London-Based Award-Winning Solo Artist Michele Stodart Releases New Album 'Invitation'
By Stevie Connor.
Michele Stodart is an award-winning solo artist, singer-songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist based in London. Born in Trinidad, she spent her early years surrounded by Caribbean music and culture, until she and her family fled a military coup attempt, leading them to Queens, New York where she spent a large part of her childhood.
Michele's latest album, 'Invitation', has just been released on September 15th. She says of the process, "I am very excited to finally share this new album that I’ve been working on.
These past few years have been a real time of change, growth and transformation for me, and the songs on the album reflect on some of these experiences... I'm now ready to take that brave step and release this album out into the world... and equally be released from it."
Michele is best known as bassist, vocalist and co-songwriter of Mercury-nominated, double-platinum selling band, The Magic Numbers, who have released five critically acclaimed studio albums with top ten singles, and supported the likes of Neil Young, Radiohead, Brian Wilson, U2, Flaming Lips and Bright Eyes. She continues to play with the band and tour world-wide with them.
Alongside this, Michele has always pursued her own writing and nurtured a love for folk/Americana artists such as Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, Emmylou Harris, Lucinda Williams and Gillian Welch. She started writing songs in her early teens, as a way to process and tell stories from her experiences. She would hide away to write songs, rarely playing them in public. After Michele gave birth to her daughter, her older brother, Romeo (frontman of The Magic Numbers), encouraged her to record and release an album of her own songs. This resulted in her first solo album, Wide-Eyed Crossing (2012), a southern-drenched journey into Americana country blues. “I never thought I’d release a solo album, but I needed closure from those songs, so recording them was the only way to truly move on”, she said at the time.
From this point, Michele began playing solo shows and tours. She soon became known for her intimate, passionate and heart-wrenching live performances, gaining her new fans along the way, as well as recognition for her solo material, helping to establish her as a singer-songwriter in her own right. After the success of her solo debut, she was signed by One Little Independent and a second solo album, Pieces (2016), followed to great critical acclaim: a confessional, melodic country/roots album with an orchestral, cinematic feel.
In recent years, Michele divides her time between her work with The Magic Numbers and her solo projects. In between recording and touring, she has also been building a name for herself as musical director, collaborator and producer. She has been invited to curate stages at a number of festivals and events, as well as promoting regular nights at Camden’s legendary Green Note. She continues to champion women in music and gender equality within the industry, and is curator, director and performer in a successful annual series of multi-artist shows celebrating International Women’s Day.
Her skills as a songwriter and multi-instrumentalist have also led to many collaborative projects on stage and in the studio with artists such as Kathryn Williams, Billy Bragg, David Ford, Bernard Butler, Natalie Imbruglia, Ren Harvieu, Charlie Dore, David Kitt, Hannah White, Rachel Sermanni, Julian Taylor, Emily Barker, Diana Jones, O’Hooley & Tidow amongst many others.
In 2019 Michele graced our screens in the Danny Boyle / Richard Curtis blockbuster film ‘Yesterday’. She was chosen for her role in the movie due to her melodic bass playing and electric, enigmatic stage presence. Working alongside Boyle, Curtis and musical composer Daniel Pemberton, Michele’s bass and vocals are featured on the Abbey Road Studios movie soundtrack, reinterpreting The Beatles’ most beloved hits.
In 2022, she received public recognition for her talent, when she was awarded the AMA-UK ‘Instrumentalist Of The Year’ Award. In January 2023 she was invited back as musical director at the UK Americana Awards, where she played with the likes of Mike Scott (of The Waterboys), Allison Russell, and Lifetime Achievement award-winner Judy Collins, who took a moment on stage to complement Michele on her “incredible” talent.
After a busy few years working on such a diverse range of projects, Michele is currently focusing on her third solo studio album, ‘Invitation’ released on 15th September 2023.
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