From upcoming album Talking Walls, out August 26th
“They say musicians can’t always be music lovers but that, by far, is not the case for me,” says songwriter Lilly Winwood. “I think a lot of music has saved me in so many ways and this song recognizes that.” The song she’s speaking of is Winwood’s brand new single, “Keep It Spinning,” a breezy rocker that sits comfortably between a Tom Petty classic and a late 90s country radio hit. “Do you ever have one song that just really does it for you and puts a smile on your face?” Winwood quips. “And you play it over and over and over again?” She channelled that feeling, but with a spin, tying it in with relationships, her career, and even her newly found sobriety—the impetus for a number of songs from her upcoming album Talking Walls.
“I’ve been chasing that song that came right at the moment when I thought all I had was lost.”
Burned out after her last album cycle and in the midst of a pandemic, Winwood took a job to pay the bills—but she couldn’t stop writing. She knew she was on the cusp of something important. “I’d be working in a restaurant all day and then at night, come 3 a.m., I’d be pulling half-written songs out of my apron,” she recalls. “Then it all came together.”
Talking Walls captures that tumultuous period during the pandemic, with Winwood literally “talking to the walls” as she looked inward with new purpose. Penned over long sleepless nights, with clear eyes and a willingness to ask tough questions, each song takes a different tack into the introspective wind, backed by a minimalist-roots sound. The now East Nashville-based artist (and daughter of Grammy-winning British rocker Steve Winwood) simply wrote her story and brought it to her band at Nashville’s Trace Horse studio—no producer needed.
Talking Walls Tracklist:
Good Old Days
Keep it Spinning
Long Haul Airplane
A Paper Trail of Broken Hearts
Likening the writing process behind Talking Walls to “painting with sound,” Lilly Winwood spent hours alone with just a guitar and a pen, getting to know herself and the world she’d long kept at arm’s length. No longer trying to impress anyone, each track features the weary sense of freedom that comes with letting down one’s guard—and the title itself speaks to that freedom. Part of the resilient ballad, “Long Haul,” Talking Walls is a tribute to how the songs were written and the change they instilled.
“It’s an ode to letting people down—but for a good reason,” she says. “There’s a line that says ‘Learning how to read a room / By talking to the wall,’ and it was like trying to figure out how to be around people again…but I need to be myself first.”
Likewise, she mixes a steady throb of up-all-night angst with a gentle country-rock vibe of dreamy clarity in “Sleep Issues.” “Airplane” reaches new spiritual altitudes with its slide-guitar soul rock. “A Paper Trail of Broken Hearts” investigates the failed love of acid trips gone by, and “Idastoned” uses 12-string guitar and bluesy vocals to create a jaunty blast of old-time pop.
Meanwhile, the album-closing “Laundry Day” is both stained by heartbreak, and liberated by the end of a romantic cycle. Both heady and built around the most mundane of chores, it’s a fitting reminder that in this unpredictable world, hearts can wash clean when you least expect it – and so can creative souls.
“I want this to inspire people to keep going with their art,” Winwood says. “Even though it may seem like they’re not in a good space now, don’t give up on it. Keep talking to the walls.”
When something is in your blood, it’s easy to take for granted. But if the last few years have taught Lilly Winwood anything, it’s that nothing is set in stone. Mixing salt-of-the-earth songwriting with a graceful splash of old-world sophistication, the Americana songstress reached a long-sought milestone with her 2021 album debut, Time Well Spent.
The daughter of Grammy-winning British rocker Steve Winwood (Traffic, Spencer Davis Group), Lilly grew up splitting time between the U.K. and Nashville’s neon-lit streets. Back then music was ever present, she says, and whether performing with her older brother, writing teenaged odes to young love or just soaking in her father’s work, it gave Winwood a unique creative perspective – one that felt more in line with Nashville than London.
Moving to Music City for good at 18, Winwood soon gravitated to the alternative-minded enclave of East Nashville, and after forming creative partnerships with locals like Boo Ray and Don Gallardo, released her Silver Stage EP in 2017. Time Well Spent followed in 2021, backed by East Nashville household names Alex Munoz and Allen Thompson, earning accolades from tastemakers like Rolling Stone Country as she solidified a go-your-own-way sense of earthy pop.
Winwood mixes a steady throb of up-all-night angst with a gentle country-rock vibe of dreamy clarity in her latest release “Sleep Issues.” Penned over long sleepless nights, with clear eyes and a willingness to ask tough questions, Winwood simply wrote her story and brought it to her band at Nashville’s Trace Horse studio – no producer needed. Describing it like “painting with sound,” Winwood spent hours alone with just a guitar and a pen beforehand, getting to know herself and the world she’d kept at arm’s length during the pandemic. No longer trying to impress anyone, this track features the weary sense of freedom that comes with letting down one’s guard – and the title itself speaks to that freedom.