Lewis Watson, the Oxford-based singer/songwriter, isn’t just releasing his second album, ‘midnight’, this week. He’s also readying a UK headline tour that includes a stop at London’s Tabernacle on 23 March.
Watson’s latest single, ‘forever’, reflects the development of his acoustic-pop sound into his new music, with influences like Coldplay, Death Cab For Cutie, and Bon Iver making their way onto ‘midnight’.
“It’s an evolution from my first album. It’s grander, heavier and more electronic,” explains Watson. It is a big change, but it’s still me. Maybe me with added spice.”
Following a period of songwriting out of the limelight, the follow-up to 2014’s ‘the morning’ was recorded live with a band over the space of three weeks.
“I’m loathe to use the word magical, but it really was,” says Watson of the recording sessions. “It was a joyous, organic experience. ‘Deep The Water’ came flooding out of me on the first day and lifted this immense weight from my shoulders. I’d worried I might not be able to write, but I couldn’t stop. For the first time, there was no one shoving words in my direction or making suggestions.”
Watson, who first picked up the guitar aged 16, has been in the spotlight since his acoustic cover versions began attracting hundreds of thousands of views. By 2012, he’d released ‘it’s got four sad songs on it, btw’, his first EP of originals, and signed to Warner Bros. As four more EPs were followed by ‘the morning’, Watson began making a name for himself on the live circuit, headlining venues like LA’s Troubadour, NYC’s Bowery Ballroom, and London’s Shepherds Bush Empire;selling out an Australian headline tour; supporting the likes of Coldplay and Kodaline; and performing at festivals like Glastonbury, Bestival, V, T In The Park, and The Great Escape.