The 20-year-old British singer-songwriter Lewis Watson is an unfamiliar name to American audiences -- but that may be about to change.
Watson's story begins as many distinctly 21st century discovery tales do -- with the uploading of videos to YouTube. The first, from the summer of 2010, is a charmingly self-conscious cover of Bombay Bicycle Club's "Swansea." What followed over the next few months were renditions of songs by Bon Iver, Mumford and Sons, Tears for Fears -- all with views in the thousands.
Yet it's his original tunes, which he began posting in the fall of 2010, that have attracted the most attention -- from the BBC, The Independent, and listeners who bumped his self-released debut EP, It's Got Four Sad Songs On It BTW, to the top of the singer-songwriter iTunes chart in the U.K. It also attracted Warner Brothers, which has just released his second EP, called Another Four Sad Songs.
"Even If," which appears on Another Four Sad Songs, is a perfect introduction to the young singer's personal lyrical style ("even if I apologize / I know / there's still a hill to climb") and his lightly quavering voice. Word is that he's been collaborating with producers and writers including Mike Crossey (Arctic Monkeys), Richard Wilkinson (Kaiser Chiefs) and Kid Harpoon (Florence + The Machine) -- and he's barely out of his teens. Should be interesting to see what hills Watson climbs next.