Bess Atwell – Release Myself

How do you follow up on a widely acclaimed album? Simple, get Aaron Dessner from The National, renowned for his collaborations with artists like Taylor Swift, Ben Howard, and Sharon Van Etten, to produce your next album. That’s what Brighton-based artist Bess Atwell did as she prepares to follow up her 2021 LP ‘Already, Always’ with her next full-length album, ‘Light Sleeper.’ It’s preceded by her latest single ‘Release Myself’ which highlights Atwell’s hypnotic and narcotic vocals, and her astute, beautifully crafted songs, which are often imbued with a real timeless quality and songs which certainly seem perfectly suited for Dessner’s intuitive, artist-centric style of production.

Delving into the essence of ‘Light Sleeper,’ Atwell explains, ‘The album explores the bravery required to fully embrace emotions. During its creation, I confronted my fear of delving into deep feelings. It’s a testament to facing this fear head-on and summoning the courage to challenge it. Collaborating with Aaron Dessner has been an incredibly surreal honour for me. Our paths crossed when he shared one of my songs on Instagram in early 2022, leading to discussions and plans for creating this record together.’

‘It’s still somewhat unbelievable to me that I had the opportunity to create this record with one of my idols, but somehow, I was fortunate enough. Aaron Dessner shared one of my songs on Instagram at the start of 2022, and from there, we began chatting and eventually made plans to meet up at All Points East, leading to discussions about collaborating on an album. He mentioned that ‘Light Sleeper’ is the first album he’s worked on in several years that he didn’t write, which is a tremendous honour.’

Atwell adds, ‘My approach for this album was to let go of concerns about being ‘cool’ and instead reconnect with the essence of why I create. I was apprehensive about fully expressing myself through singing on my previous record, fearing it wouldn’t be perceived as ‘cool’ or might undermine my credibility as an emotional woman. This time, I wanted to sing authentically, discuss my fears and emotions openly, connect with my audience, and perform with sincerity, because I truly believe in what I’m expressing. After all, how could I write an album about embracing emotions while being too afraid to sing with conviction?’


June 6 | Manchester, UK | Band On The Wall

June 7 | London, UK | Union Chapel SOLD OUT

June 8 | Bristol, UK | Thekla

June 25 | Vienna, AT | Stadthalle w/ The National

June 27 | Bonn, DE | Kunstirasen w/ The National

July 11 | Edinburgh, UK | Edinburgh Castles w/ The National

October 2 | Norwich, UK | Arts Centre

October 3 | Cambridge, UK | Junction 2

October 4 | Nottingham, UK | Rescue Rooms

October 5 | Leeds, UK | Belgrave Music Hall

October 6 | Newcastle, UK | The Cluny

October 8 | Glasgow, UK | St. Luke’s

October 9 | Liverpool, UK | Leaf

October 11 | Belfast, UK | The Black Box

October 12 | Dublin, IRE | The Grand Social

October 15 | Cardiff, UK | Clwb Ifor Bach

October 16 | Birmingham, UK | Hare & Hounds

October 17 | Oxford, UK | The Bullingdon

October 18 | Brighton, UK | Concorde 2

February 22, 2025 | London, UK | KOKO

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