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Michelle Lewis

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All That’s Left will be released by Michelle Lewis Music on October 19th

Many performers live for applause. Michelle Lewis just wants to make you cry.

"There are sad songs, and uplifting songs. But more sad songs,” She says. “For me, music is always more interesting the deeper you dig emotionally. My passion and my love is more centered in those sad, melancholy songs.”

If that sounds like a lot of despair, it isn't. The sad songs leave you smiling. Her joyful songs leave you in tears. Yes, there is hardship and tragedy. No, Michelle Lewis is not depressed. As an artist, she lives for the paradox of the uplifting lament. Her sorrow is always a totem for love. Your tears flow for the strength of the bond not the pain of the fracture. This duality makes hers such a fascinating voice.

More polished than folk and more personal than pop, Michelle writes intensely visual songs with a gut punch of emotion. As a storyteller, she explores life's defining moments, juggling the immediacy of first-hand experience with the serenity of emotional wisdom. Her lyrics find beauty in sadness, her music is rich with melody. Intimate folk lyrics wash over over a whirlpool of lush production. Refrains of acoustic virtuosity accompany modern soundscapes that might keep a second home in dream-pop. Guided by her musical influences — Paul Simon, Joni Mitchell, Patty Griffin, and Jewel among others — Michelle's style is truly her own.

Much of her catalog interprets the events in her life, just don’t ask her who or when or why. But she’s always listening.

Hypnotic finger-style guitar melodies give away her Berklee College of Music education. Her fingers move swiftly and lightly over the guitar, an exacting technique applying all five fingers to plucking patterns that build immersive melodies. Her live shows contain an astonishing lack of strumming.

Michelle tours globally from her current home in Los Angeles, softly singing her heart out from Belgium to Wyoming. This Fall she'll tour her new full-length album, All That’s Left, through Europe and the US. She has been a regular at Hotel Cafe in Los Angeles, and just across the river from her longtime home in Boston at Club Passim.

On YouTube, Michelle's single, "Run Run Run,” found a devoted audience among Boston Marathon runners. The song and video were featured on the national 2014 broadcast of the race, and to date the music video has amassed more than 375,000 views. Written at her home just four blocks from the finish line prior to the events of 2013, the song transformed when Michelle played for a Boston audience one day after the marathon bombings. In that moment the song took on a different, special meaning for her in her home town. “It’s all about looking ahead – not looking back,” said Michelle. “I originally wrote the song for a friend, but it wound up helping me heal.” Fundraiser proceeds from single sales raised more than $1,600 toward the city's recovery efforts.

Michelle's first full-length album release, This Time Around, arrived in 2004. She has been a longtime collaborator with producer Anthony J. Resta (Elton John, Duran Duran, Shawn Mullins), spanning their work on her EPs Broken (2009) and Paris (2011), her second full-length album, The Parts Of Us That Still Remain (2014), and her forthcoming album All That’s Left (2018).

About All That's Left

On her third studio album, All That’s Left, Michelle Lewis explores the far edges of joy and sadness. It’s a personal history served through loss and love.

An artist’s third album often carries the weariness of having already said everything. Yet Michelle’s third work shines, a testament to her great skill at perception. As she's grown as a songwriter so too has her ability to elevate a detail from anecdote to allegory. The result is an intense collection of ten tracks, a journey in transformation from regret to compassion, coming to rest upon a sort of sweetness available only to those who truly care. If only we could all love so deeply, feel such warmth, deliver such grace in woe.

As she mourns loss, celebrates love, and confronts guilt, the album weaves an emotional journey, conveyed in vivid flashes of sorrow and garnished with comic turns of forbearance. Yet rather than feeling haphazard, the album gathers upon the many consequences of devotion. Michelle has spun together all the relationships that matter and the effect is a good cry followed by a good laugh.

Michelle wrote this album with her ears open. “Scars” explores a life story she learned about her grandmother only after losing her. Lyrics on "Please Don’t Go” were words of comfort overheard during another period of great pain. “Sometimes the songs are already written, you just have to listen,” she said.

Interestingly, the album features a cover of “Dancing In The Dark,” a first for Michelle who to date had recorded only original compositions on her albums. “Years ago a friend gave me a copy of Nebraska. When I heard that album I realized that although Bruce Springsteen had been in front of a rock band for years, he's really a folk singer,” she said. “His songs are so relatable and heart wrenching.”

The album’s first single, “Push On,” is co-written by Nashville singer/songwriter Robby Hecht. The song shares a timely message of determination, delivered in Michelle’s plaintive vocal style, both heartwarming and heartbreaking. “There are times in everyone's life when we feel like we can't go on, whether it's physically, mentally, or both. 'Push On' is about overcoming those everyday and long-term struggles we all have,” said Michelle. “It’s about being lost, physically broken down, but then fighting through it.”

The album ends on a affectionate note, with “Lay On My Pillow,” a velvet blanket of comfort sung softly and sweetly. It’s a comforting final thought, a return safely home. She sings, "Give me your life / I’ll give you mine / Stay with me darling we’ll be fine."

The album is a continuation of Michelle’s long term collaboration with the production team of Anthony J. Resta (Duran Duran) and Karyadi Sutedja. Featured cello is played by Cameron Stone (Game of Thrones) and piano by Ruslan Sirota (Josh Groban).

"Michelle Lewis can certainly write a damn fine song; primarily, but not exclusively heartbreakers and break-up songs; and she’s not afraid of a melody either . . . Michelle Lewis is one of the few modern songwriters who appears to know what it really means to be in and out of love."
- No Depression

"What many times instills personal hardships and communal tragedy, Lewis’ music is like a heartbroken lullaby gently rocking anyone who listens to sleep inside a cradle of irrevocable feeling."
- Rawlins Times

"[We] can't recall the last time we encountered anything as fresh as Michelle Lewis... With a smile that could melt you like butter in the microwave, Lewis is a no-frills singer-songwriter, delivering literate love songs with her airy, gentle soprano and surprising exuberance."
- The Beat

"Michelle Lewis, with her folk/pop lilt and incredibly personal, storytelling narratives, is the true definition of a songwriter"
- For The Country Record

“This is a very tranquil folk/pop collection that’s made all the more arresting by its candid nature. Its earnest and introspective attitude means that it’s delightfully deep and hard hitting, despite its serene sound."
- Pure M

"Lewis’s folky pop tendencies coupled with those pure, angelic vocals don’t need to drag the listener in; it’s instantly obvious that Lewis has the talent to pair her thoughtful and thought-provoking lyrics to beautiful, captivating melodies which at times betray the sadness in her lyrics. It’s the whole combination of those elements touched on above that make each and every song on ‘The Parts of Us That Still Remain’ so special . . . The fact that you will probably find yourself trying to sing along with these songs of the heart even when the tears are rolling down your face just shows what a talented lyricist Lewis is. There’s plenty to discover here and a voice to fall in love to and with."
- Pennyblack Music

"With a soft, sweet and fragile soprano that’s part Dolly Parton and part young Nanci Griffith she trades in melodic folksy pop with songs anchored in themes of love and relationships, delivered with a touch as light as the arrangements . . . A feathery air may inform the album’s ambience, but behind it lie deceptively and disarmingly moving literate songs that catch you unawares with the acumen of their images and emotions."
- Folk Radio UK