Invisible Threads EP

Play 01 Play 01 Invisible Threads 3:47
Play 02 Play 02 Bright Underwing 3:57
Play 03 Play 03 Septemberlight 2:40

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Here are three new tracks which were going to be on my next album – until I realised that the album was becoming too big and unwieldy and unfocused, and that if I took these three songs out, they would make a nice EP, and it would leave the album more cohesive as a result. The album isn’t ready yet, but these tracks are, so … here they are.

The first track, ‘Invisible Threads’, now sounds to me like a song that should be written after the pandemic. However, it was written in early 2019. As well as the full arrangement, I've also included the original demo, which was just voice and piano, as a bonus track with the download.

The second, ‘Bright Underwing’, is the only song I wrote during 2020. I didn’t write any songs during the majority of lockdown, as at that point I felt that I’d already written all of the things I wanted to say about the pandemic in earlier songs, and had zero ideas for anything new. Also, my songwriting process depends on talking to people in real time, and group conversations with lots of ideas being generated – both trivial and serious – some of which turn out to be the last jigsaw piece in something I've been trying to write.

The song is about several things: the way time went all weird during lockdown, exploring the outdoors and noticing little things that might have gone unnoticed before, and staying connected to friends while physically separated. Most of the imagery comes from conversations with my friends about their own experiences in nature. I have come to associate particular plants, animals, birds, rocks, mushrooms, etc. with people who’ve talked to me about them, so when I see that thing I think of that person, and it’s a nice thing to have happening in my head when I’m wandering about.

‘Septemberlight’ is a song about seasonal sense memory, and was written after a conversation with a family member who noticed echoes of intense emotions she’d experienced the previous year turning up as the season changed to match the time of year they’d happened in. And I’ve noticed the same thing happening to me, sometimes. I don’t think we can be the only two people in the world who experience this. However, we've both just recently observed that we aren't experiencing it at the moment – perhaps as a result of the pandemic's time-flattening effect.

This track is based on a single live vocal and piano performance, so it is a little bit rougher than the other two. But I liked something about the energy of it, so I wanted to release this version, even if I re-record a different version in the future.


Released October 27, 2021
All songs written and performed by Helen Bell


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