YORK musician Lucy Castro and her band Coldharbourstores are to release their latest album, Vesta, on March 1.

"Having lived away from York for some years, I'm now back living and working in the city, teaching voice and singing for individuals and with groups and working in fashion too," says singer, lyricist and synth player Lucy.

"I first got into the local music scene in the Nineties, when when I was in my teens. Those were the days of The Urban Scarecrows, Rites Of Man and Chutzpah!, and I sang in Ellacappella, York's female blues choir, led by Em Whitfield Brooks.

"Then I was in Trout, an indie/rock band with Rich Ingermells, the flautist and guitarist in Rites Of Man, and I was also part of Breeze, a female vocal harmony blues band with Em Whitfield Brooks, Bee Warren and Suzi Saeki, who played regularly in York and Leeds." 

Lucy moved to London, where she joined Coldharbourstores in 2007, five years after their debut album More Than The Other, replacing original singer Daniel Bowling. "We're a dream pop/electronic/alt/indie band, whom I continue to sing, write and perform with, playing with guitarist and keyboards player Michael McCabe, drummer and backing vocalist Liam Greany and guitarist David Read," she says.

"We had a bit of a buzz in the national press for our second album, Wilderness, in 2017 with great reviews in Uncut, The Quietus and Q, among others, and we’ve been working together for more than ten years.

York Press:

Perfect match! The swan artwork for Coldharbourstores' Vesta album

"Despite none of the band living in London anymore, we're still going strong and releasing our third album – my second with the band – in March on Enraptured Records, produced by Graham Sutton, of Bark Psychosis, producer for Jarvis Cocker, British Sea Power and These New Puritans."

Coldharbourstores were determined to shorten the gap between albums once Wilderness took more than 14 years to arrive after their debut. Aim achieved, they have made "essentially a love album – universal, personal, eternal – keeping the flame alive no matter what," reveals their publicist, Sean Newsham.

"We have a teaser single, Swan, coming out first," says Lucy. "Then official single/video releases of Disenchantment and Castle will follow, directed by Jonathan Pound and Andy Warrington respectively, in the lead-up to the album's release on gold vinyl, gatefold CD and digital download.

"We were recently played on BBC Sounds by Bob Fischer and we've done two cracking gigs in London, first at the Victoria in Dalston in November, with Epic45 and Wylderness, and then at the Oslo in Hackney in December, supporting Amusement Parks On Fire and Deja Vega. Now I’m in conversation with Please Please You promoter Joe Coates to see if we can arrange a York gig, ideally supporting a bigger act."

Watch this space for news of that York show. Meanwhile, Lucy can be found hosting a weekly drop-in voice group, called Just Sing, at Millers Yard, in Gillygate, every Wednesday from 7pm to 9pm.

"I've also contributed to many local community projects, leading confidence-building workshops, Stronger Voice, for the Healing Clinic and with the York LGBT group," she says. "I also run a lot of short courses in exploring sound and voice and regular voice workshops at St Bede's [Pastoral Centre] in York."