On her third studio album, All That’s Left, folk-pop singer-songwriter Michelle Lewis explores the far edges of joy and sadness. It’s a personal history served through loss and love. As she’s grown as a songwriter so too has her ability to elevate a detail from anecdote to allegory. All That’s Left is an intense collection of ten tracks; a journey in transformation from regret to compassion. As she mourns loss, celebrates love, and confronts guilt, the album weaves an emotional journey, conveyed in vivid flashes of sorrow and garnished with comic turns of forbearance.
Michelle wrote this album with her ears open. ‘Scars’ explores a life story she learned about her grandmother only after losing her. Lyrics on ‘Please Don’t Go’ were words of comfort overheard during another period of great pain. “Sometimes the songs are already written, you just have to listen,” she said.
Interestingly, the album features a cover of ‘Dancing In The Dark’. “Years ago a friend gave me a copy of Nebraska. When I heard that album I realized that although Bruce Springsteen had been in front of a rock band for years, he’s really a folk singer,” she said. “His songs are so relatable and heart wrenching.”
The album’s first single, ‘Push On’, is a duet co-written with Nashville singer-songwriter Robby Hecht. The song shares a timely message of determination, delivered in Michelle’s plaintive vocal style, both heart-warming and heartbreaking. “There are times in everyone’s life when we feel like we can’t go on, whether it’s physically, mentally, or both. ’Push On’ is about overcoming those everyday and long-term struggles we all have,” said Michelle.
All That’s Left is a continuation of Michelle’s long-term collaboration with the production team of Anthony J. Resta (Duran Duran) and Karyadi Sutedja. Featured cello is played by Cameron Stone (Game of Thrones) and piano by Ruslan Sirota (Josh Groban).
“There are sad songs, and uplifting songs. But more sad songs,” she says. “For me, music is always more interesting the deeper you dig emotionally. My passion and my love is more centered in those sad, melancholy songs.”
If that sounds like a lot of despair, it isn’t. The sad songs leave you smiling. Her joyful songs leave you in tears. Yes, there is hardship and tragedy. No, Michelle Lewis is not depressed. As an artist, she lives for the paradox of the uplifting lament. Her sorrow is always a totem for love. Your tears flow for the strength of the bond not the pain of the fracture. This duality makes hers such a fascinating voice.
More polished than folk and more personal than pop, Michelle writes intensely visual songs with a gut punch of emotion. As a storyteller, she explores life’s defining moments, juggling the immediacy of first-hand experience with the serenity of emotional wisdom. Her lyrics find beauty in sadness; her music is rich with melody. Intimate folk lyrics wash over a whirlpool of lush production. Much of her catalogue interprets the events in her life, just don’t ask her who or when or why. But she’s always listening.
Hypnotic finger-style guitar melodies give away her Berklee College of Music education. Her fingers move swiftly and lightly over the guitar, an exacting technique applying all five fingers to plucking patterns that build immersive melodies. Her live shows contain an astonishing lack of strumming.
Michelle tours globally from her current home in Los Angeles, softly singing her heart out from Belgium to Wyoming. This autumn she’ll tour her new full-length album, All That’s Left, through Europe and the US. She has been a regular at Hotel Cafe in Los Angeles, and just across the river from her long-time home in Boston at Club Passim.
Michelle’s first full-length album release, This Time Around, arrived in 2004. She has been a long-time collaborator with producer Anthony J. Resta (Elton John, Duran Duran, Shawn Mullins), spanning their work on her EPs Broken (2009) and Paris (2011), her second full-length album, The Parts Of Us That Still Remain (2014), and her forthcoming album All That’s Left (2018).
Michelle Lewis · UK/European Tour · September 2018
Wed 5 Billericay House Concert @ The Rectory
Thu 6 Queensbury, Bradford Black Dyke Mills
Fri 7 Sheffield Nether Edge Bowling Club
Sat 8 Appleby Magna, Leics. Sir John Moore Foundation
Sun 9 Twickenham The Cabbage Patch Pub
Tue 11 Haarlem, Netherlands Café Lokaal
Wed 12 Ede, Netherlands Donkers House Concert
Thu 13 Gemert, Netherlands De Bunker
Fri 14 Antwerp, Belgium Simone’s Kitchen
Sat 15 Solingen, Germany Private House Concert
Sun 16 Bonn, Germany Tannenbusch House
Tue 18 Norderstedt, Germany Music Star
Wed 19 Kiel, Germany Private House Concert
Thu 20 Kiel, Germany Prinz Willy
Fri 21 Lübeck, Germany Tonfink
Sat 22 Luckenwalde, Germany Kulturzentrum Altes E-Werk
Tue 25 Halle, Germany Café Ludwig
Wed 26 Gefrees, Germany Konzertscheune @ Casa Cara
Thu 27 Langenhennersdorf, Germany Kirche Langenhennersdorf
Fri 28 Dresden, Germany Tante Ju
Sat 29 Olbernhau, Germany Gasthof Dittmannsdorf
Sun 30 Chemnitz, Germany Gaststätte EigenARTig