London-based singer-songwriter and performer Louise Havell has had a life well-travelled, full of rich experiences and observations which inform her creativity and fuel her songwriting. She is also a versatile and accomplished multi-instrumentalist. Drawing inspiration from Tori Amos, Kate Bush and Joni Mitchell, her music is very beat-driven but with a strong sense of melody and arrangement. She now releases the emotionally fine-tuned single “Everything’s Gone” which follows the gentle and poetic “Running”, – and features on her debut E.P. “Shooting With Lives” which will be released on 1st JULY 2022.
Perhaps it was in Louise’s DNA (her great-grandparents were travelling Irish Music Hall performers) because her childhood was spent making up songs and working out arrangements on the piano and teaching herself to play guitar, saxophone and drums. Her influences were (and still are) eclectic: Salsa, Samba and classic artists from across the decades such as Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Herbie Hancock, Stan Getz and the seventies songwriting giants: Joni Mitchell, Carol King, James Taylor, Nick Drake, and Stevie Wonder. Curious about production, Lousie would pull apart their arrangements to understand how the parts fitted together. She is also a huge fan of the poppier eighties sounds of Giorgio Moroder and Wham as well as the beautifully ethereal music of Kate Bush and, later, Tori Amos.
Louise grew up in London but had itchy feet to ‘find’ herself in nature. A largely nomadic existence followed, helping her to find real joy in creating music: living in California, connecting with nature, surfing with dolphins, sleeping under the stars and experiencing the Redwoods. Back in the UK she moved to Brighton and spent time in the countryside exploring the land. Then she was off again, this time to SE Asia, travelling solo round the Himalayas and, incredibly, training with Indian soldiers in the mountains! Eventually she moved to the mountains in the UK in The Lake District, again, seeking connection with the land. All these experiences continued to inform her writing; she says, “sometimes my music sounds like Olde English winter and sometimes it sounds like sun-bleached Big Sur.”
Eventually she felt the call of urban culture again and returned to London, but this time lived on a narrowboat where she could travel, enjoying wildlife and exploring, whilst still returning to her moorings. She explains “Boating life provided the antidote to the hectic pace of the capital, and from that place I was settled enough to start writing music seriously again.”
Louise wrote her forthcoming EP “Shooting With Lives” from her boat with sounds of geese and boat engines in the recordings! At first, she wasn’t even thinking about the ‘release’ side of things. A sleep deprived new mother, it had dawned on Louise that she had to nurture, not only a beloved baby daughter, but also her own need for creativity. That done, she then decided she needed to take it a step further – to battle through exhaustion and record these richly informed tracks inspired by her extensive travels and life experiences and to share them with the world.
The new single “Everything’s Gone” packs quite the emotional punch: Production-wise, the opening is evocative of soul filled Gospel and Blues and conveys a true sense of sadness and longing. The song was inspired by a homeless man Louise witnessed on the streets of London and the encounter made her wonder about his life. She says “He was alert and had a quiet sadness in his eyes/about him, a story to tell. So, I just got to wondering what his story was. It’s not a comment on homelessness necessarily, more a story of how lives evolve, how we can lose things so easily by one turn or another. Regret.”