Spinning a Stodart song is like running into an old school friend; years scrape away that plushy childhood innocence to reveal a rough-edged example of a former playmate. Opting to hang up her bass, the former Magic Number shies the sugar coating of the upbeat foursome to indulge in a grittier lyrical repertoire as a soloist. Stories of scorned lovers offer a more real side to the songstress, as she embarks on a southern drenched journey into Americana country blues.
Launching her debut album Wide-Eyed Crossing April 2, Michele joins 1883 to enlighten us on the trials of going solo.
You already have a lot of experience in the music industry through The Magic Numbers, what inspired you to go it alone?
I think it’s something that I always wanted to do since I picked up the guitar and started writing songs at 15, but in the end I joined the band and picked up the bass. While we were doing that I didn’t stop writing my own songs, so it’s always been a kind of side project.
Obviously you’ve been all around the world with the band, is this the same direction you want to head with your solo work or is it more of a side project?
Yes! As much as possible, I’m not shooting any lower! I’d like to get the songs out there to as many people as possible. It would be amazing to go around the world with them. The other band members are really supportive, they’ve known it’s something I always wanted to do and they always used to hear me on the tour bus!
Have any particular elements of The Magic Numbers’ sound carried through into your solo work?
I don’t know really. I think they’re quite different, my solo songs are really sparse and all about the vocal and acoustic elements. I use a lot of strings on stage which is amazing and quite intense; the room’s been so quiet at times that you can hear a pin drop!
What goes through your mind on stage?
Words! I tend to close my eyes and loose myself in a room full of people – I’ll open them see everyone and decide it’s probably better to keep them closed! (Laughs)
What tends to influences your song writing?
Personal experience, song writing’s a kind of therapy so things that have stuck with me in the past, life changes, growing up and being on the road.
What’s the story behind Foolish Love?
Every time I sing it I imagine closing my eyes and singing it directly to someone. It stems from being really young and thinking that you’re sort of in love and bit foolish and then to realise this person isn’t what you imagined.
Your debut album Wide-Eyed Crossing touches down April 2, what have we got to look forward to?
A selection of old and new songs, You’ve got hold of my heart oldest, journey for me this album coming from some of the earlier stuff to too much too late – songs are fairly old –
What did you listen to growing up?
The first voice I heard was Patsy Cline I love her and Joni Mitchell, they both have those voices that deliver the initial wow and can move you so much.
Who’s the perfect Michele Stodart fan?
I guess someone who comes to all the shows and is with you from the beginning to the end - and loves the songs of course! I just hope people don’t have any expectations and are willing to give it a go; more than just one go even!
Last film you watched?
Starter for 10, it was okay but I loved the book. I’ve been reading a lot of David Nicholls and loved One Day!
Wide-Eyed Crossing hits stores April 2, catch the album launch at St Pancras Old Church, April 12.
Words By Rowan Newman