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Exclusive: Stream Lesley Pike’s New Curated Spotify Playlist Feat. A Collection of Her Favourite Songs

By: Staff –

To celebrate the release of Lesley Pike’s new single “Paper Thin”, the acclaimed singer-songwriter curated a brand new Spotify Playlist featuring a collection of some of her favourite songs. Stream it exclusively via Aesthetic Magazine below.

WILD (vol. 1), the first instalment of the new album by acclaimed singer/songwriter, Lesley Pike, is out now.

The evolution of singer-songwriter Pike’s musical journey takes centre stage with the release of WILD. The recording artist’s fourth disc, which will be released in two volumes, is an accumulation of confidence and drive as well as an all-important focus: producing and creating music on her terms. The result of her ambitions? Fourteen stunning recordings which represent new heights in Pike’s song craft—ranging from the personal into the universal. Take, for instance, “Bar Américain.”  The song chronicles Pike’s powerful storytelling abilities by way of her lyrics, which share memories of a real-life romantic encounter she had in a bar in London, England. Lines such as, “We run with wild abandon / with whiskey on our breath and in our veins / we talk like we have got forever / but we kiss like we’ve got no time to waste” provide a stool-side point of view into Pike’s elations and emotional epiphanies. 

“I felt confident to produce myself because I could take more risks and open up in ways I never thought possible. In the past, I always thought people knew better than me, so I would give way… This time I’ve realized I don’t have to outsource—I can tap into who I am for the answers.”

This same type of intimacy can be heard in songs such as “Home” and “Tall Tales,” which convey conversational anecdotes via lyrics and vocal delivery reminiscent of folk-country-pop greats ranging from Dolly Parton and Father John Misty to Jenny Lewis and Aimee Mann. Both “Home”and “Tall Tales” dig into Pike’s internal dialogue, making listeners feel as though they are being held close in Pike’s confidence, much in the same way an old friend would be. 

“I wanted to write a record that digs a little deeper and looks inward, staying away from that fast superficial digital world where people are quick to write lovers off, cancel villains and immediately look for red flags,” she says. “These songs are about taking the time to open up and discover yourself and others.”

Another giant leap forward for Pike is the album’s blend of sounds. WILD certainly lives up its name, unabashedly basking in modern and traditional folk composition while grangerising verses with rock-and-roll edges. Crunchy, electric and pedal steel guitars compliment Pike’s riveting melodies, delivering a mix of bittersweet lyrical punches and ethereal notes. While Pike’s prior discs­­­ – such as 2015’s November and 2018’s Honey & Rust – spoke directly to her classically trained beginnings, WILD lets loose and brings in a fuller power of a band to support her. “I wanted to hear that sense of community and collaboration happen organically in the recording and was able to record in what I would call a dream scenario with people that just played off each other.”

Having recorded the 12-song collection largely in the United Kingdom in various settings, including a converted Norfolk studio that was once an ambulance station in WWII, an industrial warehouse studio in Leeds, and finishing up at the legendary Abbey Road studios in London, taking the lead on production was something which Pike insists changed the game. “It gave me so much freedom and space for the music to develop in a way that didn’t seem forced or rushed: it felt like it was natural.”

This sense of liberation is woven throughout album stunners such as “Boy From The North” and “Cedar,” which build on Pike’s multi-octave voice and take advantage of her top tier crew of  vibrant musicians,  including drummer Luke Bullen (KT Tunstall, Joe Strummer, Roxy Music), bass player Matt Round (James Morrison, Natalie Imbruglia) and CJ Hillman (Billy Bragg, Graham Nash, Laura Marling).

At the centre of Pike’s latest effort are her starkly personal lyrics which define the album’s transformational themes. The album’s glorious title track, “Wild,” showcases Pike’s self-assurance and insight. The song’s amplified drums and majestic vocals showcase Pike’s breadth, a range of tones which soars from tender and compassionate to fierce and poised from chorus to verse. Another standout, “Dear John,” continues to surprise listeners as it flips the script on the clichés a Dear John letter usually brings up, offering a wish list of dreams, desires and ambitions. 

