Having cut her teeth as a young teen on the open Club Stage at Cambridge Folk Festival a few years back, Zoe Wren has advanced her writing skills to the point that she won a financial bursary for her forthcoming 2nd EP Gold and Smoke from PRS Foundation and her delivery attracted the attention of legendary Ralph McTell, for whom she opened the show at the Cambridge Corn Exchange at the end of 2017. This Old Hat is the second single from the EP and is being released on 2nd February.
All the tracks on the EP including this one have been recorded by Lauren Deakin Davies and are being released on Folkstock Records on 3rd March. The intimate launch gig for the EP, which will be the first place where the EP will be available to buy, is 7th February in the basement of the wonderful Green Note in Camden.
Talking about her new EP she said: “It’s probably a bit of an odd thing to say as a singer-songwriter, but my EP was partly inspired by my university dissertation. It was called ‘voicing the unsung experiences of women in contemporary folksong’ and it got me thinking a lot about not only how gender is portrayed in traditional folk music, but also what that means for contemporary female singer-songwriters. Some of the songs on the EP explore women’s voices, others just voices and personas in general, but each of the original songs retells a story from a traditional folk song in some way. I recorded all the tracks with Folkstock’s award-winning producer Lauren Deakin Davies in her studio The Den, Lauren also produced by first EP Pandora’s Box, and again, we had a blast. Recording with Lauren is always a creative process because she’s also a multi-instrumentalist (I think we figured out we play 7 or 8 instruments between us!) and she is full of ideas of how to add interesting parts to my songs. It was also great to work on this project with a female producer – still a bit of a rarity in the industry, unfortunately – and we had some interesting chats about the themes along the way.”
She went on to explain how she found the lyrics for ‘When This Old Hat Was New’ in the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library at Cecil Sharp House while doing some very early research for her dissertation. “I’d not heard of it before, but the words grabbed me straight away. This is the only original in the EP where I took the words from directly from the traditional song because I thought they had a wonderful archaic poetry to them. It’s a jaunty but nostalgic song that reminisces about the ‘good old days’, and I tried to match the atmospheric lyrics with the music that I set it to, which mixes two different minor modes and some stark key changes.”
Find out more here: www.zoewren.com