Teddy Thompson and Thirty Tigers just announced the release of Thompson’s new album Heartbreaker Please, with the title track—out now—released as the first single. Thompson said the song took form in the wake of a breakup: “When you find someone that seems ideal, it’s easy to be untrue to yourself in order to try to match that ideal,” he says, adding “Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds, or bends with the remover to remove.”
Heartbreaker Please finds the son of Linda and Richard Thompson perfectly himself, 20 years after moving to the U.S. to reinvent himself as an artist. “It was easier to leave it behind and go somewhere new to announce myself as a musician, rather than explain to all the people who’ve known you since you were a kid,” he says.
Look for the full album out on April 24, but for now, be sure to enjoy the single and this 5 Questions segment with Thompson and DittyTV Senior Editor Tim W. Jackson.
1) We’ll go ahead and get the obvious question out of the way first: As the son of legendary musicians Richard and Linda Thompson (and brother of Kamila), what was it like growing up in such a musical family, and who were your early musical influences besides your family?
It was great! We would all sit around the fire and sing songs. Mama would usually be knitting or giving birth, but she would join on the choruses. Pa was a stern man back then, we were afraid of him. When he said jump, we jumped!
I was mostly influenced by Dolly Parton. Her enormous breasts and angelic voice made for some confusing adolescent years.
2) It’s hard to believe your debut album is now 20 years old. Where does the time go? But what has always interested me in your career is that you haven’t moved at rapid speeds, continuously popping out albums—and this is your first album since 2016. So what has been your philosophy of recording and releasing music throughout your career?
I have not been prolific. I am lazy, and I don’t do well in an unstructured environment. Unfortunately, that’s what the music business is! I would’ve fared better with Brian Epstein or The Colonel working me to death.
3) Your new album, Heartbreaker Please, releases in April. With 10 great songs and only 5 Questions, it’s impossible to thoroughly cover the album’s contents, but I have to ask you about one song, and of course it’s one of the darker ones: “No Idea.” I love the instrumentation, the lyrics, and just the mood of the song. What can you tell us about the origins of that song?
Thank you. That’s the little epic on this record. Let me see, the song is just about not knowing what the hell I’m doing. I think we all feel that from time to time. Am I ever going to figure it out and feel like a grown up? Musically, it’s a long song, so I was trying to keep it fairly plain but keep it interesting. I may have gone a bit nuts on the synth stuff, but I am a child of the ’80s.
4) OK, I lied. I have to ask you about one more song! Immediately after “No Idea” comes the much more musically upbeat, “Record Player,” which is a song that many of us of a certain age can relate to and fully understand. What can you tell us about the message in that song?
The message is music used to be good, and now it’s terrible.
5) We at DittyTV certainly wish you the best with the new album. As a rockabilly fan, though, I want to switch gears for the last question to ask you about your rockabilly/early rock band Poundcake. What’s the latest on you guys? Are y’all still playing?
Thank you for asking! We are still a band but we only play once or twice a year. We all have other obligations, and those pay the bills 🙂
Take a listen to the new single, “Heartbreaker Please.”