Thrust into fame with a bang a few years back, Clare Maguire struggled with success. Now she has her life back on track and is putting her true self at the heart of her music.

With comparisons to Annie Lennox and Stevie Nicks, Maguire was tipped as the next big thing back in 2011 when she made the BBC’s Sound Of… list and was singled out as one of MTV’s Brand New acts.

Her debut album Light After Dark peaked at number seven in February of that year but things took a turn for the worse.

She said: “I don't think I even fully understood at the time just how much pressure it was. That whole couple of years between getting signed and making that first record was such a whirlwind and so intense, there was pressure from every angle in my life. 

“I didn't fully engage properly with it as I was quite numb to everything that was going on. My coping mechanism was to just run away from it all in myself.”

She added: “I was already holding a lot in growing up, always very on edge and I was always a very manic person, so would do extreme things, like a lot of risk taking in everything I did.

“When I got signed, I suddenly had access to more than ten quid a week to drink with. The only thing I ended up spending money on was rent and drinking, I wasn't even buying clothes or anything. I didn't care. It all went on alcohol.”

A stint in rehab helped Claire get her life back on track and she gradually started to release new music. Her new album Stranger Things Have Happened is out Friday and she plays Banquet Records in Kingston on Tuesday.

She said: “Music definitely helped me feel again. I was so numb for so long, so when I started to feel something again it was a big moment for me.

“For about five years I was in the heaviness of addiction and was completely numb. Everything was very grey, I don't remember any colour, so the feeling of seeing colour again was amazing.”

Clare Maguire plays Banquet Records in Kingston on Tuesday, May 31. Go to Her album Stranger Things Have Happened is out Friday (May 27).

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