Lewis’ new album Brand New Day was produced and arranged by David Torn, the genre-busting composer. Brand New Day is an intoxicating set of jazz-inflected covers and Lewis originals in which she is joined by the preeminent progressive jazz musicians Ethan Iverson (piano), Reid Anderson (bass) and Dave King (drums). Palmetto releases the album March 10, 2015.
With her distinctive, breathy voice and unique phrasing, Lewis brings a fresh immediacy to the covers on Brand New Day, including David Bowie's infrequently heard "Bring Me the Disco King," Neil Young's "Helpless," Damien Rice's "Amie," and Chocolate Genius' "My Mom," among others. The album also features two new Lewis originals, “Sleep” and “Brand New Day,” as well as a powerful remake of "I Love You Always Forever."
Here's what Anil Prasad of Innerviews had to say about Brand New Day:
"Here's a beautiful album you all should check out: Donna Lewis' 'Brand New Day.' Produced and arranged by David Torn, the focus is on reinventions of material by people like David Bowie, Neil Young, Damien Rice and Chocolate Genius. Her version of "Bring Me the Disco King" is unlike any you've ever heard, with percolating bass work from Reid Anderson and flickering percussion from Dave King. ( You can hear it in its entirety at the bottom of this article: http://tinyurl.com/o2plvg7 ) The album has a strong jazz component, but the expansive nature of the musicians means the arrangements stretch far beyond those boundaries. Most of the album's tracks were recorded in a single take which is reflected in its intimate vibe. The album also includes two original pieces. Lewis is best known for the colossal pop hit "I Love You Always Forever." Since then, she's gone on to collaborate with Torn on several soundtracks, as well as work with The Art of Noise. 'Brand New Day' is an impressive reflection of her journey to date and a great album to chill out to. Highly recommended."
PRESS HIGHLIGHTS FOR BRAND NEW DAY:
- “Her vocal style (Lewis’) is lilting and deeply reflective… A refreshing batch of cover versions.” — ★★★★ BBC Music Magazine
- “The mood is hushed and intensely personal... This is an intriguingly successful collaboration between an unusual team.” — Jazz Views
- “Lewis shows impeccable taste... Electrifying.” — The Irish Times
- “An inspired partnership... her (Lewis') emotive voice with the modern architecture of the jazz piano trio.” — London Jazz
- People Magazine - Donna Lewis' Brand New Day
- Kingston Times - Kingston After Dark - Land of Plenty
- Donna live on-air at Radio Woodstock
- Ethan Iverson - Do The Math - Donna and Marta
Donna at The Bearsville Theatre with Alan Hampton, Jared Shonig and Jesse Stacken
Donna with Oli Rockberger and Michael Janisch at The Montreux Moda fashion show
"I Love You Always Forever" was such a huge hit for Donna Lewis – a dance-pop classic for which people around the globe still have boundless affection – the 1996 song will always be the one for which many fans know her. But the Welsh native is an artist of many dimensions, as she has demonstrated with efforts ranging from "At the Beginning," her charming duet with Richard Marx from the Anastasia soundtrack, to Be Still, her lovely voice and piano album. True to its title, her eagerly awaited new album, Brand New Day, is a striking departure from anything she has done before.
Produced by her longtime friend and collaborator David Torn, who arranged all the songs, Brand New Day redefines her as an artist while maintaining the wonderful open qualities her fans love.
Lewis, grew up in a musical family in Cardiff, Wales. Her father was a self-taught jazz-style pianist and guitarist. A fan of jazz singers including Ella Fitzgerald and Mel Torme, as well as piano rock king Elton John, she began writing her own songs at 14. She received classical training at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama, where she majored in flute and piano and was made an honorary fellow in 2000. She performed in piano bars across Europe and developed her writing and recording in her own home studio.
Atlantic Records Chairman Doug Morris was so enamored with her demo for "I Love You Always Forever," he flew Lewis to New York to meet him and offered her a deal on the spot. "I Love You Always Forever" – featured on her 1996 debut album, Now in a Minute. It became the first song ever to get a million spins on American radio and the third best-selling tune in the history of Atlantic Records. The record was an international sensation, zooming up the charts all over the world.
Lewis' second album for the label, Blue Planet (1998), spawned two hits including "Love Him," which topped the Billboard dance charts. While on hiatus to start a family, she left her mark on such projects as The Art of Noise's The Seduction of Claude Debussy and the all-star 2001 benefit album, Utopia. She also collaborated with Italian producers Souled Out, co-writing the track 'Take me O' which stormed to Ibiza success in 2000. She also began her creative partnership with Torn, a guitarist and studio wizard known for his film scores (including Friday Night Lights and Lars and the Real Girl). In 2001, five electronically textured songs Torn and Lewis wrote and recorded for the Chute project were the most requested on L.A.'s beloved KCRW for three weeks running.
The stripped-down acoustic approach of Be Still pointed the way to Brand New Day. But first came Lewis' high-energy 2008 album, In the Pink, produced by Gerry Leonard known for his work with Bowie which was praised for its "supremely undeniable Euro-style catchiness." The single ‘Shout’ became a top 5 radio song in Southeast Asia and was also featured in an Irish independent movie '32A'.
In 2011 Lewis wrote the song 'Follow my Way' produced by David Lowe for the independent documentary 'Street Journeys' and in 2012 she collaborated with the progressive house duo Project 46 and DubVision and released 'You and I' on Spinnin' Records which reached top 5 on the Beatport chart.
In 2013 Lewis and Torn began planning the Brand New Day project with executive producer Jeff Resnick. It was, said Torn, pure "kismet" that he and Lewis were able to get Iverson, Anderson and King for Brand New Day.
In The Pink - CD
Be Still - CD