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Danielle Cawdell at Kitchen Garden Cafe - Interview

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by Andy Coleman (subscribe)
I'm a freelance writer living in Birmingham. I like Classic Rock, 70s pop music, football and interviewing celebrities. Follow me on Twitter: @andycoleman9
Event:
Debut album launch by Birmingham-based musician
Singer-songwriter Danielle Cawdell launches her debut album, Silence Set Me Free, at Birmingham's Kitchen Garden Cafe on March 23, 2018. Danielle will be joined on stage at the Kings Heath venue by her band, which includes album producer Dan Whitehouse.

Danielle Cawdell, Kitchen Garden Cafe Kings Heath Birmingham, Silence Set Me Free, Rebecca de Winter, Dan Whitehouse, Album Launch, Singer Songwriter
Debut: Danielle Cawdell (pic: Peter James Millson)


The album showcases the Birmingham-based singer's guitar-peppered piano ballads, led by her delicate vocals. It is the culmination of two years of writing. After a day's work as a speech and language therapist, Danielle would go to Dan Whitehouse's Midland studio where they would work on the songs together, experimenting with arrangements. The final ten tracks were then recorded and mixed by Barcelona-based Jason Tarver, who also added delicate electronic sounds.

Danielle Cawdell, Kitchen Garden Cafe Kings Heath Birmingham, Silence Set Me Free, Rebecca de Winter, Dan Whitehouse, Album Launch, Singer Songwriter

"The album is an uncensored story, capturing moments and experiences; there is nothing that is held back or not shared," says Danielle. "I have stood as myself for as long as I ever have through this process, and not apologised once for expressing who I truly am through the songs I've written, co-written and performed on this album.

"Writing songs is something I have always done, but I never saw a path to share my music. I went to a song writing workshop run by Dan, and shared my work for first time. This eventually led me to the realisation I had to make this album."

Danielle Cawdell, Kitchen Garden Cafe Kings Heath Birmingham, Silence Set Me Free, Rebecca de Winter, Dan Whitehouse, Album Launch, Singer Songwriter
Sharing: Danielle Cawdell (pic: Peter James Millson)


Danielle's thoughts on each album track:

Silence Set Me Free: the title track of the album is about setting one's self free, freeing yourself from someone else's noise and seeing an image of yourself again, being free of the narcissism of the other, realising the choice to be made; to not be the victim.

Future Gazing: a co-write with singer-songwriter Hannah Brown, who sings backing vocals on this track and on the song Hush. The song's about the battle to live in the present, not allowing an imagined future or hurt from the past to rob the present.

Hush: a very personal story about the life I thought I was going to have, and how I realised that I wanted something different – ultimately rejecting a life I felt I hadn't chosen for myself.

Danielle Cawdell, Kitchen Garden Cafe Kings Heath Birmingham, Silence Set Me Free, Rebecca de Winter, Dan Whitehouse, Album Launch, Singer Songwriter
Personal: Danielle Cawdell (pic: Peter James Millson)


Pinch: a very new sort of collaboration for me, where I have responded to the words and the emotions behind a poem that a friend of mine had written about a trip to the Norfolk broads, permeated by deep feelings of loss. It's my favourite song to perform live, especially when supported by the beautiful backing vocals of my friend, Kirsty Griffiths.

Affection: this highlights the deep and intense feelings of being uncared for, cast adrift and not thought about… the destructive ways that can follow, but also the determination.

Heaven: a song about the push and pull of a relationship that always ends with rejection, that seems like heaven, but is in fact destructive.

Shake: this is about inter-generational shame, about the secrets families keep, of trying to 'shake' these secrets out, because the desire to know one's past and where one came from is so important. Originally a rather slow piano ballad, the message is communicated better with the guitar beating out the rhythm – like beating out the secret's that are swept under the carpet. The guitar soars in the choruses and drives and echoes when the truth is revealed. Drama ensues as the truth seems so dangerous that surely everyone will perish if it's exposed. Yet, ultimately, everyone survives.

Danielle Cawdell, Kitchen Garden Cafe Kings Heath Birmingham, Silence Set Me Free, Rebecca de Winter, Dan Whitehouse, Album Launch, Singer Songwriter
Message: Danielle Cawdell (pic: Peter James Millson)


Brother: my step-brother died when I was 17-years-old. The song is about how difficult it was to make sense of that experience, how damaging it was when grief was not talked about, how the most difficult and painful things were given no words. My brother died of pneumonia, caused by a rare degenerative disease that weakened his ability to swallow. It was this experience that spurred me on to become a speech and language therapist.

Unfold: it's about being on a mission to self-destruct, being taken over by someone, feeling helpless, both emotionally and physically, in response to being held down. It's about breaking free of this. There's a line: 'Don't let them take it out… wake up and fight the men that held you down.' I can't, but I will!

Forevers: follows a one night stand with the possibility of more… that pleasure of needing someone and wanting them physically.

Danielle Cawdell, Kitchen Garden Cafe Kings Heath Birmingham, Silence Set Me Free, Rebecca de Winter, Dan Whitehouse, Album Launch, Singer Songwriter
Venue: Kitchen Garden Cafe, Kings Heath
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Why? Debut album launch by up-and-coming singer-songwriter
When: March 23, 2018
Phone: 0121 443 4725
Where: Kitchen Garden Cafe, Kings Heath, Birmingham
Cost: £10
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