try all these new things and, and I don’t know what my life would have been like if I had grown up in my 20s in Scotland compared to California. I think I was given a lot more opportunity out there because I was Scottish and I think, you know, they loved my accent and I got free stuff because of the Scottish. And so I think that that’s obviously been that was a bigger part of it. And but I mean, the lifestyle is so different over there compared to Scotland and the mentality as well. Just things were just quite a big change. And when I came back to Scotland and that was probably harder than going to America for being honest.

LEE HOUSE: Yeah, I was going to just ask that. How did you that that day that you the plane came in and you stepped off back into Scotland. How were you feeling at that point?

REBECCA CONNELLY: Um, well, it had been a really quick chain, a quick move. What happened was I had a contract out there with a resort that was playing out on a regular basis, and they had a new talent buyer who came in and literally just cancelled all of the talent and brought all of their own talent. So in the space of a week, I lost about three quarters of my income. And at the time there was some stuff happening at home and I was missing my family and I just broken up from a relationship. And so I was kind of at a turning point in my life anyway. And so I decided I think it was the first of me. I decided I was going to move back to Scotland. And I was on a plane on the 19th of May, So I literally sold all my stuff in like three weeks and got on a plane and came home.

LEE HOUSE: Wow. That’s, you know.

REBECCA CONNELLY: A bit crazy when I think about it now, I didn’t have a plan. I just was like, okay, I’m just going to go home now.

LEE HOUSE: But I think that slowly, like you look back at that and my mum said that to me about like, I mean, I left somewhere and sold up and just went for it and my mum’s like a few years later you don’t realise how brave that was to like not, not many people would probably, you know, have, you know, the, you know, just to go for that. So do you look back and thank God that was like that’s changed everything that was massive or do you think not think about it Are you a type of person just keeps moving forward?

REBECCA CONNELLY: I do keep I am the type of person that keeps moving forward. But I do look back and think, you know, it’s good to look back and think where you’ve come from and what you’ve done to sort of celebrate your successes. And also like if you’re having a hard time and you think, Oh my gosh, what have I done? And sort of thinking back on things, and at the time when I was when I was doing it, I knew it was a big scary thing to do. And I was sad. It was sad to leave my friends and I knew it was going to be a big change and I didn’t expect it to be as hard as it was when I got back. And and I think because I did have a plan, either I just got on a plane and came home, it’s like, okay, what do I do now? So when I got back to Scotland, the first couple of weeks were, well, my sister was having my nephew at the time and Little Connell, so he was just born and there was a lot of family time and things. And then when all of that settled down, I was sort of left with myself like, Yeah, oh my gosh, what have I done? And what am I going to do?

LEE HOUSE: So do you think do you think that was you would count that as one of the toughest times of your life, do you think?

REBECCA CONNELLY: Yeah, absolutely. I think that was 2013 and I really felt like I had no direction of lost. I felt like I lost my independence and I didn’t feel like I was in control of of my life at all, actually. And I decided to go back to university and do a degree in music. And I feel like that kind of saved me in a way. Like if I didn’t have that, I think, yeah, you know, things could have gone really, really bad. And but yeah, I definitely had, I suppose, a nervous breakdown, you would call it, and wear a really just was totally not myself at all. And it took a lot of work to get to get through that. But I did on the other side of it.

LEE HOUSE: So yeah, that is a, you know, something, just hearing you say that as a huge thing. Obviously on this podcast we talk a bit about mental wellbeing and I get asked a lot about how did you get past that? That seems to be the question. I get a lot in Men box when I’ve been doing the hummingbird stuff. And how did you get past that? You know, What would be your advice to someone who is trying to move forward? But you know, like you said about is it finding that purpose again, finding that I always call it the why again in your life.

