Bev Lee Harling returns with Beautiful Life, the second single to be taken from her first solo album in almost a decade. Having won the hearts and musical minds of DJs across the board with her 2012 debut LP, Barefoot In Your Kitchen, which BBC 6Music's Gilles Peterson made his Album of the Week, this gifted singer, violinist and composer delivers a love letter to those who have had huge influence in her musical world.
As Bev explains:
"This is an unapologetically gushing love song for my sister, my inspiration, my mentor, Ali. It's also a celebration of the legacy of music and the importance it plays in all our lives. Apart from me and my sister, no one else in the family plays music. If she hadn't been spellbound by the playing of a violin teacher that came to her school when she was little and insisted on having lessons, then neither of us might have ended up with our careers in music.
This is also a homage to that teacher, who inspired and taught both of us and is a family friend now. Growing up in a household filled with music from my sister and creativity from my mum was a joy and this song holds special musical memories of mine. As music and the arts have been systematically dismantled from our schools in the last twenty years, this is my plea for us to not forget how fundamental music is to us all.
When I wrote this song, I created the vocals and violin arrangement first as it was important for me to nail the strings as a nod of respect to my sister.""
And nail them she does! Beautiful Life is, in some ways, one of the most simple songs in the new batch, but it's also without a doubt one of the most immediate. It's uplifting mood and extremely catchy hook make it just the tonic we all need in this most challenging of years.
Having swapped the busy streets of North London for the calmer shores of Hastings in Sussex to bring up her young family, it's fair to say that Bev's priorities might have changed somewhat over the past few years, but the music was never far away. Her new environment, and musical family (including multi-talented partner Frank Moon) added plenty of fresh inspiration to her recordings, and we're very excited to share her new album, entitled Little Anchor, with you this Autumn.
The album is in some senses a travelogue, a 9 year journey of a creative woman navigating the landscape of parenting. Each song is a snapshot taken at a different location in time, in a world where finding balance between creative freedom and motherhood is still a struggle. Between the unexpected joys of parenting, grapples with mental health and feelings of inadequacy, and fighting for every second of creative time while slowly accepting a life very different to the one that existed before, this unedited family album emerged bursting with quirky childhood memories, dark musings and celebrations of musical passion and legacy.
Enjoy this next foray into the always unpredictable, experimental and playful world of Bev Lee Harling.