From frontman Luke Jenner’s strained parental relationships to how the departure of bassist Mattie Safer changed their songwriting process, The Rapture give us a track-by-track breakdown of their latest LP, In the Grace of Your Love, which you can now stream below.
Luke: I wrote the lyrics to this in a hotel room in London on the last day of a tour, as we were about to come home. I was thinking about my wife a lot and how I just wanted to be with her, and my son Vincent.
Vito: This was one of the first songs we finished during the demo stage. We ended up with a lot of songs that either had a brother or sister song. This was a brother song to Children.
Luke: This song really makes me think of my Mom, Sally Elizabeth Thomas, who was born in Bristol. She took her own life five years ago and I’m still processing it. I had a really troubled relationship with her and wasn’t talking to her because she could be so abusive, and I didn’t know how to deal with that. I miss her and think of her often. I have an aquarium at home with an underwater garden in it. My Mom loved gardening, she got that from her father who used to grow tomatoes in his backyard in Swansea.
Gabriel: This is the first song that we mixed. So really it was the first thing we completed and set the tone for how the whole album was mixed. Philippe (Zdar, producer) and I thought it would be the first single – we where so amped mixing this one. Ahhh, my heart fills with good feelings thinking about recording and mixing this record. So much fun!
Luke: I think this song deals with life and death at the end, and maybe what happens afterwards. Sometimes it’s hard to figure out what a song is about until after you have lived with it for a while. I like the part that says: “My heart got broke, I wrote a note, it didn’t change a thing.” I also like the guitar licks in the chorus.
Vito: This was another song like Sail Away that was a ballad to start with and became pretty amped up in the end. The drums are played way on top of the beat where it almost feels like it’s going to fall off.
“Come Back to Me”
Luke: Philippe was calling this Come Back to Me in the studio and the name stuck. I felt numb for a long time and so this song is about inviting my life to literally come back into my body, as if it was dispossessed or something.
Vito: This song has a sample of a Congolese musician named Franco. Gabe made a dance edit and gave it to Luke who added vocals before I added percussion and arrangement.
Gabriel: This is based around one of my favourite tunes. I stole the accordion part and a tiny bit of vocal, and I created more rhythm around it. It had just been sitting on my hard drive for years. Luke asked me for all the stuff I had and he sent me a vocal a few weeks later. It was a great gift when he sent me the vocal.
“In the Grace of Your Love”
Luke: This is the emotional heart of the record. We have been opening shows with this and it feels right – it sets the tone for whatever comes next.
Vito: It was also the first song we finished in the demo process. It was a jam that Luke came in with one day and did the vocals in one take. I remember Gabe and I in the control room looking at each other and smiling. It gave me chills.
Gabriel: It’s a great pleasure to watch the genesis of a song. We wrote this one while Mattie was still playing with us. We had just been jamming for a few weeks and neither Luke nor Mattie had sung a note. There were some fairly awkward moments and at times it seemed aimless. When there where these moments and silences I would try and come up with a simple progression or rhythmic figure. That’s how this one started, with that little two-note keyboard rhythm. Eventually we all started to rally around it and build more complex rhythms and a progression. We jammed on it for a few days and recorded a loose arrangement. Luke then felt some serious inspiration and recorded a scratch vocal straight away. On reflection, it’s all pretty amusing as Mattie didn’t ever seem to appreciate this one and it took Luke a while to realise how beautiful it is too.
“Never Die Again:
Luke: There was some controversy about this song – whether it would make it on the album or not. In the end we decided to put it on. Gabe and Vito really wanted it to make the album, but for a while we were having trouble fitting it in the final sequence.
Vito: This was also written as a jam. We were listening to Brenda Fassie before we wrote this song.
Gabriel: The meat and potatoes of this jam are from the original demo. Recorded hastily in the little studio we had in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. The bass and drums happened immediately and never changed much. It just felt good so we left it. This recording sounds a bit different than the rest of the record, the bass also takes up a bit more room here than on any other tune. Turn it up loud while you’re cruisin’ in your jeep.
Luke: This is about kind of slugging it out in a relationship, sticking around long enough to see if it works rather than just bailing. I’ve been married for 10 years now and at times our relationship has seemed like a rollercoaster, but I’m proud to say that we made it.
Vito: This was a fun one to play drums on. I really tried to play like a rollercoaster. I’ve always been into train beats so this was kind of a variation. I also really like Gabe’s bassline. It was one the first songs with Gabe playing bass, which he ended up playing on the whole album.
Luke: Another song about my Mom. In the first verse I’m imagining her being proud of me, looking down from somewhere I don’t know. In the church I belong to in Park Slope, Brooklyn there is a picture of someone painted on a wall next to where I usually sit and it is the spitting image of my Mom as a young woman.
Vito: This was the sister song to Sail Away. We finished it right before. It was one of the first songs we finished and we were really happy with it. We sat in the studio and listened to it over and over.
“Can You Find a Way”
Luke: This is a song about beating yourself up and not knowing how to stop doing those things that hurt you.
Vito: Musically I was kind of picturing an OutKast song played live working on the parts.
“How Deep Is Your Love?”
Luke: I was experimenting by writing lyrics from the point of view of trying to write prayers and seeing what came of that … this is one of those.
Vito: This song originally came from a beat and melody I’d made. Luke wrote some great vocals and we reworked the music. Then in the studio we reworked it a lot more, adding the second half and break in the middle.
“It Takes Time to Be a Man”
Luke: I had a confusing relationship with my father. Now that I’m a dad I’ve been reflecting a lot on what that means, now my son is five years old I have had a bit of experience. I hope it shows in this song.