Helena Ward is a songwriter, singer, music producer, multi-instrumentalist and sound engineer. Her folktronica debut album ‘The Lake’ came out in 2009, and she gigged extensively in London around that time; after moving abroad for a while, and then retraining as a music therapist, she returned to her roots and now lives and works in the Suffolk countryside – the inspiration for her ambitious new album, ‘Somewhere In The Night Time’.
The 10 songs that make up ‘Somewhere In The Night Time’ deal with loss, death, love, war, family, separation, rebirth and reconnection through nature, and feature a wider range of instrumentation and a rawer, live feel. Instead of being multi-tracked, the musicians are being recorded playing together at the same time and in the same place. It also includes ambient compositions created from nature recordings (some recorded binaurally) and found sounds which weave the tracks together.
“As a sound engineer and music producer I’ve always recorded in my own studio, which meant that when I wrote my debut album ‘The Lake’ I was also able to engineer and produce it myself. But after moving onto a boat to live aboard a few years back I had to dramatically downsize my studio to the bare writing essentials. It left me hungry to make a more musically ambitious album which would require more musicians and a larger, more professional space to record. Luckily, I crossed paths with local studio owner Bob Kidby who has a beautiful recording studio in a Tudor barn, deep in the Suffolk countryside, not far from where I live. We clicked immediately and decided we’d work on the new project together.”
Helena honed her skills as a sound engineer in London, working for five years alongside Andy Gill (Gang of Four) as his assistant engineer, working on recordings by artists such as The Futureheads and The Young Knives. During this time she was busy developing her own sound at the more extreme end of dance music, writing and producing for cutting-edge dance music labels Skyride and Defiant Records, and playing live electronic sets on the London club scene.
Eventually, Helena left London and moved to Spain where she set up a makeshift recording studio in a shed on an Andalusian mountainside and began to imagine, write and record what eventually evolved into her atmospheric, dreamlike and yet vibrant debut album ‘The Lake’.
"A collection of confessional songs of raw emotion and compelling imagery moulding the delicacy and craft of folk with the grooves and atmospheres of electronica. With a captivating voice and ethereal, yet erudite words, [Helena Ward] tightrope-walks across an abyssal musical landscape of enchanting melodies, intricate guitar, and angular, lurching grooves... this is an album informed by an intimate knowledge of the far reaches of human experience".