REBECCA CONNELLY: Yeah. I mean, I think that everybody wants to think that they have a. And but I think you have to just be at peace with yourself. And I think. I don’t think it was any one thing that got me through it. I think it was a combination of things, you know, a really relied heavily on my family. I’ve had a great support network around me, my sisters, my mom, my dad, you know, they were all there supporting me and helping me through whatever struggles I was having. And then I made some decisions for myself at that point, you know, I went to I went and did a ten week cruiseline gig, basically. And so I went off to the Caribbean for for ten weeks and played music constantly. And and that was a real that was a real period of growth for me as well. I could really learned a lot about myself because I had a lot of time to myself and I met loads of people from all around the world and that really put things into perspective for me. And and I think that’s what brought back my confidence and helped me to, to move forward and and into my music and get through my degree and everything. So and that was a big, big help for me as well. And just doing something that actually scared the living crap out of myself. I was so terrified of doing that. But then I’m really glad that I did.

LEE HOUSE: One of the things I really like about you and also meeting Scott a few times as I just love your drive like and I can hear that even just talking about you went away and you did that and you, you changed your life coming back and you got decisive with decisions. I think that’s a big thing for a lot of people that suffer from anxiety is that they struggle to make sort of defining decisions in their life and they ruminate a lot and they analyse things. And I know I’ve struggled with that at times. Do you think being decisive at points is helpful for people to try and just make a decision? Go with it If you don’t, I think people are scared maybe of feeling and things like that. Do you?

REBECCA CONNELLY: Absolutely. I think when I find when I’m my most low and my most anxious is when I’ve got a decision to make or something’s kind of hanging over me. And and it’s the unknown, I think, is what causes that feeling of anxiety. And I think when I make a decision on something, I instantly feel better about it, even if I don’t know if it’s going to be the right one or not yet. But in the back of my mind, I always think you can always change your mind. So no matter what decision you’ve made, it can always be changed like nothing is permanent. So you can always decide that you don’t want to do that anymore and do something else. But as long as you’re making a decision to do something, yeah, that’s that’s a movement in whatever direction it is. And so, yeah, I think, yeah, definitely being decisive is huge and just keeping going I think.

LEE HOUSE: I’m about to be decisive. I mean, Fern Cotton, whoever told you to put a duvet over your head and try and do a podcast, I think I’ve lost a bit of stone and but I’m going to I’m going to continue with it because it’s dampen out that any background noise. So I’m going to stick with it. But wow, I think I’ll need to go and cool down outside after about and got.

REBECCA CONNELLY: Yourself a little sauna.

LEE HOUSE: Yeah, it’s great. Kind of. But so you’ve then you then come back to Scotland and obviously moving down the line a bit. I want to talk a bit about Red rock music because that has been so good in Arbroath. I’ve like you probably won’t even know, but I’ve spoke to so many people that have been involved, even through my work. As we’ve chatted about a couple of times, there’s been so many people that have come to you and untutored in. I think the videos that you put out, you know, Scott does a lot of in with drumming online and the the positive messages sending out about people learning a new instrument or just learning a new skill. Where did Red Rock obviously I know where the title possibly come from. Arbroath but where did the idea come from and how did it all get up and running?

