THE STORY...SO FAR...
NASHVILLE SONGWRITERS’ ASSOCIATION INTERNATIONAL ‘One To Watch’ Elaine Lennon won CREATIVE SCOTLAND support for her highly-anticipated AWARD-WINNING debut album. Strong and impactful it sets the stage for a musical career that many believe will stand the test of time.
When Elaine’s youngest of two children started school in 2018, she sat with her husband and worked out if creating music, her lifetime passion, was something she could now consider pursuing on a professional level.
With only one or two friends in the music scene and no experience in writing or performing professionally it was a daunting decision to leap into the unknown...yet with a strong desire to share her songs in the hope that they would connect with a wider audience, and that feeling deep inside that she ‘just could not NOT do this’ ...she took the chance and went 'all in'.
Lennon's eclectic musical taste stems from growing up listening to Eva Cassidy, The Carpenters, Jimi Hendrix, Nina Simone, Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, John Denver, Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers, along with the greats of Classical and Opera.
“I love when great melodies intertwine with stories that hook me in, leaving me wanting to listen over...songs that speak to me, make me laugh and cry, remind me of something dear, carry a powerful message...inspire me...songs that make me FEEL something - that are real and fearlessly from the heart” she says.
Winning comparisons to Lori McKenna, Beth Nielsen Chapman, Annie Lennox, Linda Ronstadt, Brandi Carlile, Carly Simon, Nina Simone, Adele and Carole King, this Glaswegian mum has created her own musical tapestry, linking her unique blend of old and new with her distinctive vocal and style.
She demonstrates a real talent to write in a way that flows through genres and effortlessly across timelines (as shown in her track 'In Songs We Live On'), her music connecting with people in ways few other things in this world can.
With regular airplay on BBC Radio, Elaine is building a solid fan-base for her own music and a reputation for working with high calibre artists, both in the writing room and on stage.
She also co-writes with artists including Award-Winning UK Country Duo 'Raintown' (Their co-written song 'My Whole World' will feature on Raintown's forthcoming album).
"On first hearing I was hooked immediately by both the quality of her music and her songwriting ability. Here is a lady who sings from the heart with real passion and who writes lyrics that you can both understand and associate with. One of my favourite female artistes is Beth Nielsen Chapman who I have followed for many years and admired. She writes about life with an extraordinary feeling and compassion, and Elaine Lennon does likewise - a sheer delight." - FATEA
CELTIC MUSIC RADIO'S 2020 "ALBUM OF THE YEAR' AND ELIGIBLE FOR THE 2020 'SAY' AWARD
"A delight from first track to the last" - FATEA
With well-respected contemporary Findlay Napier producing and Paul Savage engineering at his Chem19 Studios all of the magic on this debut album was captured with a cream-of-the-crop array of supporting musicians, including Patsy Reid on strings, Iain Sloan on pedal steel, Euan Burton on bass and Napier himself on guitars.
From the brooding darkness of ‘This’ to the uplifting ‘Little Bird Little Sailor’; from the heart-rending despair of ‘Alone Here With Me’ to the reassuring unconditional love of ‘By Your Side,’ this is a collection that provides a true and touching insight into the song-writer’s heart and mind.
Add to the tapestry the captivating love story ‘Next Friday Night’, the powerfully moving ballad ‘Only Love Can Break Your Heart’ with its beautiful language; the swagger of ‘Trouble’, the fresh originality of ‘Fear (Break-up Song)’ and the nostalgia of ‘In Songs We Live On’ (an artistic link of old and new where Elaine’s melody, lyrics and vocals have been masterfully blended with 1960s authentic jazz piano recordings of her uncle who had passed away before she was born) and this strong debut is bound to seal a strong future. Read more about the Story behind 'In Songs We Live On' here.
The album was launched at a SOLD OUT show at one of the largest winter music festivals CELTIC CONNECTIONS. Lennon later played a set at the Celtic Connections LATE NIGHT SESSIONS at another packed out show, sharing the lineup with the likes of legendary Scottish Singer-Songwriter Boo Hewerdine.
