Arwen Lewis Releases EP
The new EP “Under the Stars” is a stunning collection of folk and Americana tracks that showcase Arwen Lewis’s hauntingly beautiful voice and songwriting skills. With influences ranging from Joni Mitchell to her father Peter Lewis of Moby Grape fame, Lewis has crafted a record that explores the vastness of the universe and our place within it, and the influences are boldly worn like a heart on the EP’s sleeve.
The first track on the project is a pitch-perfect cover of Jackson Browne’s “Doctor My Eyes.” Lewis’ rendition is both faithful and unique, with her delicate vocals adding a new dimension to the classic track. She follows up with her take on Joni Mitchell’s “I Think I Understand,” which showcases her ability to make a song her own while staying true to the original’s emotive quality. But it’s Lewis’ original compositions that truly shine on this EP. “Winter” is a standout track, with its sparse instrumentation and melancholic lyrics painting a picture of a cold, lonely night. The alternate take of “Winter” features a new arrangement with piano at the forefront of the instrumentation, giving the song a different feel and highlighting Lewis’ versatility as a songwriter.
“Man on the Moon” is another standout track, with Lewis’ sweet, crystal clear vocals weaving in and out of the layered instrumentation. The song’s lyrics explore the idea of longing and searching for something that may never be found, a theme that recurs throughout the EP. Lewis also pays tribute to her father with a cover of his song “Black Moon,” bringing a country music focus to the track that gives it a new life. The EP closes with the aforementioned alternate take of “Winter,” a gentle and haunting conclusion to an impressive collection of songs, and it’s a great piece of the tapestry that makes Lewis a talented musical force.
Throughout “Under the Stars,” Lewis’ voice is the star of the show. Her vocals are reminiscent of modern folk singers like Fleet Foxes’ Robin Pecknold and The Staves’ Emily Staveley-Taylor, but with a unique quality that sets her apart. Her songwriting is also quite impressive, with her lyrics exploring the depths of the universe and the human condition simultaneously.
In terms of comparisons to other modern Americana and folk artists, Lewis’ sound could be likened to that of The National, with her use of layered instrumentation and introspective lyrics. And like Ethel Cain, Lewis’ ability to seamlessly move between genres and create music that is both timeless and modern is truly impressive, but while Lewis draws inspiration from a variety of sources, there’s no denying that her sound is entirely her own.
“Under the Stars” is a testament to her talent as a singer-songwriter and her ability to craft songs that are both emotionally resonant and musically compelling. It’s a record that rewards repeated listens, with each track revealing new layers and nuances upon closer inspection. Overall, Arwen Lewis’ “Under the Stars” is a must-listen for fans of folk and Americana music and a sign that Lewis is a rising talent to watch in the singer-songwriter world.
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