Seattle's Lydia Ramsey is a singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, praised for the almost vintage quality of her voice. Her songs convey both the wildness and free nature of traditional folk music and feature melodic fingerpicked-guitar backing up her beautiful voice.
Premiering on NPR's First Watch, her first single, "Ghosts", is a wonderfully southern-inspired folk tune that showcases Lydia's natural fingerpicking guitar ability, her banjo playing and her lovely vocal harmonies. Her songs “Show Me The Stars” and “Shake Me” from her debut album, Bandita, were featured on KEXP's Song of the Day and Music That Matters Podcasts. Bandita was also selected as one of the Top 10 Albums of 2017 by KBCS 91.3. Returning from her first international tour in the U.K., she received praise from the UK Americana Music Association describing her music as an “enticing combination of folk and country that sparkles as modern Americana.”
Two years after the release of her acclaimed debut album, Bandita, Lydia Ramsey has released her second full length album, ‘Flames for the Heart’ out September, 2019.
Recorded in Seattle at the Hall of Justice in collaboration with producer Andy D. Park (Death Cab For Cutie, Phoebe Bridgers, Pedro The Lion), Flames for the Heart represents an exciting evolution in Ramsey’s sound. With a driving rock feel, gorgeous string arrangements, and new songs written for piano and banjo, the album reflects a fresh compositional perspective and a broadening of the traditional folk elements found in Ramsey’s debut album. Songs like Dreamer, Heatwave, and Take My Only Heart blend warm and rich vocal melodies with pedal steel, cello, viola, and violin, showcasing Ramsey’s deft touch as an arranger, while Eyes For You hits hard instantly, propelled forward by a larger more rock oriented rhythm section. Through it all there is a sense of urgency, a fierce and hopeful lyrical sentiment reminding us of the light and darkness in all of us and, with a fiery joy and sorrow, urging us to appreciate all that we hold most dear in the short time we have together.
‘Flames For the Heart’ has received early attention from NPR Music, featuring the lead off track ‘Story Untold’ on their All Songs Considered podcast alongside Thom Yorke and Jim James (My Morning Jacket). Glide Magazine writes, “A full listen finds Ramsey to be an artist worth savoring, as her lyrics seem to reveal new meaning and depth with each repeated listen. Ultimately Flames for the Heart is the kind of understated yet emotionally and musically hard-hitting album that is harder to find these days.” From her live performances Ramsey has been described as “singer/songwriter who mesmerizes with both her finger-picking banjo playing and her voice, which has a nostalgic quality that conveys emotions with even the softest tones.” - Northwest Music Scene
Born at home in the wooded beach town of Indianola, WA, Lydia was raised in a house scattered with instruments, from guitars and mandolins, to clarinets and accordions. With an upbringing rooted deeply in musical discovery and invention, her earliest inspirations came from her exploration on the piano, through the music of Chopin, Bill Evans, Debussy and Bach. When she began playing guitar, she drew inspiration from traditional folk artists. These influences shaped the foundation of her songwriting, combining the melodies of classical and jazz composers, with the storytelling and harmonies rooted in folk music.