Helen Boulding: Songs I Love

Posted on: 27 Jun 2012

Ahead of her performance at Hop Farm Festival this weekend, Helen Boulding picks out her favourite songs and fill us in on why she loves them!

The Beach Boys – God Only Knows
This is just for me one of the most wonderful songs ever written and fits into my achy reflective moments too.

UNKLE – Heaven
This was dedicated to us by Gavin Clark from Unkle when they played Koko in 2010 and we had it on our wedding video, beautiful.

The Cardigans – Communication
This reminds me of a period in my life, that was really happy and also really sad all at once, I find this so reflective for me.

The Wannadies – You & Me Song
This song makes me happy and makes me wanna’ dance around the room, just so gorgeous.

ABBA – One Of Us
This is such a perfectly written pop song, so clever , but with such a sad sentiment that they were obviously going through in real life, it reminds me of my dad driving with the roof off his car when I was little in the sunshine listening to music.

U2 – With Or Without You
I just simply love this song, I know I use this word alot , but all my favourite songs seems to be the achy ones, that portray a longing.

Shawn Colvin
I find this particularly moving because I relate to it so much as a singer, songwriter, and female. Watching all the couples coming to her gigs having a relationship and free to live and enjoy her songs then walk away to their lives and families, while she’s continually on the road touring and selling her life story, it’s emotional when she questions if she should just be brave and have a baby…. Shawn is such a beautiful poignant lyricist.

Roberta Flack – The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face
For me this is the best  love song ever written, the lyrics are stunning and the performance by Roberta is by far the best cover of this song…exquisite! I happen to know Callum & Neil MacColl, whose dad Ewan MacColl wrote it about their mum Peggy Seegar… how amazing to have a song as beautiful as that written about you.

Joni Mitchell – A Case Of You
This is one of my favourite songs of all time, Joni’s lyrics are perfect poetry for me married with her gorgeous haunting melodies, wow she knows how to write a lyric! Beautiful metaphors, woven into a story of her life, a true genius

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My Big Break

Posted on: 27 Jun 2012

“I left school, put my University place back a year and gave myself a year to get into the music industry.

“I Started writing material to perform myself as an artist and got a manager who played some of my songs to publishers. Almost immediately Waner Chappell Music Publishing’s artists A&R Mike Sault offered me a deal developing me as a writer and artist.

“Just before I signed my publishing deal the boy band 911 covered my track The Day We Find Love which reached No. 4 in the UK chart. I went on to pen Maybe That’s What it Takes for Alex Parks which reached No. 3.

“When I released my solo albu New Red Dress, I asked Youth (Verve’s Urban Hymns, Primal Scream, Dido) if he would produce the record and it became Album of The Week on Radio 2. I Signed to Music Sales in 2010, recording my new album Calling All Angels, from which single The Innocents is currently appears on The Box TV and Magic FM TV.”

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How I Survived Juggling Music and Motherhood

Posted on: 25 Jun 2012

Here I sit in the back of the car, wedged between keyboards, amps, microphones, a pram, nappy bag and car seat, snatching a moment to write whilst travelling on a journey.

The joy of having a baby is unsurpassable and I wouldn’t change it for the world; it’s by far the best thing I’ve ever done, but on the flip-side I could never not pursue my beloved music. For me music is a way of life, not a job – it’s part of my genetic makeup. If I’m not making music something inside me dies, so I knew I had to find a way to be a working mummy.

Weirdly I found that when Jack was born something inside me raised my game higher. Because he was a greater reason than I’d ever had before to become focused, I found my purpose in making music was heightened. So a natural flow took over me and I became more productive than I’ve ever been. God knows what I did with all my time before I had Jack. What a luxury to do what I wanted, when I wanted.

I couldn’t hire a nanny as I would’ve been too worried leaving Jack with a stranger, so luckily my husband planned his job around mine, working shifts that weren’t great (ie weekends). My mum and sisters babysat too, and this, coupled with Jack coming to writing sessions with me, made life workable.

Jack is a totally chilled-out baby and never happier than surrounded by people and socialising. He would come and sit quietly in writing sessions just taking it all in. When I take him to my publishers’ he disappears, being passed around and getting cuddles. In the middle of a writing session I had to chuckle to see my publisher John walk past with Jack in his arms, as if he were there everyday; a sweet moment. And I’ve realised that half the people I work with have kids, so they know what it’s like.

Jack has surely had the best musical education for an 11-month-old. What made it possible for me to work full-time and be a mummy was that not only did I step into Jack’s world, but he stepped into mine and now music is a way of life for him too. So I would say to any working mums out there, embrace it , because your world becomes your baby’s too and you can share some real bonding experiences.

Having a great support network obviously helps massively, but with a baby in tow, he can become sociable more quickly, which benefits him and his little character.