REBECCA CONNELLY: And so when I lived in California, I worked very briefly for a music school. I did vocal lessons there called the Temecula Music Cademy, and I’ve always just loved their whole setup. I thought it was just a fantastic thing that they were doing and it was always kind of on the back of my mind. Like it would be really cool to have something like that and to to run like a place for children and adults to come and experience music in any capacity. And so when Scott and I decided to move up to Arbroath, we kind of put in motion that we were going to open up Red rock music. Initially, we were just going to have him and I just working from home, which is what we’d kind of been doing anyway. Um, but we decided to make it a little bit more, I don’t know, special, I think. I don’t know if that’s the right word. Yeah. So we, we found a space above the old bean coffee shop in Arbroath, and that was our first premises. And it had two rooms and a little waiting room. And it’s now actually the reach across headquarters. It took over when we moved. And so we started there in October 2017, and it was Scott and myself. And then we quickly had a new joiners, which is Danny Heggie, and he does guitar, bass and ukulele and just the like. The amount of people that contacted us for lessons and workshops and things, we just were like, Wow, this is crazy. You couldn’t actually believe how fast things were moving and how many people wanted to join. And so and, you know, after a year, we decided to get a larger premises, move over to East Grimsby. And we have eight years there, including myself and Scott, who they’re all independent, self-employed, so they just come and we have created like a centre for them to work from and we help to promote their own music tuition business and, and promote their, their work that they do as well as that work with the YMC. They’ve been in touch with us. And so Scott does African drumming workshops in some schools in Angus, and I’ve been doing songwriting workshops as well, and, and then just loads of different groups we’ve worked with and I work with the Glenn Isler Project, which is a group of women who are on core orders. So rather than them going to jail, they do lots of different groups and things to help get their community service and things back. And so I work with a group of women and music is such a great thing for building confidence and, you know, showing someone that they can learn something new and they don’t have to be an amazing music person, I guess, in order to do that. And and it brings so much joy to people as well. And I just I love working with groups of people. I really enjoy the seeing their faces when they start something and they’re like, I can’t do this. And then by the end of it they’ve achieved something. I just find it’s just so nice to see somebody being able to achieve something for themselves. And so, yeah, and music’s like that and it just, it brings so much happiness and joy into people’s lives. So yeah, that’s, that’s what we do.

LEE HOUSE: It must be so cool coming, like, you know, you just finishing your day, you’re getting home, you get into bed with a doggy and Scott and you’re just relax and a cup of tea and you’re just thinking, God, that was a good day. You’re getting so much out of like, you can hear it in your the way you talk about your business. You’re getting so much out of it and you’re giving back and people are going away with smiles on their faces. It must just be the best feeling.

REBECCA CONNELLY: It is. I mean, there are challenging days, don’t get me wrong, it’s not always amazing. Yeah, there are some days, just like any job, really, even when we’re gigging, I mean, there’s definitely days where we’re like, really just can’t be bothered going to work just like everybody. And but, you know, it is. We are really lucky to do what we do. And obviously at the moment the centre is closed and we’re we’re working with our students online at the moment, which is not the best situation to be in, but we’re still able to connect with them and help them through. And just this week I think Scott had two students pass two different grades. So I mean, there’s still so definitely progression happening with online lessons as well as face to face. But we’re really unsure of the future for our building. And just based on everything that’s happening right now, we don’t actually know how we can do our job. So it’s things are a little bit up in the air with all of that.

LEE HOUSE: I think it’s really like you said, that we were talking at the start, just taking a day at a time and seeing what the next day brings and and things like that. But what we also do is because after we do the podcast, put it out, we’ll be putting some posts out. I will get the links up so you can check out Red Rock music. And if you want to learn about getting some tutoring done and we can get all that out as well and that will be our website as well and guests and on Facebook and all the usual stuff. So we will post that out for you to make it. And if you want to get in touch, you want to learn an instrument. I would love to learn the ukulele.

REBECCA CONNELLY: There’s a Ukulele group on a Wednesday. We have a friend of ours, Angela Murray, who’s actually an amazing singer as well, and we do some work together in bands and stuff. But she runs a ukulele group for Beginners for adults, and it’s on Zoom, so if you want to join that, then you could.

LEE HOUSE: It’s, it’s so bizarre. Like, like I’ve just had an alert as we’re recording this about a concert I’m supposed to be at this evening. I’m so.

REBECCA CONNELLY: Oh no, who was I went to.

LEE HOUSE: See you and well he’s actually going to be in the podcast very soon. A guy I love from he lived in Leicester. He lives in New York now. He his name is James Maddock and he was playing at the Voodoo Rooms tonight in Edinburgh. It’s just it’s just told me how long the traffic is to get there. And I’m like, oh, zero zero. I’ll be staying home. Just off the back of the red music, red rock music as well. And yeah, I remember when we met up a couple of years ago, we were just looking at songs and stuff like that. You were like, I can definitely teach you how to sing. And like I was like, No, you can’t. I would. When those are my voice. My wife told me never to sing again.

REBECCA CONNELLY: I told everybody can sing.