The album was Album of the Week on a number of radio shows including BBC RADIO SCOTLAND's THE IAIN ANDERSON SHOW, BBC Radio UlSTER'S 'THE LATE SHOW WITH EVE BLAIR' and Celtic Music Radio. Listen back to Elaine chatting about the inspiration behind her songs with Liz Clark on the 'Album of the Week Show'. The album also won Elaine the very first Celtic Music Radio ALBUM OF THE YEAR 2020.
"Elaine's debut album contains some of the most powerful and passionate lyrics I have heard in a long time. A lady who pours her heart out through her music and shares her dreams and love with her fans and listeners. The whole production is a delight from first track to the last. This is one of the best debut albums I have heard in years. Fabulous musicianship, powerful and thought provoking lyrics, all brought together with vocals that will give your heart quite a few tugs." - FATEA MAGAZINE
'This is a very impressive debut album from Elaine. The production and musicianship are wonderfully complementary tot he songs and bring out the very best in Elaine's music and voice. Really Lovely Stuff’ - BEN GLOVER
"Majestic - Lennon's vocals are tremendous. The songs stay with you for a long, long time after listening to the album" - MAVERICK
"You wouldn't know it was a debut album. Engaging and enthralling" - FOLKING.COM
"Gifted with a delicately beautiful voice, her sound embraces light soul, jazz and radio friendly pop" - LONESOME HIGHWAY
"Assured debut album taking Americana somewhere new" - UK AMERICANA
"This is a sophisticated assured debut from a singer who delivers brooding classic beauty" - NORTHERN SKY
"A stunning collection of material" - COUNTRY MUSIC AND DANCE
"Despite only deciding to turn professional in 2018, Lennon has produced across-the-board plaudits for her self-titled album, from which the beguilingly beautiful 'Only Love Can Break Your Heart' is taken. 'Next Friday Night' is a beautiful bittersweet love ballad that reflects her songwriting skills." - RnR MAGAZINE
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Elaine Lennon's music and writing has a powerfully transporting, ethereal nature to it, immersing and lifting the listener with compelling storytelling and sincere truth-telling.
'Rich in colour and full of flavour, with one of those rare voices that just sounds effortless and organic.'
AMERICANA UK - PAUL KERR
'Sublime. Lennon recalls some of the classic singer songwriters from the past with echoes of Janis Ian, Dory Previn and even Nina Simone hovering around.’
"What a great song-writer she is - I will be playing much more from this album"
"Incredible. There's an ease about her voice...it comes from the heart...both strong and fragile. It's real emotive story-telling. I really like it."
'Really lovely stuff''
"Majestic - Lennon's vocals are tremendous. The songs stay with you for a long, long time after listening to the album" - 4 Stars
'The subject matter is common but you found a new way of saying it. It’s very difficult to do what you did and make it sound effortless...unique, beautiful language'
Since her first live appearance in December 2018 and collecting a prestigious Celtic Connections DANNY KYLE AWARD to her CV, Elaine has matured into a performer who is being tipped by many of her peers as someone who has rightly earned “not to be missed” status.
The fearless honesty in her songwriting, her warmth and connection with her audience, positive work ethic, attitude of continuous learning and whole-hearted dedication would lead to her gaining respect of her peers, opening for Danny Schmidt and Ella Munro, performing double headliners with Grammy Winning Songwriter Michael Logen, Songwriters Rounds with writer of 5 US #1s Eric Paslay, opening for US Country star William Michael Morgan, being featured on the line-up at major UK festivals and, in January this year, self-releasing her debut album to a SOLD OUT crowd at Celtic Connections. She recently shared the bill at the Celtic Connections Late Night Sessions with the marvellous Boo Hewerdine.
Lennon is a regular on CELTIC MUSIC RADIO and BBC RADIO SCOTLAND, and has performed live on the special 'Best of Celtic Connections From Cottiers' edition of BBC Radio Scotland's 'The Afternoon Show with Janice Forsyth'. See below for links to key RADIO shows and PODCASTS Lennon has featured on.
Elaine has had the honour of sharing the stage with many outstanding artists including Findlay Napier, Eric Paslay, Michael Logen, David Latto, James Edwin, The Remedy Club, Jason McNiff, Lars Pluto, Katee Kross, Zoee, Simon James, Kezia Gill, Gasoline & Matches, Kevin McGuire, Scott Ashworth, Kate Kyle, Michael McMillan, Paul Dickson, Lockeland, Stevie O'Connor.
