With first full-length English-language album, In The Wake, Welsh artist Al Lewis was nominated for the inaugural Welsh Music prize. Having set the bar so high for himself, he decamped to Nashville, Tennessee, to the studio of Charlie Peacock (The Civil Wars, Switchfoot). There, Battles was born, a beautiful, reflection on the meaning of life, the universe and everything. With Lewis’s soft, subtly-nuanced vocal, country-tinged harmonies courtesy of Paper Aeroplanes’ Sarah Howells, delicate guitar work and deceptively catchy melodies, Battles is a silent assassin – a seemingly unobtrusive friend that, on repeated listens, will slide a gentle knife into your heart.
Hello, please introduce yourself and your music to the uninitiated.
Hi – I’m Al Lewis – singer/songwriter from Wales. My music is a blend of folk and pop with hints of all sorts of other stuff mixed in there. I’m a fan of the old-school singer/songwriters of the 70’s and am trying my best to emulate them!!
Tell us a bit about your latest release.
Battles is my second LP in English – following on from In the Wake. The album talks about the passage of time, life’s trials and tribulations and one’s endless search for fulfilment. It was recorded with Charlie Peacock out in Nashville (he produced the Civil Wars’ album Barton Hollow)
What was your best ever gig?
Supporting Cerys Matthews and being asked to sing ‘Road Rage’ with her at the end of her encore!
What’s the worst thing about being a musician?
The endless driving…!
What inspires you?
Life, love, friendships, family…
If you won a billion pounds what would you do with it?
Give most of it away to various charities and then use the rest to set up a music label in Wales and build my own studio.
Which of your songs is your favourite and why?
‘Blackbird & the Magpie’ – kind of sums up how I feel most days!
What are you plans for the future?
I’ll be touring in Spring 2013 to help promote the release of Battles on CD.
Finally, we’re always looking to expand our musical horizons. Do you have any recommendations of bands or artists we should be looking out for?
Greta Isaac – Young female singer/songwriter from Wales – she’s great.
Catch Al Lewis on the following dates:
Wed 23rd: Basingstoke – Anvil
Thu 24th: Milton Keynes – The Stables
Fri 25th: Gateshead – The Sage 2
Sun 27th: Leeds – City Varieties
Mon 28th: Bristol – St Georges
Tue 29th: Nottingham – Glee
Wed 30th: Birmingham – Glee
Thu 31st: Kingston – Rose Theatre
Fri 1st: Brighton – Corn Exchange
Sun 3rd: Exeter – Corn Exchange
Mon 4th: Salford – Quays Theatre