Wildwood Kin are sisters Beth and Emillie and their cousin Meg. They first came to our attention in 2017 with their unique blend of delicate vocal harmony, soulful lyrics and elegance. They have built up a loyal following and now have a new album coming out. We were honoured to speak with them when they were recently in London.
What was your vision when you first started working on the new album, ‘Wildwood Kin?’
We collectively wanted to make the sound for this album an authentic representation of where we are now. Compared to the last album, we’ve changed, musically and we’ve all learnt a lot since then. We’ve been through some quite difficult times, which has given us wisdom.
We wanted to create an album that represented our live sound more. We also wanted an honest album, lyrically as well. We’ve always felt passionate about writing to uplift and encourage people and bring a peaceful presence.
Meg lost her brother a few years ago and also there were also some other issues that came up towards the end of the last album. We really wanted to write an album that would be a message of hope to people who are going through the same thing or similar, for them to know they are seen, loved and valued.
We explored themes around identity as well and making peace with the parts of our lives that we may find difficult or shameful. ‘Beauty in your brokenness’ was definitely about that. Accepting the parts of us that aren’t necessarily the way we would choose, but realising that redemption can come out of those places.
Tell us the story behind the new single ‘All on me’
We had a co-write session and were talking about what we were going to sing about. Beth said she had a line ‘You think it’s all on you, but put it all on me’ She had been feeling low and thought it would be a good thing to write about -sharing the burdens that you carry, with others, with the people that you love.
It opened the door to us writing around that concept of letting go of your burdens. First it felt like a song we could sing out, as a proclamation that you don’t have to deal with everything yourself, keep it all on yourself. You can trust that everything is going to be ok.
Tell us what it was like to write with Ed Harcourt.
He’s awesome, we knew as soon as we met him. He is, in the best possible way, eccentric. He is heart on his sleeve, raw, this is me, take it or leave it. He is great and we learnt a lot from him. As soon as we met him we had this connection. His honesty enabled us to honest. We spent this first half of the day talking, sharing stories and experiences. We said that we’d had a hard couple of years, it turned out that he had too. We had this moment of sharing each other’s pain journey. It was weird the healing and solidarity that came out of it. That session we ended up writing the song ‘Never alone’ which was the first song from the album.
It’s one were proud of, it felt like a very honest song. It’s not a shiny happy song, it’s quite melancholic compared to others on the album. We felt it needed to be. It’s been awesome to see how much it has resonated with people. I don’t think that song would have happened if Ed hadn’t set a tone of honesty and authenticity. He’s a total legend and musical genius. He went on to produce that track with us and it was such fun in the studio.
Five things we should do if we go to Exeter might include ….
- Definitely the cathedral and whole surrounding area. The Green and there’s loads of lovely tea shops. That’s a must.
- The Quay is fun.
- Firehouse pub is cool.
- McCoys Arcade and Fore Street are good. There are lots of cool, local, independent, sustainable shops.
- Picture House – great independent cinema that shows really good films.
You’ll be hitting the road later this year. What do you like about going on tour?
Being on stage. There’s a lot of the prep before and it does feel like a long day, but when you’re actually out on stage and seeing people’s face, when you’re just in – that’s the whole reason why we do it. We experience the city and the people of the city and that makes it worth it.
There’s a really nice element of nice, tight-knit community on tour, we’ve got used to having people on the road with us. Although we are all very different, we get each other. We know when to leave each other alone, when to hang out, that’s really nice. Having Meg’s dog with us was amazing and beneficial. He can be taken for little walks, it’s really lovely. Also, it’s great to go to new places. On this tour we’re going to Ireland and part of our family is Irish.
Quick Fire Questions
Courage or comfort – Courage
Wings or Waves – Wings -but like surfing!
Sushi or sake – Sushi
Wild horses or wild roses – Roses
Eddie Vedder or Ed Sheeran – Eddie Vedder, but we love Ed Sheeran