Born Lee Switzer-Woolf is a professional singer-songwriter based in the United Kingdom, Reading. As a young child his musical taste was heavily influenced by the music his senior brother loved to play, and this gravitated him towards playing in bands.
After the release of his debut album “Scientific Automatic Palmistry” which was released in 2022, Lee has since then been consistently working on improving his craft to give his fans something bigger.
Here is something bigger, and it is called “Annihilation Signals” and this is the sophomore album release is a far bigger, more sprawling release both in terms of the fullness of the album’s sound, and the lyrical themes within.
In a recent interview with Mister Styx of Musicarenagh, Lee Switzer-Woolf shared the main inspiration behind the album and this is what he had to say about it:
“Annihilation Signals are used to measure the potential existence of dark matter. That idea of looking for something that we can’t see but that affects every aspect of our universe really fitted the themes of the album for me.”
He continued saying;
“It’s anxiety, it’s the threat of nuclear war, the climate crisis, our political landscapes, but also our personal ones. We are all being held in this state of potential catastrophe, and that’s what I was trying to examine with the new album.”
Each song on the album is finely tuned to fit the listener’s musical taste regardless of their background and that is a thing which can be attributed to Lee Switzer-Woolf. Annihilation Signals was written, performed, and home-recorded by Switzer-Woolf, and Mixed and Mastered by long-time collaborator Aden Pearce.
You can literally taste the sweat and blood which was put in to get this project done, listening to Annihilation Signals you can clearly tell the beauty of it although some of the songs are melancholic, they convey a deep message with resonates with the listener.
Lee Switzer-Woolf had more to say about his personal life and musical journey as whole.
Get the full story below while you enjoy Annihilation Signals
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What is your stage name:
Is there a story behind your stage name?
Nope, it’s just my name!
Where do you find inspiration?
A lot of my songs tend to be introspective, dealing with anxiety, grief, and personal relationships. On the new album I’ve tried to look outward more but really it’s just catastrophising on a greater scale.
What was the role of music in the early years of your life?
I always felt a connection to music, but I didn’t act on it nearly enough in my youth. I started writing song lyrics very young, but I never did anything with them. I didn’t naturally feel any talent for music and I didn’t push myself to really try until college.
Are you from a musical or artistic family?
No, I’m not. My mum would show me 60’s music she liked, like Herman’s Hermits, but it was my brother’s musical taste that really caught my attention. He got me into bands like Radiohead, and that’s when I started to feel a genuine connection to music.
Who inspired you to be a part of the music industry?
I don’t think of myself as being part of the music industry. I’m perfectly content to be making music for myself, and the fact that other people have found a connection to the songs is amazing.
In terms of inspiration though, I think I would’ve given up making music long ago if it weren’t for my friend Alex. He and I have been in punk bands together for over 20 years now, and for as long as we’ve known each other he has pushed me to get my music out there, long before I believed in my ability to do that.
How did you learn to sing/write/to play?
I taught myself mostly. The first band I ever formed was with a friend of mine, Pally, and we were dark indie-folk songs, not dissimilar to the kind of thing I put out now. Except that all I did was write the lyrics, because that’s all I could do. I bought a guitar from him and started to learn to play and went from there.
What was the first concert that you ever went to and who did you see perform?
It was Radiohead, touring OK Computer, at a sports centre in Reading. 20+ years later I’m still trying to top that.
How could you describe your music?
My music has been described as indie-folk or folktronica. At the heart it is simple introspective alt-folk, but I’ve built in electronic elements. Certainly my new album is much fuller in sound than my previous effort, less focussed on acoustic guitar and stripped back arrangements and more built around a full band sound.
Describe your creative process.
I almost always start with the lyrics. Lyricism has always been where my heart lies, and my main driving reason to keep creating. I try to write as much as possible, preferably writing something every day, even if it’s just a few lines.
The musical side doesn’t come as naturally to me. I usually play around with an acoustic guitar and try to get something basic going in terms of melody and song structure. On the new album a lot of the work came together in actually recording the songs, as I tried to add as much as possible, knowing I could strip away what wasn’t needed or wasn’t working later. It was all about getting down a lot of ideas.
Once the tracks were recorded I handed them over to Aden Pearce, who also mixed and mastered my last album Scientific Automatic Palmistry. Shifting through the mud of my recordings and clearing up / highlighting the best bits is like a super power that he possesses, which I definitely do not. I think we work very well together in that respect.
What musician do you admire most and why?
I love Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes. It comes back to lyrics again, and the sheer depth and consistency of his work is unbelievable. He’s also seemingly not stopped creating for well over 20 years, without diminishing returns.
Who do you see as your main competitor?
I don’t really know what that means, I don’t think musicians have competitors, do they? I will say that my 6 year old has started freestyling his own song lyrics and I’m a little concerned that he might be catching me up already. So, I’ll go with him.
What are your interests outside of music?
I love all kinds of writing, and I’ve tried my hand at poetry, screenwriting and that kind of thing. I wouldn’t say I’m good at any of it, but I feel lost when I don’t have something that I’m working on.
Why did you choose this as the title of this project?
Annihilation Signals are used to measure the potential existence of dark matter. That idea of looking for something that we can’t see but that affects every aspect of our universe really fitted the themes of the album for me. It’s anxiety, it’s the threat of nuclear war, the climate crisis, our political landscapes, but also our personal ones. We are all being held in this state of potential catastrophe, and that’s what I was trying to examine with the new album.
What are your plans for the coming months?
I’m going to be promoting the new album as much as possible. I’m playing a run of acoustic shows with two fantastic artists Page of Swords and Jack Cade, which I’m really looking forward to. I’m also finishing off an album with my punk band Launch Control, which has been such a great process so far, so that is really exciting.
Do you have any artistic collaboration plans?
There are a couple of things that I’ve talked about with various other artists that I’m really interested in pursuing. The idea of collaborating is something I’m definitely interested in, so we’ll see what happens.
What message would you like to give your fans?
I’m just very appreciative of all the support that the last album received. I really hope that people find something for themselves in these new songs. Let me know what you think, I’d love to hear from you.