LEE HOUSE: So I will. I am going to push myself to join something online this week. I’m going to have a look at it. So I’m going to maybe I could maybe I could change my voice. But at the moment it sounds like many windows breaking and cats howling. But there we go. And that’s.

REBECCA CONNELLY: I heard your voice. It is not bad.

LEE HOUSE: Oh, I know. I know some other people. My wife would disagree, I tell you that. Maybe that’s after a few drinks. I suppose so. Yeah, I know I do like a bit karaoke. I know. It’s so good. It’s just like living in that moment. I’m going to sing this song and we’re talking about songs and albums and things like that, and I just wanted to find out. Talked a lot about obviously your journey, but like, what was an album that like changed your life? I know that’s quite dramatic, like, or has it changed your life or affected you or, you know, change the way you wrote songs or just the way you thought about music? Was it any album that stuck out for you?

REBECCA CONNELLY: And I don’t know if it changed my life, but it’s definitely an album that I’ve come back to time and time and time again. I don’t know how many times I’ve listened to this album and I just I just love everything about this album. It’s so it’s got such lightness to it and there’s so much love within it as well. And, and I love like the dancey tracks and also the more serious, darker tracks there. And it’s Madonna’s Ray of Light album, and I just love it. It’s one of my favourite albums and I listen to it all the time. I’ve listened to it since it came out and I’ve probably bought about five CDs because I keep breaking them. And I really love that album.

: There’s a song on that record that like just again, we were talking about that, you know, that moment where your hairs on your neck go up. I think it’s called Substitute for Love. Oh, my God. I think there’s a part in the I think it’s like maybe one of the pre choruses or something. But maybe after I met the late. I can’t remember it exactly, but it’s just it’s just like an electric guitar on a clean tone. And it just does like this lovely little pick in. Oh, it’s just stunning. Like, I just love it.

REBECCA CONNELLY: Great tune. And I just I can never listen to that album. I just love it. It’s. I don’t know why. I just really I just love the whole sound and it feels like such a cohesive piece of work as well. Like you don’t feel like there’s not a song that doesn’t fit on the album. Like it’s been really well thought out on how each songs place and the order it’s placed in, and the sounds just all worked so well together with it. And sometimes you’ll listen to an album and you’re like, It’s not too keen on that song, or that doesn’t really, really feel like it fits. But I just every song on that album just fits so well.

LEE HOUSE: There’s not so much I would I don’t know how many, maybe one in, I guess in 1 in 50 sort of records come along and it’s I think it’s changed a lot. I mentioned this in the first podcast and I don’t know how you feel about it is that streaming has changed the way people listen to music and like, I know vinyl is really strong at the moment and but you know, I could go and ask ten of my friends, When was the last time you listened to an album start to finish? You know, it might be because the quality of the album, you know, there wasn’t what you said. You’re not going to listen to every song, but there are certain albums, like if I went to stream, like say, Okay, Computer by Radiohead, that’s my album that I had like five CDs of like you would just not skip a track. But do you think it’s an album? Yeah, no, that that was just like mind blowing for me when I was like 17. I was I was like, Wow. But what do you think about streaming? How has that affected like, how you’ve recorded music and how you put things out? Have you changed or are you still more about getting the album out and or EP’s? Are you single based now? What do you think?

REBECCA CONNELLY: I’m still learning. The music industry is so different. I did a little survey with my students actually last year and I asked them like, how how do you listen to music? And some of the sometimes I’ll say to them, What are you listening to right now? And nobody none of them can give me an answer because they’re just listening to people on YouTube. They’re not listening to albums, they’re not listening to singles. They’re not going a mr. John Menzies and buying their singles on cassette anymore.

LEE HOUSE: Sean Menzies.

REBECCA CONNELLY: And I miss I feel like that culture of like consuming music is totally lost forever now. And it’s really sad because I loved I used to love going to the the shop and like with my pocket money and yeah, I mean even if it was like Atomic Kitten or something, I would just love buying a CD and taking it home and placing it in the CD player or cassette if it was on a cassette and play it and you know.

