With his smash hit "Too Close" still all over radio, British singer Alex Clare has a busy 2013 planned, including appearances at Coachella and SXSW, he tells Rolling Stone. But that won't keep him from releasing new music.
"Making a new record is the priority, that has to be the priority," he said when we visited him backstage last weekend at KROQ's Almost Acoustic Xmas.
"I've got a few songs written, but they're a long way off being produced," he said. "I need to get back in the studio. Doing so much of the touring and promo, but we'll get there."
He plans to have at least some new songs to share by the time he reaches Austin in March. "I want to start getting songs out before an album is completed as a whole unit, just start getting stuff out there . . . I've already noticed a theme emerging," he said.
What that might be, he won't say, though he can give one hint: "[It's] a little bit more optimistic, a lot to be happy about."
Smiling throughout the interview – an understandable feeling after watching more than 6,000 fans sing along to "Too Close" – Clare recalled the song's trajectory.
"I think the first moment was probably about April, May when I went to number one in Germany, and I had no idea," he said. "I think it was, like, Number Three and then I flew into Germany to do some promo and when I got off the plane it was like, 'Hey, you're Number One.' That was the first sort of, 'OK, things are happening.' And then it suddenly started blowing up over here – just gradually hearing reports of radio stations adding 'Too Close' and album sales picking up as well. The realization you get is when people all sing the words back to you.
"That's when you're like, 'OK.'"