Gin Wigmore delves into a different sound for her third studio album Blood To Bone. The new album is proof she’s shed the metaphorical blood, sweat and tears to take us on a new musical ride, one that’s underpinned by a thirst for a new groove and the end result is her most powerful release to date.
The 28-year-old New Zealand born singer/songwriter who now lives in LA, takes her trademark rock and blues sound, but this time around also explores elements of electronica as well as a heavier feel.
Wigmore first caught our attention with her 2009 debut Holy Smoke and 2011’s critically acclaimed blues-inspired follow up Gravel & Wine.
“My intention with Blood To Bone was for it to have a determined, diverse and heavy sound. It was the mantra behind every song,” explains Gin Wigmore .
“I wanted this album to be the diving board from which I would jump into many musical unknowns for me. It was a personal challenge to see what I was capable of, and even got to a point where it was almost punishing in a way, but it had to be done,” she adds.
Blood To Bone was recorded in Los Angeles with various songwriters including Charlie Andrew (Alt-J, Matt Corby & Laurel Collective), internationally renowned songwriter and producer Stuart Crichton and Swedish musician and producer Joakim Ahlund – who also worked with Chrissie Hynde on last year’s debut solo album Stockholm.
Wigmore steps away from her comfort zone to create an album loaded with empassioned intent. For her, it’s an album of many firsts – she steps behind the piano, stretches her voice into falsetto, manages all the backing vocals on the album and stepped into the role of co-producer.
“The whole idea for this album was to write songs that pushed me beyond my comfort zone. There were so many genres of music that I was not ready to appreciate prior to making this album. It’s like a whole new part of my palette and appetite for music opened up before embarking on the writing of Blood To Bone. I liken it to when you’re a kid and can’t bear the thought of brussel sprouts and mushrooms. With maturity, you find ways to make it work in your life to often be one of the tastiest items on your plate – you just have to be ready.” says Wigmore.
“When Stuart and I started working together the intention was simple – we always wanted to start with a really strong groove and everything had to hang on it from there,” she says.
The opening track and the first single from the new album New Rush charges like a bull out of a gate, with its thunderous beats and Wigmore’s distinctive vocals. The song was written during a stint in London at Iguana Studios with Charlie Andrew.
“Charlie is incredible.He’s a scientist in terms of his knack for intertwining a staple instrumental sound with all sorts of weird and wonderful post electronic effects. Spending time with Charlie opened my mind to a whole new approach for recording and really set the pace for this album,” Wigmore says.
“I was listening to a ton of Portishead, Alt-J, Woodkid, Irma Thomas and Mos Def while I was making the record,” says Wigmore.
“I became heavily interested in finding that groove and what it was about their songs and many others that move and inspire people innately. I was constantly trying to get to that core during the making of this album with all the songs I was recording for it,” says Wigmore.
“When I got back to LA I was all about exploring how to make unique sounds with my voice, ethereal backing vocals and singing in falsetto became my “go to” in a sense. I was open to trying lots of new things which resulted in a very experimental album,” she says
Nothing To No One enchants with its darker pop streak – there’s a hint of soul groove backed by a subtle electronic template while piano creeps in on This Old Heart – a pensive reflection on life’s past and surviving tough personal situations.
“That said, I get songs from all different places. Some are literally about my life, others are metaphorical diversions,” she says.
“Sometimes I can write about a personal experience immediately after it has happened and other times I need enough water to pass under the bridge before I can even go there,” she says.
Forthcoming single Written in the Water was penned at the last minute. It’s a superb intersection of 60s longing and electronic modernism.
“It sort of reminds me of a song that could have come from the last album, Gravel & Wine,” she says.
“It was really a case of fuck it, let’s just do this, it feels right. I love how there is such light and dark in the song with the way it is anchored to the floor with the sub bass and lively drum rhythm, and then almost swims away with it’s sweet and whimsical backing vocals that layer the top.” she says.
Wigmore moved to Los Angeles a few years ago after a messy split from her partner in Australia. She’s in a new relationship now – with Letlive. post-hardcore vocalist Jason Butler – Blood To Bone is Gin’s reflection on the past and how she now finds herself in this present state of contentment.
“I’m in a really good place now, but when all that shit was going down it was really hard walking away and still trying to have faith that my future was going to be ok,” says Wigmore.
“I don’t quite know what’s going to happen next,” begins Wigmore of where life will head as she approaches her Saturn’s Return. “But I do know this album had to be made at this exact point in time for me. It had to happen so I can move comfortably in to the next chapter of my life. I am now ready for everything I have committed to, and that’s a good feeling.” says Wigmore.