Sylvie Lewis Comes Home to U.S. Shore to Tour

After spending the summer abroad, Sylvie will play select cities performing songs from her heavenly
album “Translations”. “Translations” was produced by produced by Sylvie and Richard Swift– as was her debut release “Tangos and Tantrums”. “Translations” out now on Cheap Lullaby Records.

Under the Radar – “This cocktail party friendly sophomore effort from expat Sylvie Lewis is equal parts
Alison Kraus and Doris Day, with the vocal timbre of recalling the former and the old fashioned charm of
the latter. “Just You” and“Cheap Isn’t Free” show off Lewis’s low-key style, tinged with jazz and
Americana to create gentle pop lullabies”

Tour Dates

Wed, Sept 19
The Living room, NYC.
8pm. Free show,

Thurs , Sept 20 Sept
Internet Cafe, Red Bank, NJ.

Fri, Sept 21
World Cafe Live Upstairs, Philadelphia, PA.
8PM, supporting Damien Dempsey

Sat, Sept 22
Baltimore Bookstore, Baltimore, MD.
8PM. Free show 2 Sets

Sun, Sept. 23
Mountain Stage, Cultural Centre, Charleston, WV

Wed, Sept 26
Hotel Utah, San Francisco, CA

Fri, Sept 28
Hotel Café, Los Angeles, CA

Tue, Oct 2
High Dive, Seattle, WA

Sylvie spent the summer helping out. She donated three songs from Translations to a Greeting Card that was given to patients as part of the Help the Hospices UK campaign.

“Lewis, strong as both a jazz/folk singer and musician, creates an album that distinguishes itself as a diverse emblem of an extremely talented and original artist.” – Amplifier

“Her music and lyrics hold a charming sophistication, but she also instills them with a liveliness that circumvents the tunes from turning stodgy and old-fashioned. Translations builds impressively upon her striking debut Tangos and Tantrums.” – All

“If Lewis’s subjects are effectively variation on time worn themes – head-over-heels romance, lost love,
dissolute partners and so on – her perspective is distinctly of the moment.” –Time Out New York

“…Sylvie Lewis delivers songs in a meandering style reminiscent of Rufus Wainwright, with a sweetly expressive voice… her piano-laden debut disc, Tangos &Tantrums, is filled with tales of lives and loves.”- New York Post

“…potentially the Next Very Big Thing in the world of dulcet damsels who reign the radio: Sylvie Lewis.”

“…Lewis lights a torch of love and longing on this set of ragtime, tangos and 1930s-inspired chanson… [songs] unfold with style and glamour.” 3 out of 4 stars – Los Angeles Daily News

“…a breathtaking collection of romantic, 1930s-inspired cabaret chansons.” – San Francisco Examiner

“When Sylvie Lewis sings, everyone should stop and take notice. She has the goods in spades…”
– James Combs, Producer, new ground, KCRW

“Lewis captivates with clever situational lyrics and barroom musical sensibilities. Her compelling tunes turn seemingly personal explorations into universal truths”– FlavorPill, NYC

“The London-born chanteuse’s wry, worldly twist on relationships springs from numbers styled in cabaret, jazz, ragtime and waltz, held together by her rapturous, dusky vocals.” – Los Angeles Times

As a child, Sylvie was an eraser thief and got kicked out of South Hampstead Junior School for girls (aged 7) for thieving and bad grades. On the long walk down a corridor lined with teachers all peering over spectacles, clicking their tongues and chewing on the ends of their red marking pens – a voice was heard… “Mrs Lewis! Mrs Lewis”. To which Sylvie’s dear, sweet mother thought, ” Fuck it. I can’t listen to any more nonsense I’m not going to turn around.” The voice persisted and eventually a rather out of breath piano teacher caught up with Sylvie’s mother and panted, “I just wanted to tell you…I’m very sorry Sylvie
is leaving…and I think she is quite …gifted musically…and I do hope she continues her studies in her next…school.” Mrs Lewis embraced Sylvie’s piano teacher and left.

Sylvie was then enrolled in a school with a very strong music department where she got to wear red knickerbockers every day and her mathematical skills continued to decline. She also took up the cello, joined the choir and went to study in Switzerland where she had the best porridge she’s ever eaten. Upon her return, Sylvie purloined her grandfather’s old records and discovered a deep love of Oscar Peterson, Noel Coward and Harry Nilsson among others. Jazz obsession kicked in. Sylvie played gigs every
Saturday at Harrods in London to make pocket money…and new friends. She studied opera back in the UK with Ian Adam…A- levels in French, Italian and English Lit blah crumby boys she dated snooze and onto the Berklee College of Music in Boston where she became obsessed with songwriting. She took up piano and guitar and quietly devoted herself to the study of legendary songwriters and dead poets for the next 4 years (gosh writing bios is tiring).

Upon graduation (she had to graduate or the INS wouldn’t give her a work visa) she moved to Los Angeles. Why? Well, her family had already rented out her room back in London but also lots of her heroes spent time there: The Gershwins, Cole Porter, Irving Berlin etc.

She thought she’d do music on the side, as it wasn’t a realistic way to make a living so she taught for two years. One day in the exhaustion that was her Friday afternoons, she read an article in the newspaper about the lowest paid jobs in America. The #2 lowest paid job in the US was reportedly teaching. And the #1 lowest paid job was…musician. At that moment she knew what she had to do. Go right for the top. So she quit teaching and became a full time musician.

She wrote lots of songs that weren’t really any good at all…but here’s the thing about music…if you keep going and humble down and admit when you are wrong, you actually get better – amazing but true.

Sylvie moved to Spain at the end of 2005 to begin writing her new album and learn how to make a damn good sangria. Her first album, “Tangos and Tantrums,” was produced by Sylvie and Richard Swift and was met with critical praise (I think her record company wrote this phrase – it sounds pretty bidnissy to me). So she re-assembled the same team, and went into the studio to record Translations in the summer of 2006… now wait a minute – they didn’t get back together for the praise if that’s what you’re thinking. Making a record is like travelling through Senegal: You go because you are looking for that beautiful music
you have heard exists, you go seeking and hoping to stumble upon, you go because you’ll regret it one day if you don’t, you go because you are half crazy and half obsessed by the curiosity – there are a lot of wasteland moments, sometimes it’s so beautiful there’s nothing for it but to cry, you can get an upset tummy very easily and everyone keeps asking you for more money.

Her second album was written while Sylvie was living in Spain for a year in 2006. It’s really about how we translate ourselves and other people everyday – even if we speak the same language – it ain’t easy Ma. Why, you ask, is there not a song in Spanish on the album? Ah well, that’s simple – she didn’t want to make it that easy for you. When you listen to a foreigner trying to speak English, as the listener,you have to work too you know. Sylvie now lives in Rome, Italy – she has no pets but lots of rosemary and oregano. She recently took up accordion and hopes to be touring later this summer.

And you say, “Sylvie Lewis? Never heard of her!” But that’s why someone who loves you very much has given you this bio to read… because now, you have.

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Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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