My career is in four strands: my own solo project (as Helen Boulding), writing & developing other artists (911, Alex Parks, Joe McElderry, Janet Devlin & many more), music for syncs and films, and a concept album with Youth & Gavin Clark from Unkle. So Jack has ended up in many interesting situations already in his short life, most memorably at Abbey Road for the recording of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

If it sounds easy, travelling up and down the M1 with a newborn has been anything but – trying to get out of the door when another nappy change is needed, realising that you have babyfood down your front before a meeting, sneaking to the basement toilet to handpump breastmilk during a working lunch.

There was actually a point when Jack was about five months when the sleepless nights were proving too much: two hour sleeping stints are manageable when you can sleep in the day, but not when you have to get up the next morning and go to meetings or writing sessions. At times I was so tired I felt like my head was spinning. Then the mid-wife suggested I leave him when he wakes up in the night instead of feeding him so he’d drop off. When I tried this, after five minutes of moaning Jack went to sleep and slept all the way through. Why hadn’t anyone shared this information with me before?

Being a mum has made me fire on cylinders I didn’t know that I had before. But my heart and soul are now fulfilled in every way both as a woman and an artist – and I feel that both sides feed each other to make me a stronger person than I was before.

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See me performing at Hop Farm Festival

Posted on: 20 Jun 2012

Hop Farm Music Festival is our next festival, Saturday, 30th July. I am performing on the Big Tent stage, playing with others like: Peter Gabriel, Bob Dylan, Suede, Ray Davies, Kool and The Gang, My Morning Jacket, Primal Scream and Patti Smith. Some tickets for the festival are available via the website below.

Hop Farm Festival

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If you missed my album showcase, read this lovely review from a fan

Posted on: 20 Jun 2012

I recently performed a few tracks from my forthcoming album, ‘Calling All Angels’ at an intimate venue in London. A few fans won tickets to see the showcase and I’m delighted to have been review by a fan, Geoff Barratt.

If you want to get an idea of what my gigs are like, get reading below…

And thanks to Geoff!

“I was one of the few very lucky people to be at The Ballyhoo Club in London on the 12th June for the showcase of Helen Boulding`s forthcoming album “Calling All Angels” which is to be released 16th July.
It`s about time this artist got the recognition she deserves. Her first album “New Red Dress” was criminally under-rated and poorly promoted and hopefully that will all be rectified with next months release.
From the first track, Be with me i was completely transfixed with the performance. Helen has the support of a wonderfully talented band who were all excellent but it was the songs that shone brightest. The beautiful “Be With Me started things off, the single “The Innocents” was just fantastic. Jerusalem had “hit single” written all over it and reminded me of The Corrs in their heyday.

“All the songs performed felt like they were very personal and private songs brought into the open for the first time and also like they were being performed to every person individually. I have seen Helen compared to many artists over the years including Joni Mitchell but personally she has always reminded me, especially when sat at the keys of Christine Mcvie. She has the amazing gift of making you feel like you are the only person in the audience and making the listener feel like the song was written to/for them. The songwriting talent is obvious, the live performance is faultless and effortless, the look is perfect in fact the only thing missing from this amazing artist is the recognition and reward.

“I have seen many bands and artists over the years and paid alot of money for some so-called Legendary acts including the likes of Madonna but can honestly say that this all too short show (40 minutes) and I`m not complaining, its just i could listen to her all night! beats them with ease. Cannot wait for Helen to get the recognition she deserves because no-one will be smiling wider than me! Bring on the “Calling all Angels” Tour!!!!”

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Didn’t make it to my show last week? You can read Planet Music’s review of it here!

Posted on: 18 Jun 2012

“…This was an extraordinary night witnessing someone whom is a real talent. As well as being a incredible artist Helen Boulding is an outstanding song writer. I feel extremely lucky to have witnessed this Calling All Angels showcase.”

To read the review in full, click here

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Read this kind review!

Posted on: 15 Jun 2012

Jamie Otsa from ‘Glasswerk Ireland’ has written a lovely review about ‘The Innocents’

“…it won’t be long before the currently independent artist Helen Boulding starts to get the recognition that debut album ‘New Redress’ deserves.”

You can read the full review by clicking here.

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Read Helen’s interview about all things london in this week’s TNT Magazine

Posted on: 14 Jun 2012

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Win tickets to see me perform tracks from brand new album, ‘Calling All Angels’

Posted on: 1 Jun 2012

Want to come and see the first live performance of my new album at an intimate gig?

Then head over to my Facebook fan page and like the status! It’s that simple!

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More reviews!

Posted on: 28 May 2012

Glad to see that people are saying nice things about my new single, The Innocents, and my forthcoming album: “…A shimmering slice of grown-up pop, with soaring backing vocals…” (Stereoboard review)

Click below to read in full:

Gaydar Radio

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