This week, Welsh singer-songwriter Danielle Lewis releases her new EP ‘Fly,’ a release which will be followed by a wave of growing opportunities as she performs at BBC’s Maida Vale studio over the weekend and on Monday makes an appearance on the Welsh nightly magazine series Heno on S4C.
Talking of her EP, she revealed: ‘Fly explores the depth of my writing and spectrum of my voice. These songs are a window into growing up on the Welsh West Coast, travelling and evolving as an artist and young woman. I wanted the songs to hold a more mature and organic sound within the songwriting.’
Her name has become familiar to many in Wales and the year ahead looks set to spread her music beyond the Welsh borders following her invitation onto the BBC Wales’ Emerging Talent Horizons Project for 2016. ‘Horizons/ Gorwelion is a scheme delivered by BBC Cymru Wales in partnership with Arts Council Wales to develop new, independent contemporary music in Wales. They have this to say about Danielle:
There is an invigorating, fresh purity to Danielle Lewis’ music. Her wonderfully clear voice sounds as effortless and uncontrived as Karen Carpenter’s sounds… her songs are timeless folk pop songs that have the potential to appeal across generations, with a similar melodic nouse to Taylor Swift or Lucy Rose.
Listen to the EP in full below and read Danielle’s ‘track-by-track’ introduction.
Track by Track
‘I co-wrote West Coast Sun with Richard Llewellyn from Welsh Alt Folk duo Paper Aeroplanes. I wanted to write a song that could connect my memories of growing up on the Welsh coast to temporarily living on the East Coast of Australia describing genuine stories. I enjoyed exploring unusual rhythms and the exotic beat drives the song contrasting with the nostalgic, bittersweet tone of the chorus. The multi-layered texture keeps a relaxing peace throughout the song inspired by ‘The Beach Boys.’
‘Along This Time is definitely the love song of the EP which was co-written with Richard. I really enjoyed building the body of this song with stunning producer Lauren Deakin-Davies. Richards more traditional folk picking is perfectly matched with the dreamy electric guitar tones that grow to the conclusion of the song with a timeless feel from the distortion inspired by the young, graceful tones of Billie Marten’.
‘The lyrics in Fly describes a bird on a journey. The bird is a reflection of myself as an artist striving to reach my goals, stay hopeful and not to become complacent. I recorded ‘Fly’ in one live take in the studio to keep the raw, floating poignancy of the song. We kept the production light to enhance the purity of the vocals. Eva Cassidy was my inspiration around this song’.
‘Belong is a song I love to play live. I wrote this song in 30 minutes while sitting in a scorching backyard in Australia whilst touring there for eight months in 2012. The song is about being away from home my experiences living in a new country. To ‘know where I belong’ comes from not being in one place but exploring and discovering new places and music, also to be happy where I am now and make the most of it. In production, I wanted to add a sprinkle of the sunny 70’s sound with the vintage Danelectro electric guitar inspired by Joni Mitchell’s ‘California.’
‘Anywhere is Home came about from listening to Jack Johnson’s warming song ‘I Got You’ one afternoon at home in New Quay which made me reminisce about my experiences of touring & performing across Australia at the age of 19 to moving from my childhood home on the West Wales coast to the big city lights of Cardiff to pursue my music career. There’s a sense of exploration and anticipation in the verses about keeping positive following your dreams and ‘always do what you love,’ from that good things will come. The tone of longing in the title hook ‘Anywhere is home’ is the pinnacle of the song bringing home the message, that no matter where we are it’s not the place or things that make a home but it’s the people we surround ourselves with along the journey.’ The track was produced by Gethin John.
‘Hiraeth translates to longing or being homesick. This was a very close and exciting new piece to write, not only to be writing it in my home language but to also be singing it in my pure classical voice that’s come naturally home while travelling. The acapella vocal at the beginning almost feels like an angelic prayer and bringing in the fluttering folk guitar accompaniment adds even more to the sentiment’since I was a child. The chorus describes being ‘lost at sea’ portraying how I felt being away and missing.
Fly is released on November 9th via Folkstock Records
Order it here: folkstockrecords.bandcamp.com/album/danielle-lewis-fly