U.K. rock singer readies new EP
Out U.K. rock singer and songwriter Susie Wilkins is turning up the volume on her sound with the release of her new EP, “She Got Me Good.”
The London-based artist departed from the laidback folk sound of her previous releases for a more raw and electric vibe.
“My last record wound up sounding the way that it did because I did a lot of it myself,” she said. “I recorded all the instruments myself in my home studio and it was very introspective. This time around, I wanted to get out of my studio and get back to playing with other human beings. I wanted to put something out that was more uplifting and upbeat, and also get back to where I started when I first started playing. It was all about playing live and playing with musicians, and I wanted to capture that.”
One of the songs on the EP, “To Be Afraid,” was originally written for Wilkins’ wife but she said over the last year the song’s message of hope and defiance has been directed more towards her LGBT friends on both sides of the Atlantic.
“I try not to get too negative but it feels like dark times are everywhere at the moment,” she said. “I suppose that a lot of my LGBT friends in the states are very uneasy and this songs seems to really resonate. Politically, the atmosphere in the U.K. … We’ve got the whole Brexit thing going over here and the rise of ultra-nationalism and right-wing thought. I feel like this is an important time for us to be more open and vocal and fight back in whatever way we can. The song takes on a new meaning in terms of saying, ‘Life is too short to be afraid.’ We’ve still got to be who we are and love who we love and be open. That’s the best kind of protest.”
Wilkins said that the state of the music scene in the U.K. has some unfortunate similarities to the states’ as well.
“Over here it’s dominated by overproduced pop,” she said. “I love pop music but it feels like there’s a lack of soulfulness everywhere at the moment. Musically, this is my reaction against that. I feel like the scene is broader over in the states than it is in the U.K. I can’t turn on the radio without every station you turn to being pop.”
Still, Wilkins hopes to be performing songs off the new EP stateside in the foreseeable future.
“I’m hoping I can come over to the states at some point and do some shows,” she said. “I would love to record more. I put out an EP instead of an album for budgetary reasons more than anything else. It was a practical instead of creative decision but I would love to get back into the studio and write the rest of the record as soon as I’m able to.”
“She Got Me Good” comes out Oct. 20. For more information, visit www.susiewilkins.com.
Singer celebrates his independence with new single
After splitting with his record label two years ago, out Washington, D.C.- based singer Billy Winn is back with his first single, “Crash,” which will be available online Oct. 20.
The new single ventures into a darker and more mature synthpop direction than Winn’s previous efforts, exploring the complex feelings that can arise when hookups and other romantic and carnal entanglements are just the click and swipe of a smartphone app away.
“It’s about situations I’ve experienced throughout my dating life,” Winn said. “It’s something I experienced a lot as a teenager getting into situations that I wanted to be in relationships. As a gay teenager, I didn’t have anyone to guide me on relationships and the do’s and don’ts. The song comes to that place of trying to get something emotional from someone and using sex to get what you think you want emotionally. Growing out of my teen years into adulthood, it’s easier to spot and it’s the thing that inspired the song. In this age of app dating, it’s easy to get into a situation that is based on lust and it’s shocking when the feelings start to evolve into something deeper.”
Winn said the change in tone and complexity exemplified in “Crash” gives listeners an idea of the directions in which his songwriting will be headed now that he’s an independent artist and calling more of the shots.
“I’m back in the same situation I was in before, being an independent recording artist, promoting and marketing myself and my records,” he said. “I was supposed to be just a pop artist. The music that I make spans a lot of genres. It just depends on how I’m feeling on a particular song or a particular idea that hits me. They wanted me to sound more EDM or more R&B or more straight-up pop. With ‘Crash,’ I was in a place where I wanted to do something other than dance records but I wasn’t done with electronic music, which is still where I am right now. I consider myself to be a pop artist and then the direction of the music depends on who I’m working with, how I’m feeling and what I want to say.”
Winn said he hopes to release more music in 2018.
“An EP is going to follow this single,” he said. “I’ve been recording since midsummer, working with some new producers and getting some great stuff together.”
Billy Winn’s new single, “Crash,” will be available Oct. 20. For more information, visit https://billywinn.com/.