Still On My Mind wafts in like a beautiful breeze, a chilled out tumble of sadness and joy, melancholy and bliss. That familiar voice is fully present, soft, intimate and delightfully conversational, caressing melodies over a subtle flow of beats, with an aching catch that tugs at the heart strings.
She was the girl who got away. But after five years of silence, Dido is back.
Dido Armstrong made two of the best-selling albums in British chart history. No Angel still remains the top-selling debut by a British female artist worldwide. The chilled out singer-songwriter notched up over forty million album sales across her career. “There wasn’t really an intention to walk away from music,” she insists. “I’m not a very intentional person. I've never been good at the big picture. I'm not good at next week, I'm not good at next year. But I'm brilliant at today! I know what I'm enjoying in the moment.”
Dido’s titanic success swept her away. It started when she was a backing singer with her brother Rollo’s band Faithless. She toured in support of their 1996 debut album all the way through to the release of her own debut in 1998. No Angel’s success was slow burning, growing and growing to eventually become the bestselling album of 2001. All that time Dido was on the road, through the phenomenal Life For Rent in 2003, all the way to performing to a TV audience of billions at Live8 in 2005. “I toured for nine years straight. And then I just stopped.” It was time for Dido to catch up with her own life.
Safe Trip Home was released in 2008, with a more acoustic and orchestral ambience. “I love that record. It has stood the test of time for me,” she says. But Dido chose not to go back on tour to promote it. “I was sort of coming down the mountain back home, and it was a real moment of liberation when I realised I could just make music, and the people who want to hear it will find it for themselves.”
She got married in 2008 and a son, Stanley, was born in 2011. Dido went on to release one more album, Girl Who Got Away, in 2013, but once again opted not to take it on the road. “The last album was a bit of a blur. I’d sung all the songs while I was pregnant. It was lovely, and I wanted people to hear it, so eventually I put it out. And then I thought I just wanna hang out with my kid, you know. And that was the only real thought for a long time.”
Dido’s return has been as much of a surprise to her as it will be to her fans. “To be honest, this album was almost accidental. I woke up one morning and thought I just want to work with my brother, Rollo. It’s why I got into this in the first place. We’re great together, I enjoy the company and we are so in sync. And in between having a lovely time hanging out with his family and walking the dogs, talking about music and the world, this album just sort of happened.”