Scottish singer Sandi Thom has said it “feels like yesterday” that she topped the charts with her breakout hit I Wish I Was A Punk Rocker in 2006.
The musician, 42, has since released six studio albums and taken a break from the industry, but is now back with a new single called Revolution Anthem (Festival Of The Oppressed), a folk-rock song which addresses geopolitical turmoil and unrest, and name checks former UK prime minister Liz Truss and former US president Donald Trump.
Thom said she remembers her breakthrough as “chaotic and amazing”, telling the PA news agency: “It doesn’t feel like that long ago, it pretty much feels like yesterday to me, I think because the legacy of the song lives on in perpetuity, it’s always alive for me and for the people that love it.”
She also reflected on the “ups and downs” of her time in the spotlight and the struggles she later went through to continue her success, culminating in a video she posted and soon deleted in which she tearfully explained that her latest single had been passed over for inclusion from the Radio 2 and Bauer network playlist.
Thom said: “I was heavily pregnant at the time. So when we are pregnant women, we tend to be a little bit more vulnerable in those moments.
“But like anybody in any industry, there’s always going to be ups and downs, you’re always going to feel like sometimes you’re chasing challenges in any business. But the thing is, is that I’ve never given up, I’ve always continued, I’ve always kept going.
“At the root of it all is the passion to create music that can impact people’s lives, so everybody has a journey, and everybody has ups and downs and I’m no stranger to that myself.”
Asked if she felt any nerves about re-entering the fray of the music business after time away, Thom said: “I didn’t feel any trepidation. I feel very fortunate and I’m very grateful for the career that I’ve had and the opportunities that I have had.
“I have had amazing opportunities in my life to do incredible things with lots of incredible musicians, and I was just excited, more than anything, to get back.
“I became a mum, so that was huge, that took me in another direction for many years, through those formative years of him growing up, and he’s seven now, so I really wanted to put my energy into motherhood for years but now I feel I’m in a position where I can really focus back on the music again.
“I think being a parent changes anybody in so many different ways. I think that it has reignited some part of the innocence of youth within me. When you look at children, and you remember what that was like to be a kid and to be a dreamer, and to believe that anything was possible, it teaches us a lot of lessons.”
Discussing her new music, Thom said the song is “a conversation piece about what everybody’s talking about, what’s on everyone’s minds, all of the geopolitical situations, all of the country’s problems, past, present and future”.
She added: “I’ve always geared towards the folk music tradition of writing about what I see and hear. And so, when I decided to come back into the fray, into the industry after hiatus, the first thing that I thought was, let’s look at what is the world thinking? What’s on everyone’s minds? What kind of song do people want to hear right now?
“We want to be a mouthpiece for the people. And I think, more than ever, that feeling is bubbling within society, so much frustration over the way that the country is run, not just in the UK, but so many global situations.
“And people need an anthem. People need something to feel like they’re being heard and seen. And that’s what I really wanted to come back as, because I don’t just see myself as a musician.
“There’s meaning in the music. And I want people to feel like they can connect to that and that whoever is out there feeling frustrated, that they don’t feel heard and seen, then I can be a voice for that.
“What we really want to say with this is we want to change the things that we can’t accept anymore.”
Revolution Anthem (Festival Of The Oppressed) will be released on March 22. It will be available as an NFT on March 15.