Singer Låpsley backs Labour using song ‘Better Times’ during election campaign: ‘Things couldn’t get worse’

Song shares similiarities with D:Ream’s ‘Things Can Only Get Better’, which soundtracked Tony Blair’s 1997 victory

Roisin O'Connor
Friday 31 May 2024 15:19 BST
Has Labour soft-launched its next election campaign song?

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Louise Thomas

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Singer Låpsley has welcomed the use of her song before and after Keir Starmer’s first major campaign speech this week.

The Labour leader walked on to the sound of “Better Times” by Låpsley and KC Lights, which was also heard before and after shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves’ speech on Monday 27 May.

It was all the more notable due to the thematic similarities between “Better Times” and “Things Can Only Get Better” by D:Ream, which soundtracked Tony Blair to victory in 1997.

With a summery, upbeat house vibe, the lyrics to “Better Times” speak of moving “through the dark times” and “to the new light”.

The York-born Låpsley, real name Holly Fletcher, told The Independent that the song, originally released in 2022, came out of an afternoon session with her longtime collaborator KC Lights, who created the instrumental while Lapsley added the top line, lyrics and vocals.

“It was kind of a song for the new year, [when] it felt like we should have something to listen to on the radio,” she said. “It’s one of my favourite collaborations that I’ve done.”

Pop singer Lapsley
Pop singer Lapsley (Press/Guy Bolingaro)

Låpsley also said that she is a member of the Labour Party and supported them in the last election, so would be happy if they decided to ask her to use the track as their official campaign song.

“I’m also supporting them in this election, so [them using the song] aligns with my values,” she said.

“As a writer, lyrics are at the centre of my world and I always see them as a vehicle for people to put their own stories and agenda to, and this is unequivocally a positive agenda.

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“I do feel like things... couldn’t get worse. I’m pro [Starmer] and pro Labour in this election, and I think a song can be a really powerful tool in politics, so I’m happy [that it’s featured in Labour’s campaigning].”

Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer (Stefan Rousseau/PA)
Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer (Stefan Rousseau/PA) (PA Wire)

Asked for her view on the Conservatives’ governing of the UK, Låpsley said she felt as though, as a young person, she had been taken into consideration in the last 10 years.

“That’s definitely brought me closer to the Labour Party,” she said. “The arts is a big one, the complete lack of funding. A lot of the opportunities available to me when I was younger, the ways in which I was able to access the music industry, all of those have been taken away.”

She added that Brexit had made it “a lot harder” to tour around Europe and also made it more difficult for crew members such as sound and lighting technicians.

The Independent understands that Labour are still using a range of different music at their events and have yet to land on an official campaign song.

Earlier, “Things Can Only Get Better” reached the top 10 of the iTunes chart within a day of anti-Brexit campaigner Steven Bray’s decision to play it outside Downing Street last week.

“I thought about what would be the best trolling tune if [Sunak] announced the election,” he explained. “And of course, it had to be ‘Things Can Only Get Better’. Because everybody can relate to that and the 1997 election.”

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