Lucy Wentworth is an independent UK country artists who caught the eye of Belles and Gals earlier this year. Hailing from the UK’s northern country music capital of Manchester, she is beginning to make waves on the live scene, as well as making her way into the conscious of many UK country fans. We caught up with her to discuss her brand new album ‘Midnight Conversations’ and to find out more about herself.
Hi Lucy, firstly tell us about yourself and your journey into the music industry?
Hi Belles and Gals. I’m a singer-songwriter from a small village called Ramsbottom, not too far from Manchester. I’ve been writing songs for years and It’s been an awesome journey so far! For me, it started when I was really young. My Dad is from a small town in Michigan – exactly the kind of small town they sing about in Country music! When I was growing up, he would always be playing Kenny Chesney, Dixie Chicks, Faith Hill; since I was about four years old my favourite song has been She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy! When I was 11 years old, I got my first guitar. As soon as I could play a few chords, I was writing songs and all those influences and were a huge part of that. I studied music at university and that’s where I really developed my songwriting and gained the confidence to get out and perform my songs for people. I’ve been playing open mics, songwriters nights and festivals around the North West for a few years now and it’s been a great experience so far and the opportunities that have come from it have been amazing. The support and response I’ve had from audiences and from the Manchester music scene has been great!
How would you describe your sound to listeners?
I have a running joke with fans that my sound is “Hillbilly Emo”. My roots are mostly Country but I also listen to a lot of rock/emo music which over time has influenced my sound a little. I would say my sound is made up of Country storytelling with some of the moodier tones of Emo music. My influences range from Jason Isbell, Taylor Swift, Brandy Clark and Maddie and Tae through to Jimmy Eat World and Phoebe Bridgers. I think you can hear all of those in some way in my music.
You have a brand new album out now! Tell us a little about the stories behind the album and which track is your favourite.
I started writing this album about three years ago. Every track was written and produced by me and most of the songs are either about my own experiences or things that people who I know have experienced. I think this album covers more topics than any other music I’ve released. There are songs about heartbreak, for example “Her”, “Tuesday Night”, “Mistakes”. I listen to a lot of songs about heartbreak – Taylor Swift was the soundtrack to my teenage years so I think that’s where that inspiration comes from. There are songs that talk about mental health like “Feel”. I wrote “Feel” one day when I woke up feeling a bit down and anxious. I spent a good chunk of the day trying to figure out what had triggered this feeling and over-analysing my emotions. “Feel” is about taking time to feel a certain way without over-thinking why you feel that way or what you can do to fix it. There’s no shame in feeling how you feel and taking time out for self care.
The song “Drink No. 5” is just a typical Country drinking song (we’re pretty good at those as a genre!). The song “Nantwich” is a song about a friendship I had that broke down. A friend let me down when I really needed them. The song is about how I knew there was no going back from what had happened but wishing they were still in my life, but knowing that that just wasn’t possible after what had happened. That’s probably one of my favourites because every line in that song is so personal and being able to write it and play it has been really cathartic.
My favourite song on the album changes all the time but right now, I love “Tuesday Night”. There was a bar that my friends and I used to go to while we were at university. The bar closed down at the end of my final year and the very last song they played was “Good Riddance” by Green Day. It was a really sentimental moment, knowing that we were all about to finish uni and go our separate ways. I love “Tuesday Night” because it feels like a postcard from that moment whenever I play it. Fun bit of trivia about that song, I went to take a single cover for this track outside the bar – we got the photo and a week later, the building had been bulldozed!
Where do you draw your influences from?
I draw influences from all sorts of places and people. Usually I’m inspired by something I’ve experienced myself or something I have seen another person go through. A lot of the songs on my new album are about people I went to university with. The album cover was taken outside my old university halls! Most of the time I’ll have an idea for a song or I’ll know that I’m going to write a song about a certain event but it won’t be until months later when I finally sit down to write it.
If you could collaborate with any artist who would it be and why?
I would love to work with Shane McAnally and Brandy Clark. Those two together have written some of my favourite songs of all time and to write a song with them would be the dream!
I’d also love to work with Jim Adkins of Jimmy Eat World. I’m a huge fan of Fender Telecaster guitars and the way he plays and the tones he gets from his are just incredible.
What track is your favourite to perform live and why?
There’s a song on Midnight Conversations called “Stay”. I love playing this one live because it’s upbeat and sassy – I have a lot of sad songs so this one is a bit of a moodlifter! There is a lyric in the bridge that is very tongue in cheek and every time I play that line and see the audience’s reaction, it makes me giggle. You’ll have to check out the song to hear which line it is!
Speaking of performing live… you have a tour coming up! Where can we see you perform live?
I’m touring the new album right now, we’ve got dates all over the country so keep an eye out! I’ll be playing the Bluebird Sessions in York on the 20th November, West St Live in Sheffield on the 14th November which are both going to be amazing but check out my social media for all the dates!
I’m always playing shows around Manchester so if you’re local then check out where I’m playing on my Facebook page.
I’m hoping to get out to even more cities in the new year so if you know of an event or venue you want to see me at then let me know!
Where can our readers find more about you and your career?
You can follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to get the latest updates. My website, www.tornadostrong.com, has links to everything but I’ll leave some links below too!
My music is available across all major streaming platforms, including Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube so head to those places to hear the new album!
@tornado_strong on Twitter and Instagram