She has also opened for global acts including Danny Schmidt, Eric Paslay, Ella Munro, William Michael Morgan
Festivals in which Elaine has performed include:
Celtic Connections - 2019 and 2020
Glasgow Americana Festival 2019
Country2Country (Country on the Clyde)
Millport Country Music Festival - Solo Set + Organiser and Host of 'Artists Acoustic Jam' (Maverick Magazine)
Maidens of Music (Dumfries)
Glasgow Canal Festival (Live on Celtic Music Radio)
Venues Played include:
Bluebird Cafe (Nashville)
Royal Concert Hall (Glasgow)
The Beacon Arts Centre (Greenock)
The Tolbooth (Stirling)
Glad Cafe (Glasgow)
The Star Folk Club, Glasgow
The Woodside Hotel, Aberdour
The Renfrew Ferry (Glasgow)
The Old Hairdressers (Glasgow)
The Cairndale (Dumfries)
Maverick Magazine Acoustic Tent at Millport Country Music Festival (Isle of Cumbrae)
No stranger to delivering inspiration and engaging experiences for her audiences, Elaine was invited to create and deliver her TEDx Talk 'Little Bird Little Sailor', using the lyrics of her song of the same title, taken from her debut album, to shape her talk and guide us through her journey to become a professional musician at the age of 43.
With the sole purpose of motivating others to follow their dreams and find ways to achieve them, no matter what challenges stand in their ways - she shared with refreshing honesty, her story of finally paying quiet attention to the desires of that 'little voice inside', overcoming not only life changing injuries sustained in a car crash (which left her unable to function at a normal level for many years) but also overcoming her own personal fears of not being good enough.
She shares how she finally took action and worked hard to fight hard to achieve her dreams, finding ways to live with the chronic pain and fibromyalgia resulting from her injuries, and how she manages to navigate through life now in the world of music.
Through sharing her story in an honest, positive and motivational way she hopes to truly inspire other not only with her personal story, but with her songs.
"...it's my way of 'passing it forward' " she says.
She also spoke openly to Producer of TEDx Cumbernauld Women, Maureen Hascoet, about her experiences of living with chronic pain, again, in the hope that it will encourage others in a similar position to find ways to do the same. Watch the 'FEMME SCOTLAND - The Kitchen Table' Interview here.
THE DEBUT ALBUM
THE HOMEBIRD SESSIONS
"The Homebird Sessions are just beautiful. Elaine has such an infectious personality - the positivity is just glowing from her! And she is a great interviewer - really enjoyable! Do check out Elaine’s lives on Facebook - she’s just lovely! I really could listen to that Glaswegian accent all day - so positive, so upbeat!" - EVE BLAIR - BBC Radio ULSTER
'THE HOMEBIRD SESSIONS' is a Facebook Live Series started by Elaine during Lockdown to provide a place for music lovers to come each Wednesday for a 'musical hug' - somewhere they could check in regularly, feel part of an on-line community, hear some songs and listen to the stories behind them.
With three series under her belt, the 'Homebird' Community has grown while managing to maintain that welcoming 'feel-good' factor and now includes the rare opportunity for fans to get involved with live interactive Q&As.
Viewed by her peers as 'an artist's artist, while Series 1 was all about the stories behind Elaine's own original songs, Series 2 expanded on that to delve into the stories behind some of her fellow Songwriter buddies and has a mix of music from both artists for you to enjoy!
With her warm, infectious personality shining through Elaine chats with some superb Singer Songwriters in the series including Mike McKenzie, David Latto, Adriana Spina, Boo Hewerdine, Yvonne Lyon, James Edwyn, David Starr, Simon James, Jesse Terry and Michael Logen.
Ask to join Elaine's THE HOMEBIRD SESSIONS Facebook GROUP Page Facebook to catch up on the LIVE Q&A artist sessions
The transcripts from this Series have become a regular feature in the on-line Songwriters and Composers Magazine Scotland online magazine.