When something is in your blood, it’s easy to take for granted. But if the last few years have taught Lilly Winwood anything, it’s that nothing is set in stone. Mixing salt-of-the-earth songwriting with a graceful splash of old-world sophistication, the Americana songstress reached a long-sought milestone with her 2021 album debut, Time Well Spent.
The daughter of Grammy winning British rocker Steve Winwood (Traffic, Spencer Davis Group), Lilly grew up splitting time between the U.K. and Nashville’s neon-lit streets. Back then music was ever present, she says, and whether performing with her older brother, writing teenaged odes to young love or just soaking in her father’s work, it gave Winwood a unique creative perspective – one that felt more in line with Nashville than London.
Moving to Music City for good at 18, Winwood soon gravitated to the alternative-minded enclave of East Nashville, and after forming creative partnerships with locals like Boo Ray and Don Gallardo, released her Silver Stage EP in 2017. Time Well Spent followed in 2021, backed by East Nashville household names Alex Munoz and Allen Thompson, earning accolades from tastemakers like Rolling Stone Country as she solidified a go-your-own-way sense of earthy pop.
Winwood mixes a steady throb of up-all-night angst with a gentle country-rock vibe of dreamy clarity in her latest release “Sleep Issues.” Penned over long sleepless nights, with clear eyes and a willingness to ask tough questions, Winwood simply wrote her story and brought it to her band at Nashville’s Trace Horse studio – no producer needed. Describing it like “painting with sound,” Winwood spent hours alone with just a guitar and a pen beforehand, getting to know herself and the world she’d kept at arm’s length during the pandemic. No longer trying to impress anyone, this track features the weary sense of freedom that comes with letting down one’s guard – and the title itself speaks to that freedom