After five Top 10 EPs at iTunes and a huge social media following (including almost 6 million plays at YouTube), Lewis Watson builds towards the June 16th release of his debut album ‘The Morning’ with the single ‘Stay’ which is out on April 21st on Warner Bros. Records. ‘Stay’ is available as an instant grat track for those who pre-order the album.

‘Stay’ demonstrates Lewis’s evolution as a songwriter with a rich, nuanced production contrasting with the stripped-back acoustic approach of much of his prior material. ‘Stay’ was inspired by a dream and, as Lewis laughs, Tenacious D’s ‘Tribute’: “A girl was playing the most beautiful song that I’d never heard before on a pedal steel guitar. I remember telling myself to wake up and write this song. It was like a lullaby – the more she played, the more relaxed I felt. But when I woke up I’d completely forgotten the song…. So Stay is about the girl and that song and about how I wish I could remember it.”

The accompanying video – the most obviously narrative and cinematic of Lewis’s to date – was directed by ‘Submarine’ actor Craig Roberts, who was chosen for the strength of his idea. Indeed, it wasn’t until the pair met that Lewisrecognised him. Model Ellie Burton plays Lewis’s love interest in a video that was shot in eight hours in a graveyard in Cardiff.

Lewis will further preview ‘The Morning’ with an intimate run of church shows in May. Joined by his regular band, Lewis will play the album in full in a unique acoustic environment. Entry to the ticket is free when fans buy a specially designed t-shirt from Lewis’s official website, with the t-shirt acting as a ticket on the night. The shows will all be recorded with highlights collated on a new digital EP which will be sent to everyone in attendance shortly after the dates are completed.

The church shows as well as Lewis’s next headline tour – which includes biggest show to date at London’s O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire – are listed below.

Another exciting new development in Lewis’s career comes with the news that he’ll appear in the film adaptation of John Niven’s cult Britpop novel ‘Kill Your Friends’. Lewis joins an ensemble cast that includes Nicholas Hoult in the lead role of Steven Stelfox as well as a hugely talented ensemble cast including Craig Roberts and James Corden. The film is set in London, 1997 with the British music industry enjoying a winning streak. A&R man Steven Stelfox is slashing and burning his way through the music business, a world where “no-one knows anything” and where careers are made and broken by chance and the fickle tastes of the general public.

‘The Morning’ demonstrates Lewis’s growing powers as a songwriter. It combines fully-realised reworkings of select songs that emerged as sketches on his early EPs (notably ‘Into The Wild’ and ‘Windows’) together with the best of the sixty unreleased songs that he wrote last year. The newer material – including ‘Holding On’, ‘Outgrow’ and ‘Castle Street’ – takes Lewis’s stripped-back guitar-and-voice roots and constructs a richer, more textured sound around him.

CHURCH SHOWS

May

2nd – Belfast, St. George’s
5th – Guildford, St. Mary’s
6th – Oxford, Cowley Road
7th – Edinburgh, Bedlam
13th – Liverpool, Nordic

HEADLINE TOUR

September

20th – Exeter, Phoenix
21st – Southampton, Talking Heads
22nd – Bristol, The Trinity Centre
23rd – Cardiff, The Glee Club
25th – London, O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire
27th – Newcastle, O2 Academy 2
28th – Glasgow, Garage
29th – Manchester, Academy 3

October

1st – Leeds, Cockpit
2nd – Nottingham, Rescue Rooms
3rd – Birmingham, Institute