Review of Lost songs by Paul Zollo (writer of the book Songwriters on songwriting)

Review by Paul Zollo from:

Ellie Lawson, Lost Songs * This is astounding. This is worth pulling the car over to the side of the road and listening. This is worth stopping everything for. This is a young woman plugged directly into the electric source of creativity. This is songwriting and record-making of the highest level.

Among the many music-lovers in her native England and here in the USA, I was utterly entranced and jazzed by the wonder that was her debut CD, The Philosophy Tree. Even Ellen Degeneres loved her, inviting her to perform on her show before those of us in the know knew about her. But many artists peak on their first record, that first collection of songs culled from years of writing, whereas the sophomore effort is famously disappointing. Not so with Lost Songs, the new album from Ellie. She’s followed an amazing debut with a genuine wonder. Lost Songs, an 18-song collection of brilliance and inspiration, is a tour de force, a work by an artist at the peak of her creative potential. Here she’s not unlike Brian Wilson during his “Good Vibrations” excursion, both envisioning and realizing songs of great sophistication, as ornately and ingeniously arranged as a symphony, yet glowing with the golden radiance of the greatest pop singles. She succeeds, as did Brian, in being simple and complex at the same time, and her talent as a singer and musician matches the ambition of her songwriting and arranging chops. She’s a very rare artist, in that she has seamlessly fused the rhythms, rhymes and energy of hip-hop with the visceral edge of rock, the intimacy and tenderness of folk (both American and British), and the sweet seduction of pop. Though 18 songs are contained all on a single disc here, rather than be overkill, it flows with the inspirational expansive span of Stevie Wonder’s Songs In The Key Of Life – an abundance of riches; a miracle of an artist spinning is all directions at once and yet remaining radiantly focused.

Often she packs her lyrics with brisk successions of rhymes, like the rapid inner echoes of hip-hop and rap but with the heartfelt and poetic reach of folk – it’s as if Jay Z collaborated with Joni Mitchell. Only better. It’s very much 21st century music, in that it encompasses, really, almost all genres of music. It’s orchestral and intimate at the same time, both very rocking and very gentle.

She plays with traditional song structures, deconstructing and expanding them – often rising from a great chanted chorus into a kind of second chorus that bursts through with flames of exultation. She flirts with dynamics constantly: from fat polyrhythmic, multi-layered sound mammoths to naked voice and acoustic guitar; from fast, conversational word-jammed verses to sparsely worded sections of luminous melody; from verbose eruptions of language to haunting repetitions of simple phrases. Her music weaves threads from so many spheres of music that this is truly world music, but one that doesn’t conjoin two disparate worlds as much as it brings together all realms into a kind of musical Esperanto that has to be experienced to understand.

Great counterpoints of exotic vocal lines here, woven into the mix like Turkish violins, roll with the oceanic splendor of gospel at its most fevered – it’s all about ecstatic spirit speaking through physical forms. Often her music sounds channeled from another universe, bonded in the bedrock of unbroken rhythm. Many songs, like “One Another,” set a chanted chorus against wordless melismatic sections and then explodes into rich melodicism, stacking contrapuntal beds of vocals against soulful expeditions of the heart. “Apple” is an amazement, merging an urgent, passionate chorus with declarative mosaics of rapped verses set against great vocal riffs. It’s a powerful intersection between what’s best of what’s new and old; the beauty of pure melody with celestial harmonies and the timeless structures of classic songwriting. Like Joni Mitchell, she intimately shapes her art to match the specific sound and nature of her own singing.

As multi-hued as this is, it is not eclectic anymore than the Beatles were eclectic. What we have is the sound of new ground being broken. Rather than avoid the advent of hip-hop and rap, as have many traditionally-minded songwriters, she embraces and celebrates the greatness of the new music with the same respect with which she honors the traditions of the old. This music is so rich, so finely envisioned and realized, that you can fall into these tracks, and live in them for days at a time. In a world where a scarcity of substance prevails, this collection swims against the current of what’s conventional, packing in all the tunefulness, rhythmic and verbal wonder that tracks can hold. This is sensational. –PZ.

Independent singer songwriter is the first to tour high street fashion stores.


Independent Folk-pop artist Ellie Lawson is touring 9 Quiksilver stores in the UK as part of her sponsorship deal with Quiksilver Women. Ellie is a new breed of artist who is working with a brand to release music and build her career in a non traditional way. The pioneering singer who was previously signed with Atlantic records in the USA was championed by chat show host Ellen De Generes and has tracks produced by William Orbit. She will be gathering the crowds by performing with her acoustic band in shop windows on her “Through the Glass” Tour:

