Helen Townsend is a prolific songwriter, influenced heavily by her roots, her life’s journey and her unique observations on life. Her delicate, understated guitar work interlocks beautifully with a voice that delivers subtle and extended vocals – and what a voice it is. She was born in Sydney, Australia, and grew up in the suburb of Connells Point. The youngest of four, the Townsend girls were surrounded by music from an early age. Inspired by her sisters and her neighbourhood friends, Helen was gripped by music and picked up the guitar at 13. A wide range of music reached out to her over the years - from a Kiss concert at the age of 10, to Frank Sinatra to the Ramones; and local bands in her late teens like Bondi Cigars through to Wilson Picket and Ray Charles. Discovering Rockabilly and Western Swing dancing at 19, she was exposed to the music that allowed her to gravitate to Americana, where she has focussed ever since.
Whilst her early years in Sydney shaped her, her travelling years influenced her greatly – from the heart of Africa to London, where she bought her first guitar, to the harsh yet musically fertile climate of the Orkney Islands and Belfast; and on to Germany, California and Arizona. Her travels and her stories triggered the need to write and, thankfully ever since, there’s been a steady output of the stories, lyrics and the music we love her for today. Settling in Fremantle Western Australia, the historic and cultural hub of Perth, she keeps company with many like-minded musicians who seek her out for her voice, her authenticity, her sheer love of music and the joy she brings.
A singer-songwriter with a laid-back style and an expression in her performance that will have you looking into your soul one minute and rocking the next. Helen’s songs resonate with her audience and she has built a loyal following since her debut album was launched in 2014. She is now regarded as one of Western Australia’s finest exponents of this genre. Helen has a natural understanding of creating mood and atmosphere that draws her audience in and her diverse musical influences gives her the ability to fuse a wide array of elements to bring a repertoire to her followers that both charms and entices.
Her songs are sweeping stories from the heart. She looks life in the eye and finds a way to sing about what we don’t always see. “Cool Wind” – laments lost love and showcases her vocal subtleties as well as her extended range, whilst “Ghost Train” is an observation on our daily grind and reminds you to step out, live life and dance occasionally! Helen delivers intelligent lyrics and plays with a passion born of her life experiences. An exceptional live performer with a pure and concise delivery - it’s a combination of this, her originality and authenticity that has garnered her widespread respectability.
Helen has played to audiences throughout Western and Eastern Australia and internationally. Her 2014 debut EP “Wayward Heart” received award nominations for: BBCMA 2017 Independent EP of the Year; BBCMA 2016 Single of the Year for “Red Light”; and WAM 2016 Song of the Year - Country Category – for “Streets of Glory”. Most recently she has been nominated WAM 2017 Best Country Act; and WAM 2017 Song of The Year - Country Category – for “Promised Land”, co-written with Bill Chambers, yet to be released on her upcoming album.
She has toured her EP and her many other songs via festivals, house concerts and residencies in Fremantle. Now is an exciting time for Helen as she prepares to produce her next work – debut album – due for release August 2018.
Helen Townsend has filled people’s hearts with joy over the years, has entertained thousands and has brought hope to several causes that she has embraced……and her new album is just around the corner.