Nell Bryden announces new album & Radio 2 series

Nell Bryden is a singer-songwriter, New Yorker, adopted Brit, beloved album artist, Radio 2 favourite and broadcaster, and now wife and mother. In every sense, she’s come a long way to get here, and to see her career and her life blossom. No wonder her eagerly-awaited fifth album, due early in 2017, is going to be titled ‘Bloom.’
The lead single, the admirably angry What Is It You Want, sees her at the absolute top of her game. Playlisted on Radio 2 it is a tantalising taste of the album, which was recorded in London with producers Andy Wright and Gavin Goldberg. Those who’ve been lucky enough to hear the whole record, full of elegant songs of mature reflection, are calling it a new creative peak. Nell has also introduced other songs from BLOOM on an extensive British tour during the autumn.
There are artists who are independent in the music industry sense, and artists who are independent in mind, spirit and the sheer bloody-mindedness with which they’ve made something of themselves. Nell Bryden fits both descriptions, and has the stories to prove it.
The funny ones…about thinking she was the next Maria Callas for a minute, or sleeping on a promoter’s couch that still bore the outline of the previous itinerant musician. The gritty ones…about 14-hour bus journeys to the next gig. The poignant ones…like witnessing 9/11, sacrificing her romantic life for years to pursue her artistic dream, and watching her hair fall out along the way. And the triumphant ones…like establishing herself as a singer-songwriter of real distinction and finding true love in the process.
“The word ‘bloom’ encapsulates what the album’s about,” says Nell. “It’s from a line in one of the songs I wrote, ‘find your garden where you bloom.’ It’s that sense of ‘I have to make the album I want to make now, and come into my own.’ So it feels like quite a renaissance for me.”
Almost a fixture on the BBC Radio 2 playlist over recent years, Nell has become a much-admired broadcaster on the network herself. Following the success of two series of ‘Nell’s Angels’, in which she celebrated the extraordinary, genre-crossing female talent that inspired her own career, Nell is returning to the airwaves in January 2017 with a new four week series entitled ‘Nell’s Kitchen’. A musical journey through her home town of New York City, ‘Nell’s Kitchen’ will see her celebrate a different area of the Big Apple that gave rise to a different genre of music, and a generation of great artists, the effect that music had on NYC and how that music then went on to become popular around the world.
“You can imagine how much I enjoyed being a musical tourist in my birthplace, I followed in the footsteps of some of music’s greatest, all coming out of New York and its famous venues and after-hours joints. Artists and heroes of mine like Billie Holiday, Bob Dylan and Nile Rodgers led my way, and I loved every minute of re-tracing their musical history!”
The first episode of Nell’s Kitchen is broadcast Monday 16 January 2017, 10pm, BBC Radio 2

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