QUIKSILVER -through the glass tour-

29th May- Mary Mary, LOUGHBOROUGH……………….1pm and 5pm

4th June- Joli, BELFAST,………………………………………….7pm

5th June- in Quiksilver Store, DUBLIN.…………………..1pm and 5pm

12th June- Quiksilver Store, BRIGHTON…………………1pm and 5pm

19th June- Quiksilver Store, FALMOUTH,………………..1pm and 5pm

20th June- Quiksilver Store, NEWQUAY,………………..1pm and 5pm

26th June- Quiksilver Store, CARDIFF,……………………..1pm ad 5pm

3rd July- Quiksilver Store, BRISTOL, ……………………….1pm and 5pm

17th July – Quiksilver Store, COVENT GARDEN,………. 1pm and 5pm


The socially conscious singer-songwriter who is working with the charity War Child has her own label called ‘Create your Own reality’ and previously sold 25,000 records touring with the USA book retailer Barnes and Noble. She is currently selling albums and raising finance with her ‘create my next album with me’ campaign via the shop at her website Lawson’s performances include opening for the BBC presenter Jimmy Doherty’s festival ‘Harvest at Jimmy’s Farm’ last September in Suffolk where KT Tunstall and Jose Gonzalez headlined. She has also previously played at the Abbey Road studios as part of the Brit awards and performed on the Ellen DeGeneres show where Ellen predicted live on air that Ellie would become ‘the hugest, hugest star.’ Gibson are proud to support Ellie Lawson who plays an EJ-200 acoustic guitar and we wish her every success with the imminent Quiksilver tour dates.

About Quiksilver Women’s Ambassador Program

In July 2008, a new female clothing range was launched under the Quiksilver brand. Designed for radiant women with an independent vision, this new line brought a fashion touch to the boardriding company.
To accompany the range, Quiksilver is encouraging and supporting young talented women around the globe who embody the spirit of the Quiksilver brand. Our ambassadors are artists from the worlds of music, art, photography, philanthropy, fashion and beyond. These women represent our brand; they inspire us and make us dream. Quiksilver has chosen to follow these women in their creative journeys by providing them with valuable tools and resources to help them create an expression that is all their own. Whether it is via their songs, their photographs or their writing, these women all have one thing in common: they are all creative spirits with a message to be heard.

War Child & Music

Hi, I am supporting the children’s charity Warchild. I am giving 50p of every copy sold of my Lost Songs album as well as putting on gigs to spread the word. I chose this charity to support because it is a very small charity helping injured children around the world that have been caught up in Warfare. I feel that children should not have to pay the price for the politicians decisions and if I can help in a tiny way to relieve their pain and help them build a better future then I feel very good about that and so should you! This charity does a tremendous job helping injured children and because it is a small charity with low costs I can be 100% confident that the money is making a huge difference to the lives of these children.

Here are some statistics and what the charity War child says about itself:

• 2.7 million children under 5 have died due to war in Democratic Republic of Congo

• 1 in 4 children die before the age of 5 in Afghanistan

• 2 million Iraqi children have had to leave their homes since 2003

• Over 300,000 children are currently being forced to fight in wars around the world. An estimated 40 per cent of them are girls.·

Children don’t start wars. But their homes, schools, families and communities are torn apart by war. These are the very things kids rely on for protection and the chance to build a life free from poverty. War Child is a small international charity that protects children from the brutal effects of war and its consequences. We currently work in Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq and Uganda.

We’re on the ground – supporting the most vulnerable children that are too often forgotten in the aftermath of conflict. These include:

Former child soldiers Children living on the streets Children put in prison Girls at risk of rape or violence

We are a small charity with big ambitions. Our staff are living and working in some of the world’s most dangerous war zones helping thousands of kids to rebuild their lives. By working with local partners, we provide a number of services for children including:

Getting children off the streets after war has forced them to leave home· Reintegrating child soldiers with their families · Separating children from adult detainees in prison and providing legal aid · Rebuilding schools destroyed by war and getting children back into education ·

Ensuring children get access to food· Vocational and professional training which gives them future opportunities · Counselling to help children cope with the effects of war ·

For more information, please see

Ellie xxx

LoveMusicHateRacism… the video report!!

ok so for those of you who missed it, and those who want to relive some of the magic… here is an exclusive slice of the live action from our gig event at the Bedford Globe theatre a couple of weeks ago — that we put on in support of LoveMusicHateRacism..!!!!

…………and again a massive shout out and special thanks to the other artists who played and made it such a memorable and successful event— AZIZ, PARK BENCH POET, AND HKB FINN.

Ellie xxxxx

LoveMusicHateRacism gig 13th April at The Bedford in London!

Hello! My gig at the Bedford Globe theatre on 13th April 2010 is to raise awareness for Love Music Hate Racism! We’re really excited about the line up and hope you can make it out! It will be an amazing show!! The line up is: Aziz Ibrahim, Park Bench Poet, Ellie Lawson and HKB FiNN. Address The Bedford Globe Theatre: 77 Balham Hill, Balham, south London SW13.

