Paula Wolfe
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Paula Wolfe


Band Alternative Acoustic


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Lemon (Sib Records 2008)
Staring (Sib Records 2004)



As a woman who writes, records and produces her own music, Paula Wolfe will be slotted into the category of female singer songwriter but her work in the studio and on stage serve to challenge the restrictive stereotyping often associated with the label.

From early on in her career, Paula's work has been seen as possessing, ' that all too rare quality of being able to command your attention to the point of dropping everything else...a phenomenal talent' (

As a writer, a stark realism has emerged from the themes and characters in her songs. Drawn to those living on the fringes, her EP, 'Find' and debut album, 'Staring' introduced us to protagonists such as the Russian prostitutes working the hotels in Crete; joyriders and bored kids on the street corners of estates in the unfashionable quarters of Manchester; the bored and neglected young girl waiting for life to start, and faces, hardened by too much struggling and too much drinking, watching the brash and the confident pass them by without a second glance.

Her first two releases showed her to be a producer of ' intelligent, literate lyrics' (musicOMH) in which she also sings about love with a tenderness and idealism that take her narrators far above what can be a harsh reality. They have marked her out as 'sharp and observant' (Arts Council) and ' a rare and exceptional talent' (Dripfed Magazine)

She is no less observant in her new album, 'Lemon' , where we meet a new array of characters. They include the immigrant mother trying to start a new life in a community where neither she nor her children are accepted, the strange world of second home buyers in the gated English communities of southern Spain, the old woman facing life alone after losing her partner and more tales of troubled love. As ever, though, splashes of hope and outbursts of optimism are never far away. We hear about the young couple building a new life together in rural France and of the woman taking a solitary walk on new year's eve, hoping for better times for herself and her lover as the days slowly start to draw out towards spring.

It is Paula's ' sweet, sweet, voice' (BBC Manchester ) singing these tales, however, that continues to attract most attention. It has been described as one that 'sends goosbumps marching up and down your spine' (Logo Magazine) , and possessing ' an exotic intensity ' (Manchester Evening News) that draws you in to the miniature dramas played out in her songs.

What should not be overlooked, either, is that Paula records and produces all her work herself. In an age where producers get as much press coverage as the musicians they produce, a prominent female journalist recently asked, "where are all the female producers?" Well, perhaps like Paula, many of them are in their own studios, quietly honing their skills. ' A room of one's own' has become ' a studio of one's own' and the work Paula is producing in hers, is marking her out as ' a rising talent ' (Time Out).

Her musicianship and production skills, then, have provided 'appealing acoustic arrangements' (MEN). These backdrops to her lyrics and her voice have been described as, 'dreamy and delicious' (musicOMH). When contrasted with her words that often explore the less than dreamy and delicious side of life, the result is an interesting tension that is becoming a familiar characteristic of Paula's work.

Dublin born, raised in London, "musically bloodied in Manchester" , aptly put by one critic, Paula left the north and relocated to rural Norfolk shortly after finishing recording her debut album. Its release on her own label, served to place her in the radar as,' a name to watch ' (MusicOMH).

The plan then was to build a studio in said rural idyll to record the second album. The plan turned into a bit of a somewhat rocky ride, however, with not a few detours, courtesy of the dodgy builders carrying out the work. They put the studio and the album back a whole year!

Three years down the line, however, Paula has emerged in tact with a set of songs that are richly textured both with her experiences and her production skills. There are beautiful strings, some fine beats and catchy guitar hooks but, as ever, it is Paula's voice that cuts through and which stays with you, demonstrating that she may indeed be an artist who 'could become a major talent.' (MusicOMH)