wears the trousers magazine

nancy elizabeth purifies her craft with wrought iron
July 14, 2009, 8:44 am
Filed under: news, trouser press, where's the gigs | Tags: , , , ,

140709_nancyelizabethSongs inspired by the sounds of silence

For the follow-up to her impressively accomplished debut Battle & Victory, Nancy Elizabeth set aside her harp and left the bright lights of Wigan to seek solitude in various remote places, including her grandmother’s ancestral home of the Faroe Islands, a village in rural Spain and our own green and pleasant land in the Lake District. As it happens, solitude wasn’t too hard to find in these places and Nancy became well acquainted with his good friend silence, which in turn spurred her into writing songs that she describes as containing thoughts and feeling that would otherwise be inexpressible, certainly not to be uttered in company. “The experience I have when listening to music alone is something that is impossible to experience with another,” she explains. “It’s a quiet place when it feels like only you and the sounds you are hearing exist.”

During her stay in the Spanish region of Aragón, Nancy would sneak into a derelict school and write songs on an old abandoned piano – before the place was demolished while her back was turned – and these were later fleshed out with all manner of instruments, from the usual suspects like guitar and harmonica to a hefty vibraphone, trumpet, glocks and a 100-year old Dulcitone. Aside from hush, Nancy also cites minimalist composers Arvo Pärt and Steve Reich (“I love his use of voices, mallet instruments and pianos”), Talk Talk’s Mark Hollis, Judee Sill and Leonard Cohen as influences. The result, coming out of a rural Welsh studio, is Wrought Iron, a work of huge emotional depth and warmth that hits the shops on October 5th through The Leaf Label. “I like the analogy of personal adversity and experience being the process of forging, and the pure and strong wrought iron being the end result,” she explains.

Preceding the album will be first single ‘Feet Of Courage’, a cleverly layered track that revels in brilliant harmonies, while preview track ‘Lay Low’ is currently streaming from Nancy’s Myspace. The album includes two instrumental (or rather, simply wordless) tracks – album opener ‘Cairns’ and the stunning ‘Cat Bells’ – both named in honour of Nancy’s stay in the Lake District and both devastatingly effective in their simplicity. The press blurb calls Wrought Iron “unpretentious”, a word you don’t often see in such documents but one that really hits the nail on the head with this release. For those who found Battle & Victory a little too much to swallow – a little too good to be true, perhaps – Wrought Iron should be reassuring as a pure representation of conversations between silence, soul and space.



Wrought Iron
01 Cairns 
02 Bring On The Hurricane 
03 Tow The Line 
04 Feet Of Courage 
05 Divining 
06 Cat Bells
07 Canopy
08 Lay Low
09 The Act
10 Ruins
11 Winter, Baby 


Nancy is currently putting together a tour that will include various band and solo dates for later this year. In the meantime, you can catch her playing at any of these UK festivals:

25.07.09 Camp Bestival, Lulworth Castle
01.08.09 Hedgefest @ St Margaret’s Church, Manchester
30.08.09 Shambala Festival, East Midlands 

Alan Pedder


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[…] the run up to the release of her recently announced second album Wrought Iron on October 5th, Lancashire’s Nancy Elizabeth has got herself a […]

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