Becci Wallace – Present Tense
Written by ross macfadyen on December 12, 2020
Glasgow’s Becci Wallace is at the heart of Scotland’s songwriting community. Her first album Fragmentality (2015) gained plaudits across the country and secured multiple national and local radio plays. Her latest project Present Tense released in November, signalling a return to the fray following the birth of her two children.
Becci fully admits that in many ways, she wasn’t ready for the experience. “It’s hard to truly describe the isolation, detachment and general sadness you can go through,” she says. “The problem with feeling sad when you should be overjoyed is that you then feel guilty, which just makes the whole thing so much worse. I had no time to work on music, see my friends, or be anywhere or anything except a mother with two tiny kids.”
She bought a loop pedal, which opened the floodgates to a new wave of creativity. “I felt like I had a platform and duty to write something that gave a truthful account of the trials of motherhood and partnerhood,” she says. “Motherhood is beautiful, but it is also challenging, at times unrewarding and thankless… What you don’t realise at the time is that a realignment will happen. The beauty of being a mother is that you have no more time to waste. The things that are important become blindingly clear. All the other stuff becomes dead weight.”
Present Tense is written through the lens of someone who has learned just how important lived experience is. “Women need to be allowed to contribute more to the culture than romantic coming-of-age stories. The struggle is part of the story. Without the struggle, you will never find those beautiful moments of light that give you clarity.”
The single Coloured In, featuring Bryan McFarland (the only male voice on the album) begins a nuanced exploration of the female voice and experience. The daily rituals and precious moments that flow from nurturing a family find form in her nuanced exploaration of human frailties and hidden strengths.
This is the sound of an artist still growing, evolving, and finding her own unique voice as she hits a creative high-point. The results are moving and exhilarating – effortlessly contemporary, but tapping into a deep vein of classic songcraft. An active campaigner on behalf of women in the music industry, Becci is also the creator of That’s What She Said – a series of podcasts featuring panels and performances from women in music.
Known for her tight harmonies and thought-provoking lyrics, Becci writes across genres, often in collaboration, with artists including Pearlfishers, Catherine Rudie, and her partner, Orwell Prize winning author and rapper Loki. She has performed on STV Glasgow, BBC Radio Scotland, and at Scotland’s premiere folk music festival Celtic Connections. She continues to study and teach music and songwriting, lecturing at the University of the West of Scotland.
Present Tense Tracks
2.Sound Of Cats
3.The Things They Say About Love
7.To the Water
11.Through These Eyes