Elles Bailey shines with new single ‘Leave The Light On’ ahead of album release and tour

"I never set out to write in one ‘genre’ or another, I just write what feels right at the time, what feels honest and authentic"
7 June 2024
Photo by Rob Blackham

Fresh from her triumph at the UK Blues Awards, Elles Bailey is shining bright with her new single, Leave The Light On, a tantalizing glimpse into her upcoming album, Beneath The Neon Glow, dropping August 9th via Cooking Vinyl Records. Listen closely to the second track, and you’ll hear Elles distilling her artistic essence: a freewheeling mashup of British folk instincts, rustic Americana, and meaty blues sensibilities that adds up to something entirely fresh.

Get ready for an intimate look into Elles’ artistic vision: in her latest interview, she reveals the story behind Leave The Light On and lifts the curtain on her forthcoming album. As she gears up for a 16-date UK headline tour, including a performance at London’s Islington Assembly Hall on November 2nd, anticipation for Beneath The Neon Glow continues to mount, reaffirming Elles’ status as a rising star in the music industry.

As a songwriter, I believe you cannot separate the soul from the song. So, each song is an extension of my soul, my feelings, my stories and my experiences

Beneath The Neon Glow seamlessly fuses British roots, Americana, and blues. Can you share your approach to blending these genres and how the creative process evolved for this album?

I never set out to write in one ‘genre’ or another, I just write what feels right at the time, what feels honest and authentic. However, so many of my influences come from Americana, blues and rock and those influences will naturally embed themselves in my sound.

Elles, your new single If This Is Love is described as an ‘angry love song‘. Can you share the inspiration behind it and what it personally means to you?

If this is love was inspired by leaving a toxic relationship behind, and yes there’s anger in there and there’s a lot of sass, but it’s also a song that celebrates empowerment. About putting yourself first even though it hurts like hell and walking out the door with your head held high knowing that one day you will thank yourself that you did!

 If This Is Love explores reclaiming power from heartbreak. How do you anticipate fans connecting with this theme, and what message do you aim for them to take away?

I think it’s a universal theme that fans can connect with very personally because sadly most people in their lives will have had their heartbroken. But there’s healing in the song, there’s wisdom in it and I hope it inspires people to put themselves first if they are in an unhealthily relationship and to know that they are enough, and that they are worth more!

Winning ‘Live Act of the Year’ at the UK Americana Awards and ‘Vocalist of the Year’ at the UK Blues Awards must hold great significance. Could you elaborate on what these achievements mean to you?

It is pretty epic to have been acknowledged by both the Americana and blues scenes here in the UK. We had an amazing last year touring, and there are many miles to travel this year too, so it feels so special to win Live act of the year and to celebrate my amazing band of incredibly talented musicians, and my fans who came out to the shows and brought the fire in the audience!

In regard to winning vocalist of the year at the blues awards, I was blown away. I’ve really battled with imposter syndrome over the last year, especially when it comes to my voice, so to win this award and be recognised in this way was everything.

How did working with producer Dan Weller and your trusted live band shape the sound and production of Beneath The Neon Glow?

When I was planning to make this album, I knew I wanted to work with exactly the same team , in the same place as we recorded Shining in the Half light, but I knew I didn’t just wanna make the same sounding record. And listening back It definitely sounds different to ‘Shining’ despite the same personnel.

We always track my albums live, and the last two records have been recorded to tape, in an incredible studio called Middle Farm Studios which is wonderfully earthy sounding and analogue, which fits with the sound of the music I make. For me it’s important for the band to be a part of the creative process when recording so that each player is weaving their creative expression into the music, and thus bringing their wealth of experiences and influences into my sound. Working with Dan for the second time around was also amazing, he’s in every note that’s being played and its great have someone who’s able to step away from it all and objective whilst you are in the studio.

How did your personal experiences influence your songwriting?

To me, as a songwriter, I believe you cannot separate the soul from the song. So, each song is an extension of my soul, my feelings, my stories and my experiences.

As you prepare for a 16-date UK headline tour and an in-store tour to promote your album, what aspect of performing these new songs live excites you the most?

We had our first tour rehearsal last night and I tell you what, I just had some much fun singing these new songs. The melodies are really uplifting, and this record is most certainly more of a vocal workout for me than any of my other albums, but I am really enjoying the challenge of learning what my voice can do when it’s put to the test and that’s exciting. Plus, the band just sounds really amazing – I am very excited about sharing this new chapter with a live audience.

As major festivals like Glastonbury and Beautiful Days approach, what preparations do you undertake for these high-profile shows, and what do you find most enjoyable about performing at festivals?

Of course, these are huge shows for me, and I really can’t wait to play them, but I treat every show as if I am playing the biggest and best show of my life. I don’t take any of this for granted and each person in each audience who has come out to support deserves my best and that’s what I’ll give them.

I don’t tend to get nervous, but I do get a touch of the flutters before walking onto the festival stage, but there is nothing better than winning over a new festival audience!

How do you plan to ensure your longevity in the industry, and what are your overarching goals for the future?

Well firstly I just want to continue to write, to be creative, to push myself in my creativity and to make music but I believe in the motto that ‘If you build it people will come’. I am not an artist that ever wants to stand still, I want to continue to create and try to bring my music to as many people as possible. I’m an artist that takes risks and it think to ensure longevity you have to be ok with taking risks in the industry, it’s the way you grow.

I really look up to artists like Beth Hart, Bonnie Raitt and Imelda May (who I recently performed alongside)

They are all exceptionally unique talents bringing something very special to this world and they have the kind of careers that I aspire to.

Amidst the buzz of your new album and upcoming tour dates, how do you maintain your sense of grounding and sustain your creative energy amidst the demanding schedule?

I have a three-year-old, and if that doesn’t keep you grounded then I don’t know what will! Haha !




Elles will also head out on a huge UK headline tour later this year, which includes a date at London’s Islington Assembly Hall on November 2nd. Tickets on sale HERE.
25th                             LINCOLN, The Drill
26th                             NORWICH, Waterfront
27th                             CAMBRIDGE, Cambridge Junction
28th                             OXFORD, O2 Academy 2
Fri 11th                        CARLISLE, Carlisle Blues Festival
Sat 12th                      GLOUCESTER, Gloucester Guildhall
24th                             EXETER, Exeter Phoenix
26th                             BRISTOL, SWX
2nd                             LONDON, Islington Assembly Hall
3rd                               SOUTHAMPTON, Engine Rooms
14th                             SUNDERLAND, The Fire Station
15th                             EDINBURGH, Cabaret Voltaire
16th                             GLASGOW, Oran Mor
17th                             CHESTER, The Live Rooms
30th                             WOLVERHAMPTON, KK’s Steel Mill
1st                               LEEDS, Brudenell Social Club