LEE HOUSE: Reading the reading the booklet and the lyrics.

REBECCA CONNELLY: And there was just something so magical about that, you know, that’s your very own CD of that person and you can listen to it as many times as you like. Whereas now I think it’s so accessible that the. Kick of of listen to music is almost gone. And you have to think really, really hard for people to listen to your music.

LEE HOUSE: And I think it’s well, it’s changed a lot of people’s thoughts on especially the sort of music that’s out in the last maybe 15 to 8 years about songwriting. I think they’re looking for I mean, this is just my opinion, but I think a lot of people are looking these songwriters at work with like Adele and things like that. I’m looking for the hook straight away rather than a song building like, you know, into a progressive sort of style. But because they they know they’re thinking about the radio, they’re thinking about streaming, they want people to jump on it straight away, which isn’t a bad thing, but I think a lot like some of the songwriting is like again, just the way I think about it is some of it’s the levels dropped a little bit and you hear a lot of, you know, there’s nothing wrong with using drum machines and things like that, but I think it’s the organic nature of songwriting has changed. And yeah, it’s kind of like, let’s leave it up to, you know, a box or a technical piece of kit that could bring out. I noticed actually that’s what I was going with this. I was trying to remember why I was saying that. What was the documentary I watched? But it was quite genius. I don’t know if you’ve seen the Taylor Swift documentary on Netflix. No, See, that kind of changed my opinion on it a little bit because she was just pulling like but she was pulling out hooks and they were building around the hook and the choruses and things like that. But I just thought that was like phenomenal from her.

REBECCA CONNELLY: But she I feel like she’s an artist who writes about things that mean something to her that, you know, she’s writing from an experience, and that’s what songs should be written about your experience or someone else’s experience. Whereas I think a lot of pop music right now, it’s I don’t know if there’s much heart in it.

LEE HOUSE: Yeah, I get that. I feel that.

REBECCA CONNELLY: Yeah. And there’s and I think because people were so inundated all the time with like advertising and, you know, there’s so many things we’re watching things on Facebook and on YouTube and everything. People’s attention spans are so much shorter now, I think, when it comes to listening to music. And so I think they make the song shorter, too. Like I think the average songs like Three minutes now and, and I actually didn’t realise that a lot of my songs have turned out like that. And I don’t know why I’ve done it that way, but my first album, they were all like four and a half, five minutes long. And no, they’re all like three minutes. So I must have somehow fallen into.

LEE HOUSE: The but then that, yeah, it’s like the marketing thing. They push it out to you like 50 Minutes is a good pop song and you probably just think you’re conscious of it all the time. I remember a my friend I used to work with quite a roadie. Had he, he’d put an album out and he’d had a lot of interest and I think they’d contacted him about one of his songs. I can’t remember the title of it, but they wanted to change it and put like the end at the start. And I’ve seen that happening a lot now where people start with choruses and then like, Wait, we were talking about. So but he was like, No, that’s not how I wrote the song. I don’t want it to be changed. I’d rather turn it down. And he was sticking by his sort of principles, and I thought that was really cool that he wasn’t going to not I know the people say sell out, but it would be easy. Just say, Yeah, take my song, do what you want, but just to get success off it. But and you know, that’s why I can attend to lean towards singer songwriters is my my love because I just think it’s more natural and the songs are all there and the stories are there. And some of the things I’ve listened to on like I’ve done a bit of work for the page Instagram tomorrow for like new releases. And some of it I was just like, Oh my God, I can’t listen to any more of that. But again, maybe it’s just.

REBECCA CONNELLY: I listen to Radio two now, so I don’t even know.

LEE HOUSE: Yeah, I think I’m just getting a bit older. Like I even had smooth radio on making the dinner tonight, so. But yeah, maybe it’s just an age thing, but yeah, but that’s cool. That’s a really good insight. And I just wanted to kind of touch on what we’d mentioned about songwriting earlier. I know we’ve kind of mentioned a bit there, but what I was thinking about what makes a good song these days? Is it definitely for you having that chorus, or is it more about a melody and a feel? What would you say just before we finish up on that side of things?

