16 Feb 2019

Lydia Cole performs 'The Sacred' live

From RNZ Music, 3:20 pm on 16 February 2019

Singer-songwriter Lydia Cole is back from two years living in Berlin. She's currently touring NZ before heading back to tour Europe in March. Kirsten Johnstone caught up with her for a chat and a live session, which includes her new single, 'The Sacred'.

Last time RNZ Music spoke to Singer-songwriter Lydia Cole, in early 2017, she was about to move to Berlin.

Life there has been a culture shock for the 32-year-old, who moved there to be with her partner and bandmate Timothy Armstrong (who is also a musician, and designer/animator). Lydia had never even been to Europe before moving to Berlin.

"I would get so uptight just going to the supermarket, like - 'what if the person scanning my groceries says something to me? I will have no idea what they're talking about' ... survival there still feels quite hard for me. It's gotten easier over time, but that's my reality." 

She explains how this led to the writing of her new single, 'The Sacred': 

"In the first year, I felt so cloudy in my mind, and in a more depressed state. I didn't even feel like I could write, in my journal, or music or anything - and part of me didn't want to capture that feeling.

"I was just kind of holding my breath, hoping to come out the other side, and start to feel that there was colour in the world again. To feel like myself and that maybe I wouldn't feel so uptight."

She started to feel a little better when Summer 2018 came: the couple were touring Europe, and Lydia felt ready to reflect on and write about that difficult period. 

"I do believe that every feeling and every phase is important and that in the future I'll look back and be really glad that I captured that feeling."

"I wrote this song as Autumn had really taken its hold, and it was starting to get quite cold, and the days were getting very grey and heavy. I wrote it in the kitchen, looking out the window to the trees shedding their leaves.

"It's been funny rehearsing this song in the last few weeks, it requires a lot of breath. And I didn't notice that when I wrote it, I was just kind of calling out, crying out. 

"And now I'm home, it's summer, I've got all my friends and family around me, and I'm not in that same difficult place where I'm calling out - which I'm grateful for." 

Lydia Cole in the RNZ studios for a live session. 15 February 2019.

Photo: RNZ / Claire Eastham-Farrelly

You can catch Lydia on these dates:

  • 16/2 - Tauranga, NZ - Tickets
  • 21/2 - Hamilton, NZ - Tickets
  • 23/2 - Christchurch, NZ - Tickets
  • 27/2 - Oamaru, NZ - Tickets
  • 1/3 - Carterton, NZ - SOLD OUT
  • 3/3 - Wellington, NZ - secret show
  • 5/3 - Wellington, NZ - Tickets
  • 9/3 - Auckland, NZ - SOLD OUT
  • 10/3 - Auckland, NZ - Tickets
More on Lydia Cole:
  • Lydia Cole live at The Vic Theatre
  • Lydia Cole gives us 'The Lay of the Land'
  • NZ Live: Lydia Cole
  • Lydia Cole: live at Roundhead Studios
  • NZ Live - Lydia Cole