Emily Mae Winters: Folk / Americana singer to launch second album with King’s Cross gig

Emily Mae Winters plays The Water Rats on May 28. Picture: Elly Lucas.

Emily Mae Winters plays The Water Rats on May 28. Picture: Elly Lucas. - Credit: Archant

When Emily Mae Winters sat down to write songs for her second album, it would have been easy for her to follow a similar formula to that of her first: Siren Serenade.

The cover for Winters' second album, High Romance. Picture: Elly Lucas.

The cover for Winters' second album, High Romance. Picture: Elly Lucas. - Credit: Archant

It was this debut record, after all, which moved critics to describe Winters as “outstanding… rich and expressive,” with a voice so smooth that it “stops you in your tracks.” One of the stand-out songs – Anchor – even won an award in the folk category of the Guardian Songwriting Competition.

But now Winters is back and taking her folk / Americana sound in a different direction.

“It’s frustrating for fans who like one thing that you do, but you want to change it up, too. It’s possible that I’ll stay in this folk / Americana genre for another album, but no promises!

“I don’t know if I’ll want to explore another genre (after that), it’s all about the ideas and where the songwriting takes you.”

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The new album is called High Romance and is due out on June 21. Before that, Winters will take some of her new songs out for a spin at a number of album-release shows around the UK, including a gig at Water Rats Theatre on May 28.

The Birmingham-born singer-songwriter moved to London in her early twenties, where she performed as a Shakespearean actress and worked at Keats House Museum. Her admiration for the work of poet John Keats has had an important influence on her songwriting.

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“In one of my favourite poems by Keats: ‘When I Have Fears’, he looks up at the night sky as his dying day approaches and sees ‘Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance’. He worries that he and his pen will not live long enough to trace them all.

“It was this line that inspired the album title and concept.”

While her first album was heavily rooted in folk, fans can expect a fusion of Americana, country and folk this time around.

Given the title, it’s perhaps little surprise that ideas of romance – and how they have evolved and fluctuated over time – are threaded through Winters’ new songs. High Romance will also include songs about sunshine and rain, the movement of people, struggles of modern technology and following your dreams.

Speaking about her album launch gigs, Winters says she’ll “have a band at a few shows, but there’s also going to be some stripped back music. Hopefully it will take the audience on an emotional journey and tell them the story behind the songs.

“I did a pre-release tour, but this is the first time that some of the new songs will have been played live. There will also be a few surprises; a few special guests.”

Emily Mae Winters plays Water Rats Theatre, King’s Cross, on May 28. For more details, visit her website.

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