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WILDES examines self-love on rousing, skeletal ode to resilience ‘Lightly’

WILDES, the solo project of London-based singer-songwriter Ella Walker, releases new single ‘Lightly’. With a sound that never falls short of empowering, ‘Lightly’ and recently released single ‘Woman In Love’ – both produced by St Francis Hotel (Michael Kiwanuka, Little Simz) – are the first tastes of her as-yet-unannounced debut album, due for release later this year.

A defining theme of WILDES’ new material is the hard-won process of reclaiming her self-esteem. ‘Lightly’, was an exercise in learning to like herself again – “I’d been totally absorbed by other people, and I never consulted my own emotions,” recalls Walker.

A piano ballad with a rousing string section to tie your heart in knots, it’s an ode to her own resilience. “It was a pivotal moment in my opinion of myself and helped me navigate leaving this bad relationship. I knew I needed a new outlook on life, writing this song helped me believe it.”

Speaking more on the lyrical themes at play on new single ‘Lightly’, she said: “This song symbolises hope. Writing it gave me permission me to imagine how much better my life could be, beyond the fear and worry I had been living in for a number of years. I realised that I was light, and always had been, and I began to separate myself from the sadness and heaviness someone had inflicted upon me. For the first time I sat down and recognised all of the the qualities I loved about myself, and it was these qualities that ended up seeing me through the darkest and most difficult of times. To me, ‘Lightly’ is the feeling of watching the sunrise after the longest night, feeling the warmth on your face – that warmth and light is almost transcendental. I was encouraging myself to listen to my gut and take the terrifying steps towards a better life for myself.”

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