Texas-based singer-songwriter and Americana artist Elizabeth Wills has a voice that Dallas Morning News compared to “female singer/songwriter greats such as Carly Simon, Shawn Colvin, and Sarah McLachlan.” Her songs – real and riveting – keep listeners engaged start to finish.
In her first studio project in seven years, Every Little Star (available June 3), Wills is featured on lead vocalist and on piano, her first instrument. “I’m over-the-moon happy about it,” she says. “Since I was a kid, the piano has brought me comfort and peace and has been the vehicle through which I could allow my thoughts and emotions to run freely across the keyboard.”
Such freedom and beauty comes through in the album, which she says was worth the wait. “These new songs were ready to come on out,” she explains of the timing. “I have been through what seems like a couple of lifetimes in the past several years, but there was immense beauty and lessons gracefully given to me to learn and walk through. I wanted an album that reflected that growth and that movement.
“The culmination of every single thought, prayer, action, and word has the potential for so much power, light, or dark. The title, Every Little Star, acknowledges that, no matter the size, light is brilliant and important. This project was a coming together of light, love, the highest intentions, and the greatest good. None of it would have happened without each of those points of light, coming from all directions, lighting the way.”
Along with Wills (vocals, acoustic guitar, piano, percussion, Irish tin whistle), the album features studio work by Mark Hallman (electric guitar, organ, percussion, bass, mandolins, accordion, Irish tin whistle), Andre Moran (electric guitar) and various guest vocalists. Highlights include “Coming Around,” about coming into your own and accepting who you are, and “This Much I know.” The latter features Wills’ beautiful piano work and reassuring lyrics such as, “This much I know, this much I’ve seen / I’ve heard the words, the songs that it sings / and I know I love you, and this is a beautiful life/ we’re gonna find our way through.”
“Long Road Home,” too, touches on getting where you’re going and the relief in knowing that your mistakes or choices don’t have to define who you ultimately become. “Every step I took left me deeper and all alone / I walked until I could see sun / it was a long, long, long road home.”
Influenced by writer-artists Joni Mitchell, Carole King, and their contemporaries, Wills bases songs in honesty, goodness, and vulnerability. Fans relate, and the industry has taken notice as well. Wills is a past winner of the Dallas, Texas-based B.W. Stevenson Songwriting Competition and was a finalist in the New Folk Competition (Kerrville Folk Festival).
With her band, Wills has played notable festivals like ACL, South by Southwest, Kerrville Folk Festival, Austin City Limits Festival, Southwest Regional Folk Alliance, The Backyard and more. She enjoys regular airplay on college radio stations across the country and NPR affiliates in Austin, Dallas, and Fort Worth, and she has guested on the nationally syndicated radio show "What D’ya Know."
Wills’ present touring band includes herself on keys, guitar, and Irish tin whistle; guest bassists based on show regions; Brad Thompson on guitar; Blaine Crews on drums; and Kristin DeWitt (backing vocals).
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