CLICK the banner below to buy tickets online now…


Aziz Ibrahim

The Aziz show is an acoustic evolution of the Aziz album ‘ Lahore To Longsight’ and EP ‘Middle Road’ on Indus Records. Its quite simply a new form of music that Aziz calls ‘Asian Blues’. Get ready for Asian/blues guitars, voices and rhythms merged into songs and instrumentals written by Aziz with maybe a few co-writes with his Ex-band mate Ian Brown from ‘The Stone Roses’. Accompanied by Dalbir Singh Rattan one of UK’s finest Indian classical artists from Leeds it’s a complete psychedelic guitar/tabla fest’ that sounds like five guys not two !

Park Bench Poet

“Park Bench Poet are a new and exciting act who are proving more than capable of infusing witty anecdotes and social commentary with a melodic and sometimes reggae twist. Songs such as ‘New Direction’ and ‘After Midnight’ are only snippets of what this act are capable of! Park Bench Poet are sure to impress and given recent airplay on BBC Radio 1, it won’t be long before the big time is calling! Coming half Gomez, half Mike Skinner, this is the soundtrack to your summer and the story of your life.” Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly.

Ellie Lawson

Folk-pop artist Ellie Lawson is touring 10 Quiksilver stores in the summer of 2010 in the UK as part of her sponsorship deal with Quiksilver Women. The singer who was previously signed with Atlantic records in the USA was championed by chat show host Ellen De Generes and has tracks produced by William Orbit. The independent singer-songwriter has her own label called ‘Create your Own reality’ and previously sold 25,000 records with the USA book retailer Barnes and Noble. Lawson’s performances include opening for the BBC presenter Jimmy Doherty’s festival ‘Harvest at Jimmys Farm’ last September in Suffolk where KT Tunstall and Jose Gonzalez headlined. She has also previously played at the Abbey Road studios as part of the Brit awards and performed on the Ellen DeGeneres show where Ellen predicted live on air that Ellie would become ‘the hugest, hugest star.’


HKB FiNN is a pioneering spoken word artist whose work centers around explorations of cultural re?connections and universal humanity. His music contains distinct elements of Blues/HipHop/Jazz which is blended into a unique contemporary sound. This highly original musician and poet began his path as the frontman for the 1990’s Hip Hop group: Katch 22. Since then, he has embarked upon an astounding solo career pushing the boundaries of Hip Hop as a poet / percussionist / jazzman and has collaborated with a number of musical luminaries such as: Nitin Sahwney, Roots Manuva, Nojazz, The Royal PhilharmonicOrchestra, Tunde Jegede, Soweto Kinch, The Royal Opera House, Orphy Robinson, ElectroDeluxe & Robert Mitchell’s Panacea.

Lost and Found Review

You might remember seeing her name wallpapering every Barnes & Noble in America in 2007, or perhaps you remember her appearance on the Ellen Degeneres Show during which Ellen made a declaration of her impending stardom (in case you haven’t noticed, Ellen’s opinion is highly regarded in the pop music scene).

Her appearance on Ellen was in promotion of her much acclaimed debut album ‘The Philosophy Tree’. Fast forward to 2010, and we have ‘Lost Songs’, an album that is absolutely certain to set a new standard in a genre that is suffering from an over abundance of manufactured teenie boppers.

‘Lost Songs’ is a 13-track album, and may be one of the best completely independent albums I’ve ever heard.  Why isn’t Sony or Warner Bros. onto this?  The discreet singer/songwriter turned awesome-pop-singer and Quiksilver model is certainly an artist you’ll hear a lot more from, sooner rather than later. This album is able to transcend the age limitations placed on the majority of its genre (along with a few other exceptions such as Sheryl Crow, Feist, and Tracy Chapman).

Take a look at the video for her magnificent first single ‘Apple’ and see for yourself.

LoveSound Rating – 8/10

Favorite Tracks – ‘Apple’ & ‘English Way’

Ellie Lawson –

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Thanks to:

Free downloads and news.

Hi friends, hope all is well! Get 2 free tracks of mine to download & some of my talented QSW sistas at:

Its very easy to download!

Other news, I have a photo shoot with Company magazine this coming Monday for their feature in the section’ Be Inspired’ about my involvement with the website Slice the Pie! Will let you know more about this very soon. It will be featured in the May issue (out April) Really excited about the shoot- will do a photo blog for next week of my day!

My new website will be ready by the end of this week so will let you know when we’ve launched. Its looking great and will have all my music to listen to very easily and lots of other fun stuff and new tracks.

I have been mailing out to BBC radio 2 and my hard work is beginning to pay off as Richard Allinson played my new single ‘Strong’ on BBC radio 2 last week and again this week and I have heard from other producers who have said they like the music! Watch this space!!

More news soon about touring in the UK this summer with Quiksilver Women!!

  1. For You (Ellie Lawson with Stoneface & Terminal) Ellie Lawson 3:45
  2. Breath of life (Ellie Lawson with Feel) Ellie Lawson 2:44
  3. Under The Same Sky Ellie Lawson 2:36