WD And where does the name for Glasshouse comes from?
JW It’s inspired by a poem this English poet called Edward Thomas who wrote a poem called “I Built Myself a House of Glass” and it is a really beautiful poem that talks about this fragility of this beautiful thing, and I think for me this has been some of the best few years of my life, but also the most delicate—learning how to be a better friend, learning how to be a better wife, I’m learning all the time how to be a better songwriter. There’s been a lot of growth on this record, and that title felt like it had a strength about it, but also a vulnerability. It’s been eye opening, but I think I’m a better artist for it.
WD And speaking of a the song "Sam," you cowrote that song with Ed Sheeran, correct? How did that come about?
JW I’d written with Ed already on my last album on "Say You Love Me," and I feel incredibly lucky that I get to work with him because he’s just so gifted, but also so confident. We were in the studio again, working on his record. I had started this song, but the chorus was really generic and it didn’t really feel special, so I asked if we could look at it and he helped me. I think that really helped paint the picture because I was two-three weeks away from giving birth and I think that it was perfect to finish the song that way and make that chorus as impactful as it is.
WD And what other songs on the record are the most special and personal to you?
JW "Thinking About You" is about my daughter and I’m really happy that people are liking it so much, because it’s not just a mother talking about her daughter, it’s about being somebody missing somebody they adore and feeling guilty and wishing they could do more. "First Time" I really like, it's about me and my husband making more time for each other. There’s one called "The Last of the True Believers" which I wrote after my first record, and it didn’t really makes sense on my second one, so my sister reminded me of it and I’m so glad she did because it’s a brilliant song and I felt like it completes this record far more than the last record.
WD How has it translated into the live shows? How has it been performing these songs?
JW It’s been good. I think I’m still trying to find my feet and trying to understand how I want to deliver this album visually. It’s been a pleasure to see people enjoying the songs and singing them so loudly and passionately and it’s been reassuring for me. When I did my first London shows, I was hesitant and nervous, felt like I lost my confidence and now, especially during the American shows, it felt so special and I feel like the American shows have made me have even more confidence in the record and how to perform it. Especially with the New York crowd, I want to have fun with them because I care what they think, and I adore them, and I miss them, and I think they get it also. That was a funny one because loads of things went wrong and I had to chat a little bit more than I was going to, but it kinda worked out. When that drunk girl got on stage and sang, that was amazing. It was such good fun, it could have gone terribly wrong, but it was just hysterical.
WD Have there been any moments of feeling frustrated by double standards in the music industry in terms of how things would have been different of you were a male artist choosing to have a kid?
JW I think I was more worried about how I’d be perceived having a kid. I think lots of people were very much like, “You’re gonna need some time.” I think what I did in reaction to that was like, “No, I’m gonna make a record in my first year and it’s gonna be my best one yet.” I think people have been really respectful and really impressed with how I’ve done this. I think it was my own insecurities, being worried that people were going to think I wasn't going to have the same drive, but actually [my daughter] has made me even more fiercely ambitious.
WD What do you want people to take away from listening to Glasshouse?
JW I hope something resonates with them, something about longing or love. I think there’s a song for everybody on there, but it's also a very personal record for me. You know, "Wildest Moments," that’s about my best mate, but so many people make it about a relationship. That's what I hope I can do with this record; even though it's my most personal, I want it to touch people in the same universal way. And then understand me a bit more, because I think it was time for them to meet a little bit more of me in the music.
WD It almost seems like the first few records were more for your fans, or the people who were listening to them, and this one feels like it's about you.
JW I think you're right, but wow, they way people sing "Sam" back to me...I thought that would be such a difficult song to sing because it's so personal, but when I see people's eyes when I’m singing it, and they're there, they understand it. And they don't have a baby coming along, they don't have a Sam, and that's okay; I appreciate how much respect they have when I sing. It's been really special to see them perform the songs and see how people react to them and it just felt so positive.