Singer, songwriter and keyboard player Michelle Willis is debuting the new single “Liberty” featuring David Crosby and Michael McDonald from her sophomore record Just One Voice. The track is premiering alongside a new video; watch/share it HERE. The album, produced with Fab Dupont (Andre 3000, Gregory Porter) features guest performances by Crosby and McDonald as well as Taylor Ashton, Grégoire Maret and Becca Stevens and comes out April 8 via GroundUP Music; pre-save the record HERE.
Willis notes, “I wrote ‘Liberty’ on my last trip to New York before I moved there. I was questioning how much my need of change was just green grass chasing. I was falling more and more in love with the city, seeing myself there, while still carrying memory, grudges and hopes deferred from home. I was thinking about all the people for whom the Statue of Liberty was a beacon of hope, new life, new chances, but upon getting here their lives were far from the dream, and yet I couldn’t help but fall for the energy of the city (and five years on, I’m still very much in love with NYC). The vocal harmonies here may as well have been taken from a Michael McDonald background vocal arranging class. I’m certain that subconsciously I was writing with his voice and style in mind. In the outro it’s both him and David Crosby singing ‘a city takes me by storm,’ which is a beautiful beckoning to me of all that was to come. I had no idea I was about to begin a career writing and touring with Croz.”
“Liberty” comes on the heels of the album’s previous singles, “Trigger” and “Green Grey.” Glide Magazine raves about “Green Grey,” “Close your eyes when Michelle Willis sings and you might feel like you are at the Brill Building in the early ’60s when Carole King ran the show with her prolific pop melodies. Yet this singer-songwriter also has a modern flair that plays along with the spirited jams of Lake Street Dive and the hearty roots of Tedeschi Trucks Band.”
In celebration of the forthcoming album, Willis is playing a record release show in New York on March 31 at Joe’s Pub with surprise special guests. Tickets are available HERE.
Just One Voice was written during the intensity of non-stop travel, penned from the cramped seats of buses, planes and countless green rooms. One night, out on the open road, Willis played the title track for Crosby, her mentor and bandmate, who urged, “No one else sounds like this. This is you. You have to make this record.” Shortly thereafter she was able to secure a prestigious grant from the Canada Council for the Arts which set the recording process in motion.
Michelle Willis is a Canadian singer-songwriter and keyboard player based in Brooklyn. A Toronto native, she moved to New York in 2016 with few prospects, save for a monthly residency at Rockwood Music Hall. Within months she was touring in two bands led by David Crosby (David Crosby & Sky Trails and David Crosby & Lighthouse) and another by pop/jazz composer Becca Stevens and opening for jazz/funk collective Snarky Puppy across the globe. Willis has cemented her place as an in-demand keyboard player and singer, touring and recording with a diverse array of artists such as the aforementioned Crosby and Stevens as well as the Zac Brown Band, Iggy Pop, Laura Mvula and Michael McDonald. Just Once Voice follows her debut record, 2016’s See Us Through.
JUST ONE VOICE
3. Green Grey
6. Just One Voice
7. How Come
8. Think Well
9. ‘Til The Weight Lifts
10. On & On
11. Black Night