More than just an album though, the record documents Donna’s year long journey through breast cancer;
“Cancer was the un-invited messenger, the dark dweller who I sought to banish with the love of my family, brilliant doctors and my art”.
In 2021 Donna Lewis was about to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of her breakthrough smash hit single ‘I Love You, Always Forever’ and her debut album, ‘Now In A Minute’ when a routine medical check up, (delayed by the pandemic), brought her the news that no-one ever wants to hear.
All plans in place to mark the anniversary, the tour dates, the live TV special, the remixes, were all put on hold to deal with more urgent matters. Donna then spent the next year undergoing treatment and surgery, all the while actively writing and recording, before finally late in 2022 she felt ready to prepare for releasing new music once again.
Donna had been introduced to the work of electronic artist and producer Holmes Ives in 2021 when he had created a reworking of a piano vocal track she had released called ‘I Told You So’. Since then she had always wanted to further collaborate with him so when it came time to get creative against it was suggested they write 2 or 3 tracks together as a potential release for the two of them.
All done remotely, they have yet to meet in person, musical ideas were passed back and forth and Holmes worked up tracks for Donna to write lyrics to.
As Donna began the creative writing process, she soon realised that without any intent to do so, every set of lyrics going down on the page all represented a different chapter of what she had experienced over the preceding year. Some cryptically capture the trauma and the fear of the diagnosis and treatment while others were observational recollections of more mundane aspects, such as her favourite nurse or the different views from the various treatment rooms. What had been intended to be a four track EP now became an album as how the chapters of the story unfolded made it impossible to convey this momentous journey in anything less.
“The instrumental tracks that Holmes Ives sent me coaxed the lyrics from the pages of my journals and inspired an album of stories, unlocking fears, and the climb to a healthier me -mind, body and spirit”
Donna’s strong and inspiring lyrics, enhanced by her expressive vocal prowess which she has become famous for, married seamlessly with the driving rhythmic dimensions of Holmes Ives stunning sound-beds and has resulted in an awe-inspiring testament of strength, gratitude and facing fears. As well as providing an immensely satisfying musical listening experience, it also relays support and inspiration to anyone who needs it, no matter whatever the reasons in this ever more challenging world of today.
“It is an offering of hope for anyone going through a dark tunnel. I am forever grateful to share it with you”.
'The Messenger’, the first track to be released from the upcoming album ‘Rooms With A View’
is available now on all major streaming platforms.