Welsh Music Prize nominee Al Lewis crafts songs that are proudly, unapologetically old school, a fond throwback to a time when U.K. folk merged with crisp pop production, when songs like "Year of the Cat" and "Tea For the Tillerman" emanated from 70's college dorm rooms and car radios. The 28-year-old songwriter's third album Battles, out now digitally in the U.K. and due January 14 on CD, has already garnered praise for it's refined but refreshingly direct pleasures drawing on equal measures of artisan skill and heartfelt sincerity. In a stroke of luck, Lewis was able to travel 4000 miles to record his new songs with producer Charlie Peacock (The Civil Wars) at the helm, a pairing that brings the project a luxuriant acoustic atmosphere. Lewis is joined by another Wales native, Sarah Howells (of DC fave Paper Aeroplanes), on many of Battles' high points, assisting in the weaving of tight harmonies on songs like the eminently hooky "The Truth In Growing Old" and single "Treading Water".
Al Lewis - "The Truth In Growing Old" (from Battles)
Al Lewis - "Treading Water" (from Battles)
Al Lewis is a singer-songwriter from North Wales whose sound is reminiscent of the classic singer-songwriters of the 70s delivered with a modern twist.
It all began back in 2007 when Al released his first two singles and a Welsh language EP on his own label. In March that year Al co-wrote and performed the song Llosgi (Burning) on the televised 'Song For Wales' competition, winning the songwriters category and coming second overall. Al would then also go on to perform at the Wakestock Festival alongside Mark Ronson. In 2008 with the release of One Way Love Affair (EP), Al gained further exposure via plays on BBC 6 Music. In 2009 Al Lewis Band released their first Welsh Language album, spending several weeks at number one in the Welsh Language album charts. In the same year a new EP 'Skin & Bones' in collaboration with fellow Welsh compatriot, Paper Aeroplanes' Sarah Howells, was released. The EP created quite a stir amongst music critics and music lovers alike and paved the way for the writing and recording of 'In The Wake'.
At the beginning of 2011 Al was picked by Caffe Nero to be their Artist of the Month, performing in stores across the length and breadth of Britain during February and March.
This coincided with the official release of 'In the Wake' and led to the album entering the Amazon Top 10 Folk albums chart upon its release.
Gathering support and praise from eminent DJs such as Steve Lamacq and Bob Harris (BBC Radio 2 / 6music) tracks from the album would go-on to be aired on several stations across the country including - The Chris Evans Breakfast Show on BBC Radio 2. Filmed at the legendary Abbey Road Studios, Al also appeared on the TV series‚ Abbey Rd Debuts.
In April 2011 Al was announced as the winner of Male Artist of the Year by BBC Radio Cymru in their Rock and Pop Awards and was personally invited by Cerys Matthews to support her at her sell-out show at the PJ Hall in Bangor, North Wales where they performed the song 'Road Rage' together on stage.
A busy summer of touring followed including performances with Anais Mitchell, Kitty Daisy & Lewis and The Webb Sisters. The year culminated with Al performing a 12 date UK tour alongside Irish singer/songwriter Eleanor McEvoy, appearing at Swn Festival in Cardiff and being shortlisted for the inaugural Welsh Music Prize.
"constantly brilliant, luscious tunes and delicious harmonies‚ In the Wake is highly recommended" **** - Maverick Magazine
"an attractive, melodic collection of acoustic pop." - Q Magazine
"echoes the classic stylings of James Taylor or Al Stewart" - Uncut Magazine
"In the Wake is an exceptionally pretty album." - The 405