This celebration of hard-worn confidence is the last song Celeste wrote for her debut album. She explained to NME that she started writing "Not Your Muse" in the late 2010s, but "just couldn't fully get across what I really wanted to say."
Celeste tried writing it about five times in vain, but when the COVID lockdown was imposed, it gave her time to focus on finally completing this defiant song. She explained to Apple Music:
"I just surrendered to it and realized that there was something I hadn't experienced yet, which would reveal how I'd write it. I had become intrigued by the relationship between the artist and the muse, and the muse as this vessel. I would come up against different obstacles, [such as] people I was working with having a different expectation of me. They became the artist, where they had their idea of what they wanted me to exude and emit, but it didn't really align with the ideas I had within myself. And so that became an underlying thing in my periphery, which I think contributed to eventually being able to finish this song."
Celeste wrote the song with Simon Aldred. A frequent songwriting partner of Liam Gallagher, Aldred's other credits include Sam Smith's "Leave Your Lover" and Avicii's "Waiting for Love." Florence + The Machine collaborator Charlie Hugall produced the track.
This is the title track of Celeste's debut album. Initially, the record was supposed to be released in late 2020, but it was rescheduled because of the coronavirus pandemic. Celeste said: "Not Your Muse is the power I found when I felt powerless... In making this album I have allowed myself to arrive at a place where I feel empowered, fiercely wide-eyed and fulfilled."
She added: "The message I wanted for people to take from this project is the idea of trusting yourself to finally get to where you want to be."
Not Your Muse landed at #1 on the UK albums chart in its first week. Celeste became the first female British solo artist to top the tally with her debut album since Jess Glynne with Cry When I Laugh in November 2015.
Mike Campbell from Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers played the slide guitar on "Sixth Avenue Heartache." There is a connection here - Wallflowers lead singer Jakob's dad, Bob Dylan, played with Tom Petty in The Traveling Wilburys.