Run­ning away to find her­self

Bri­tish singer Lu­cie Sil­vas dis­cov­ers in­de­pen­dence, au­then­tic­ity in Nashville

Calgary Herald - - YOU - KRISTIN M. HALL

NASHVILLE Bri­tish singer-song­writer Lu­cie Sil­vas started her ca­reer with a suc­cess­ful ma­jor la­bel de­but in the United King­dom and writ­ing songs for other Bri­tish pop acts. Af­ter cross­ing the At­lantic for Nashville, she’s found her voice again as a skilled and in­de­pen­dent retro pop stylist.

Sil­vas, born in the U.K. but raised in New Zealand, said that af­ter the sec­ond record came out in the U.K. in 2006, she was al­ready feel­ing like she was mov­ing in a dif­fer­ent di­rec­tion from her mu­sic la­bel. She found a new mu­si­cal com­mu­nity in Nashville, where she’s been wel­comed by the city’s song­writ­ers and artists.

“It felt like run­ning away at first,” Sil­vas said. “What I found that I had ei­ther missed or wasn’t find­ing in the U.K. at that time was just a mu­si­cal com­mu­nity, or a feel­ing I could get back to writ­ing and just singing songs with­out feel­ing like I had to be some­thing, that I had to be on a par­tic­u­lar path.”

Even as a non-coun­try artist with­out the back­ing of a ma­jor la­bel, she’s been open­ing for coun­try artists Chris Sta­ple­ton, Lit­tle Big Town and Mi­randa Lam­bert. E.G.O. is the sec­ond record she’s put out since mov­ing to Nashville, and she ex­plores pop mu­sic’s soul and rock ori­gins with lyrics crafted as a sea­soned sto­ry­teller.

“I love all things ’70s,” Sil­vas said dur­ing a re­cent in­ter­view at H. Au­drey, a cloth­ing bou­tique owned by Holly Wil­liams, grand­daugh­ter of coun­try icon Hank Wil­liams. “With the al­bum, I wanted to bring some­thing like that in. But I don’t want to be so throw­back that it doesn’t feel new and new to me and new to any­one else.”

Sil­vas teamed up with long­time friend and Bri­tish pro­duc­er­writer-artist Jon Green (James Bay, Kylie Minogue) to draw on var­i­ous mu­si­cal in­spi­ra­tions, in­clud­ing Mo­town, The Beach Boys and Bon­nie Raitt. But Nashville song­writ­ers and mu­si­cians are also all over this record, in­clud­ing ac­claimed ses­sion gui­tarist Derek Wells, hit coun­try song­writer Natalie Hemby and her hus­band, John Os­borne of the coun­try duo Broth­ers Os­borne.

“With E.G.O. sud­denly I was at a point where I am still in­de­pen­dent and I’ve toured with th­ese amaz­ing coun­try artists,” Sil­vas said.

“Who is it that I am? Who is it that I’m hap­pi­est be­ing? I’ve got a lot of things that I want to draw from, but I want to do some­thing that is truly unique to me. I don’t want to worry too much about where this places me be­cause I just want to go in and record songs I love.”

The ti­tle track, which stands for Ev­ery­body Gets Off, is an “anti-pop pop song,” Sil­vas said. It’s a tonguein-cheek take­down of celebrity cul­ture in the age of so­cial me­dia.

“It’s be­come so con­vo­luted hav­ing your nor­mal life on so­cial me­dia and it’s really both­ered me for a long time and yet I’m com­pletely part of it,” Sil­vas said. “Be­cause there are days when you feel like you’re in­vis­i­ble if you’re not post­ing some­thing or you’re not be­ing seen. That’s a real prob­lem.”

Sim­i­larly she ad­dresses the pres­sures of liv­ing up to un­real ex­pec­ta­tions, espe­cially for women, on the song Black Jeans, a Fleet­wood Mac-in­spired dreamy rock bal­lad with har­mony vo­cals.

The al­bum’s opener, Kite, sets the tone for Sil­vas’ new chap­ter with a foot-stomp­ing track about a wo­man who can’t be teth­ered by any man. “I feel like that in­de­pen­dent wo­man a lot of the time be­cause of the cir­cum­stances I find my­self in mu­si­cally,” Sil­vas said. “I feel like I’ve got a great, small team around me that is able to part­ner with great peo­ple just to put this mu­sic out on our own terms.”

Lu­cie Sil­vas

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