REBECCA CONNELLY: I think it really depends on the song. I mean, some songs have got really strong melodies, which you remember sometimes you remember like the little guitar riff or the little bit in the in between all the the lyrics and things. And then other times it is the chorus. That’s the most important part. And I think, you know, when I’m running like songwriting workshops and things, I do focus on like, let’s make your chorus really strong, because that’s the most important part, the part that people are going to remember. But I think there’s definitely, um, there’s variation within songwriting, you know, it can be a hook, it could be a little instrumental part, or it can be the chorus That’s like the strongest part really just depends on what the writer wants to do with their song and also what the listener like hooks onto, I guess.

LEE HOUSE: Yeah, I suppose. Yeah. I think it’s just I think if you go into that thinking, I’m going to write for a certain, I know that there is some songwriters I’ve came across and just getting in touch or going, you know, sending my stuff out and say, What do you think of this? And they’re saying, Yeah, that’s good. But it’s quite 90s. Yeah, but that’s what I listen to. So I think that. If you’re working as a songwriter in the industry, then if you’re wanting to target what’s out just now, I think you probably need to be more, you know, adapt more to the sort of latest sounds and listen to it. But for me, it’s just like I would be stuck in my ways and I would. But then that’s a talent thing. I think there would be some people out there that can naturally, you know, I’m always intrigued by the writers for Adele, who I know Adele writes a lot of her own songs, but she has writers and and they’ve worked with Liam Gallagher as well. And it’s just like how they change and adapt to people. I find that just like mind blowing, but that’s just a skill I think I would I would say absolutely, yeah.

REBECCA CONNELLY: I think you have to be able to change genres, you know, to be a decent songwriter like and sticking. I mean, there’s nothing wrong with writing one genre, but I think if you’re going to be a songwriter that writes for other people.

LEE HOUSE: You need to have that diverse.

REBECCA CONNELLY: What you’re doing. Which is not always easy.

LEE HOUSE: No, it isn’t. And there’s so much different music out there now, and I can’t keep up with grime and whatever grime, rap, grime, pop, folk, pop, or there’s just so many different and and things like that. It’s just like to me, I’m more if it’s a good song and I like it, then let’s kind of roll with that. Talking about songs just as we kind of come. I mean, we’ve been chatting for 45 minutes and I know. Just go on like that. No, no, this is great. This is like I’m on, I’m on target started.

REBECCA CONNELLY: So I’ve, I a bit of caffeine. I don’t drink, I only drink and decaffeinated tea. So when I have a coffee I’m like, no, no.

LEE HOUSE: No, this is great. This is like my I’m always looking for that 45 minutes to an hour window as I’ve started this. So we’re right on track. Don’t you worry about that. So kind of I wanted to finish up is, is I’m going to do this with all the podcast right now just because of the situation we’re in. We’re at home, we’re needing a better life. And in our life, shall we say, What is that song? And I’m going to put you on the spot here. What is a song that you think we all need another life right now? If it’s going to make our day a bit brighter.

REBECCA CONNELLY: Oh, well, I. I had thought about this because you kind of given me a heads up on this, but I thought it was just. What’s your favourite song? So one of my probably not the best song choice for right now because it’s a bit sad, but one of my favourite songs is Into The Mystic by Van Morrison, and I just love the bassline in the song and the lyrics, and it just makes me think, you know, if things just don’t go that well, then you just head off into the mystic and that’s okay. And I just yeah, it’s one of my favourite songs. Um, but I think for a more positive, upbeat song, I don’t know. Oh, I hate being put on the spot like this. I can never think in. Someone’s like, What’s your favourite song? I can never ever give them an answer. And but yeah, maybe something by the cause. I love the.