“Instead of a revenge or angry song, I wanted to write a letter to myself,” she says. “It made me understand who I am a little more and what it is I want in a relationship,” Pike says. “My last album, Honey + Rust, was about a bad break-up and being in a dark place;I think WILD is about the resilience that comes after the pain.”

Songs such as “Paper Thin” and “Six O’Clock News” follow the same path, questioning and challenging the perceptions of modern love. The latter track was inspired by witnessing a performance of a play called The Hunt, adapted from Thomas Vinterberg’s film about an innocent man wrongfully accused by his community. The production was so impactful that it pushed Pike to see it again and then write “Six O’Clock.”

“I like writing about juxtapositions and finding the humanity in people takes the most out of me,” she explains. “Art that is powerful, art that that forces you to look inside yourself, art that makes you relate to the unrelatable… That kind of art motivates me.”

By allowing herself to be so open and vulnerable to mining into her own experiences via song, Pike’s WILD is set to motivate others. Her compositions and performances on the disc epitomize her trajectory as an artist and a woman: exploring the emotional terrain of both roles with a sensitivity and complexity that is bound for acclaim. 

Emmylou Harris – “Where Will I Be”

This is one of my all-time favourite songs and Emmylou + Daniel Lanois is a tough combo to beat. Favourite lyric: ‘may your wild lip get you where you’re going with your inventions, your intentions, your laughter, forever yearning’ 

Foy Vance – “We Can’t Be Tamed”

I first heard Foy Vance when I was living in Ireland and his voice stopped me in my tracks. I love the moodiness and passion in this tune: ‘I want to be so wild we can’t be tamed, I want to be wilder’

Cory Chisel & The Wandering Songs – “Born Again”

A bunch of years ago Cory Chisel sang me a song in a record label cubicle in New York City and I’ve never forgotten it. For me this song is about freedom and finding your own path.

Jon Bryant – “The Light”

A Canadian dream-pop treasure, Jon and I have written and played together a couple of times and he is a staple in my music rotation. This song feels like a trippy wander through a verdant landscape, returning to oneself. I began to hear my name, and silence in a hurricane, the dust was leaving from my veins…’

Maggie Rogers – “Alaska”

Everything about this song – the imagery, the lyrics, the production – just feels like freedom. ‘Learned to talk and say whatever I wanted to’.   

Khruangbin + Leon Bridges – “Texas Sun”

I dare you not to love this song! Instantly classic and fresh at the same time, this has been in my constant rotation since it came out and never gets old. ‘you say you like the wind blowin’ through your hair, well come on roll with me ‘til the sun goes down’

R.E.M. – “Find The River”

This is one of the very first songs I recorded/covered back in my university days and I still love it. Also, it’s the only song I know of that gets away with the word ‘coriander’ in the lyric, so bonus points for that. Me, my thoughts are flower strewn / ocean storm, bayberry moon / I have got to leave to find my way’

Tori Amos – “Wild Way”

Who other than Tori Amos could open a song with ‘I hate you’ with such tenderness and vulnerability. This is one of the most deceptively simple yet profoundly honest and moving songs I’ve heard. ‘Don’t forget you were the one who loved my Wild Way’ 

Laura Marling – “Wild Once”

It wasn’t until I moved to London that I heard of Laura Marling, courtesy of my steel-guitarist CJ who has played with her. She’s an incredible guitarist and lyricist in a way that reminds me of Joni Mitchell. I might be someone’s daughter, might be somewhat odd, but I was wild once and I can’t forget it, I was wild, chasing stones’

The Devlins – “Lazarus” 

Irish band The Devlins are one the of the first bands I opened for in Toronto, and a couple of years ago I got to open for them again in Dublin for their reunion show. This song, about living the life you want, is a longtime favourite. ‘it’s all around, it’s in yourself, so don’t leave wonder to someone else’. 



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