Andy Howells picks a further clutch of new and forthcoming releases (all produced by Welsh artists), each with a story behind the tracks!
Danielle Lewis – My Youth
Welsh singer/songwriter Danielle Lewis new single My Youth reflects on coming-of-age and the myriad of emotions that come together with growing up.
Danielle says: “My Youth was written from a sense of feeling adrift and floating through life, particularly in my younger years.’ The lyrics touch upon accepting a part of my youth and allowing the waves of emotion to flow through without judgement.”
The songs subtle arrangements leave the floor open for the Welsh songwriter to bring gravity and sincerity in spades with her poignant lyricism and captivatingly hushed vocals. Danielle wanted the production of this release to be understated to enable the track to envelop the same emotions as her lyricism ‘I wanted the simplicity of the production to feel sorrowful yet grow in optimism while searching for a place of self-acceptance’ she says.
Written by Danielle Lewis and produced by Secondson (who also contributes acoustic guitar, bass, percussion, piano, vibraphone here), the single also features drums by Lauren Morgan and both acoustic and electric guitar from TJ Roberts. ‘My Youth’ was recorded at Sail Loft Studios (Cardiff). Mixing & Mastering was contributed by Leon West at After Life Studios (Cardiff).
Andy Howells describes Danielle’s new release as “Reflective and honest, with a haunting vocal reminiscent of the spirit of early Judie Tzuke.”
Darren Parry – Summer of Love
After 15 months of lockdown in the UK and across many parts of the world, people must be eager for Summer, to get out, feel the sun on their skin, meet friends and family and start living life again.
Welsh multi-award-winning singer/songwriter Darren Parry, sums up these sentiments with his new single, Summer Of Love, a track co-written co-written with former Story’s frontman (and West-End lead in Jesus Christ Superstar), Steve Balsamo.
Darren explains “Steve and I have written several songs during lockdown (via Zoom) over the last year or so and we wanted this song to be upbeat, positive, feel good and have a summer vibe, a total antidote to what we’ve all been through with tough times over the last 15 months. We’re delighted that Summer of Love may be able to spread some positive vibes over the coming summer ahead via the airwaves”.
Andy Howells describes Summer of Love which features Darren on lead vocals, Steve providing harmonies and Al Steele on electric guitar/harmonies/drum programming/bass duties as “made in Wales and has all the punch-in-the-air summer vibe of classic Beach Boys harmonies and feelgood Eagles.”
Summer Of Love will be available everywhere on July 4th
Broken Fires – New Friends EP
BROKEN FIRES new EP New Friends, out on 2nd July via Phwoar & Peace records will be the band’s first extended-length release in over 5 years.
A song about putting yourself out of your comfort zone and the challenges that come with trying to find a new life and purpose, New Friends was initially written after Tom from Broken Fires first made the move from Wales to London.
“Thinking back to that time when I moved to this crazy city. I met some people who talked a lot of s**t and it took me a while to figure that out, and to figure out where I fit into things.” says Tom.
Vividly recalling the people, place and feelings of that time; the track has become synonymous in Tom’s mind with a cartoon by celebrated Glaswegian cartoonist David Shrigley that graced the wall of his then apartment.
“It’s an illustration of a group of cartoon characters with tiny legs and big circular faces.” remembers Tom. “All apart from this one who has a square face. The circular shaped guys pick him up, hold his corners up to an angle grinder and shape him into a circle just like them. Sometimes you meet new people you homogenise… or something profound like that. ”
New Friends was produced by Broken Fires’ own guitarist Justin Hendy (guitarist), with additional mixing by Matt Lederman and mastering by Ryan Morey. The EP also includes The Writer, Boundaries, plus the Steve Lamacq / BBC6 Music championed single Dreamer.
Tom explains: “We think the EP shows our full range as a band. Full of dreamy folk, epic endings with layered strings and harmonies and probably one of the most stripped back tracks we’ve ever written”
Andy Howells describes New Friends as “An air of Semisonic and Canned Heat fused with sun-kissed AO which is raw, melodic and beautiful.”
Broken Fires plan to release their sophomore album Hymns, later this Autumn.