LEE HOUSE: Cause now they’ve got they’ve got some positive banging tunes. I actually they came on the other day. Was it a no? No. I put myself on the spot here. It may have been the cover one that had dreams or something like that. I think it might have been. Or are We are so young or something or Oh, I can’t remember the cause were

REBECCA CONNELLY: Fleetwood Mac. There we go. Don’t stop.

LEE HOUSE: There you go.

REBECCA CONNELLY: There’s a good song for right now. Just don’t start. Keep going, everybody.

LEE HOUSE: There you go. Get that on tonight. Get your kids to bed. Get the wine out. Get dancing. Well, Rebecca, it’s been a lovely one to catch up because we’ve been meaning to for a while, but life just goes a bit crazy. And. And businesses and kids and all these sort of things.

REBECCA CONNELLY: You had a kid in since the last time we spoke.

LEE HOUSE: I know. I’ve produced something I found. It’s incredible.

REBECCA CONNELLY: Just a life of pleasing.

LEE HOUSE: I know.


LEE HOUSE: I’ve been listening to loads of music with her and just look and just like it is unbelievable. Like as a just seeing all the little reactions and things like that. So yeah, it’s crazy. Crazy times all round for everyone, but it has been just great. Just speaking again, I’ve all really enjoyed just hearing about your thoughts on obviously your new record and just how your life is kind of taking shape and just catching up about like the music and what you’re enjoying at the moment. So it’s been a really good, a really good chat. I hope everybody will get on and listen to this for episode two. But Rebecca, it’s been an absolute joy to have you on the podcast and thanks so much.

REBECCA CONNELLY: Nice to speak to you too, and take care.

LEE HOUSE: Take care. Bye bye. It was so lovely.

LEE HOUSE: To chat with Rebecca about all things life in music and remember her new record, California, which is brilliant, by the way, is available across all platforms. And you can also buy a physical copy on Bandcamp. Just search for Rebecca Connelly. You can also check out Red Rock music on Facebook and across social media. If you fancy a lemon, a new instrument, or maybe singing, that’s the place to go. Check out Red Rock music. So that wraps up episode two. We are about to go. I as a podcast every Tuesday now, and you can find us on Instagram on the TalkTonightPodcast and also on Twitter TalkTonightPC. Thanks for joining me this week. And I’ll see you all again soon.



Don’t miss the other episodes of The Talk Tonight Podcast, where I talk to a wide range of entertainment artists about their work, current projects, visions and everyday things. You can find an overview of all episodes here.


Hey there, I’m Lee House, and I’m all about embracing the mix of life’s passions and making a positive impact. I’m a reflection of dedication, empowerment, and a medley of interests that fuel my journey.

My day job revolves around events and engagement, where I play a pivotal role in spreading the word about the Transition Fund designed for young individuals with disabilities. It’s more than a job to me; it’s a chance to provide unwavering support and make a difference in their lives.

You’ll find my heart deeply connected to Celtic football when I’m not immersed in the professional world. I’m a die-hard fan, cheering for my team whether they’re playing at home or away. But my passion isn’t confined to the football field alone.

Lee House - Natalie Imbruglia - Talk Tonight Podcast

I also find my groove strumming the strings of a guitar. Songwriting is my escape, a way to pour my thoughts and emotions into music that resonates with my soul.

My playlist reads like a musical mosaic, featuring favourites like Oasis, Noel and Liam Gallagher, Radiohead, Stereophonics, Natalie Imbruglia, Ryan Adams, Wilco, Sam Fender, Queen, Symposium, Jackson Browne, The Police, The Jam, Deacon Blue, amongst others. Although I also groove to dance music, especially the infectious beats of house and the nostalgia of ’90s tunes.

Music isn’t just a hobby; it’s a core part of my identity. While I’m not currently part of a band, I’ve been down that road before, and the experience has left an indelible mark on my journey.

As an author I have put into writing my love for the music of Noel Gallagher in my current book „Listen and you will hear us singing“.

I’m a big supporter of emerging artists, especially those hailing from the enchanting land of Scotland, my home.

Lee House - Talk Tonight Podcast sign

© Burfly photography / Rebecca Connelly
© Lee House