You signed to Atlantic in 2011... what was it like finally releasing the album after so long working on it?

"I didn't realise how emotional it would be until the night before the album came out and I couldn't even talk without crying, which is a bit ridiculous! I just had to get it all out and I was fine. I didn't realise how much it meant to me, but on the release day I was like 'whoa, this is everything I've been working towards for a very long time...'"

Did much material survive from your earlier EPs?

"Some has, yeah. It sort of evolved as I did over the years..."

You were signed at 18, weren't you?

"I was. It's a really important time in everybody's lives, and I think being signed at that age was exciting, but also overwhelming. As much as I wanted to do everything at once, I knew I just needed time to chill, take it all in, and get back down to reality, and then work towards this thing that could live forever. It's a lot of responsibility making something that will be around for a long time. Weirdly that, and the time it took to make the album, became the whole concept of the album. It became a documentation of that time and those years I spent making it, and me growing up, figuring out who I am."

So it's fairly personal?

"I've never really explored writing from outside of my very selfish mind! I had so much to explore of my own experience on the album that I didn't have time to get into other things, but I'm excited about writing again now and potentially doing just that. I'm excited to develop that side of me, either writing with or for other people... it's such a vast area, and there's no real wrong or right way to do it, and I feel now that the door is open."

Do you feel the length of time it took helped Unguarded sound the way it does now, or was it frustrating to have to keep stopping and starting for various other things?

"It was fairly frustrating I guess, but only because I was very driven to make sure it was perfect. My own pressures to make sure that it was good enough. In the end, the time it took was worthwhile because the songs I wrote in that last bit of recording, like "Under The Shadows" and "Morne Fortune", probably wouldn't have made it onto the album otherwise. They're relevant pieces of my puzzle, and they needed to be there.

Has it been a relief to see the good reviews pour in after such a long time making it perfect?

"It's so crazy. I didn't really read any reviews as I didn't wanna let that be a part of it, but I think generally the reaction by friends and family and other musicians, that's been the thing that's got me the most. I'm glad people like it."

Do you reckon the next one will take as many years?

"I don't think I'll be allowed to!"

What are your plans now? You've been announced for loads of festivals over the summer...

"Yeah! There's a couple I'm really excited about like Bestival... I have to think of a good outfit..."

You're doing Dot To Dot and Love Saves The Day later this month as well?

"I love Dot To Dot. It's just Nottingham and Manchester this year [due to the conflict with Love Saves The Day], but I played The Louisiana in Bristol before too."

Do you have any other plans for the summer? Anyone you want to work with?

"There's loads of really cool people! I'd love to work with someone who's very electronic. I'm really excited about Lapsley, I'd love to work with her, I think she's awesome. Hopefully some more with Fryars..."

Have you got any words about the edit of "Love Again" by Everything Everything?

"I'm a huge fan of [them]. It's such a pleasure for me to sit back and enjoy their super creative ideas. "Love Again" has taken on a new life in this remix - I love hearing the reworking of my vocal melodies, and the whole thing is suddenly darker and more emotional."

Stream the "Love Again" remix below. The single is out today; Unguarded is out now on Atlantic.