What is your name?
Abbie Bell From – Abbie Bell & The High Ryes
What is your genre of music?
Modern country pop with some country rock and folk influences.
Give us a little bio about you.
Abbie Bell here again. I am the lead singer and guitarist for Abbie Bell and The High Ryes. I am a “fieldie” girl from Midlothian, Edinburgh, and I’ve been singing and playing music since the age of 11. After years of performing and writing. In my early twenties, I felt driven to record and release my own music in the hopes of achieving some kind of commercial success as a solo musician. The process was eye-opening, demanding, but fulfilling, and I released two singles, “Dance with Me Tonight” and “Playing with Fire.” I then experienced a terrible decline in my mental health and knew I had to take a break. This break sadly turned into a five-year hiatus due to extreme writer’s block, but through self-work my creative juices once again began to flow with the desire to release my new music once more, but this time with the mission to remain true to my writing styles, not to do what others want just for clicks, views, and streams, but to do what truly brings me joy and by doing this, I’m hoping that people will perceive something genuine in me, warm up to me, and actually like my music and what I have to offer the genre, as well as share my enthusiasm for it. This is how my band The High Ryes was founded.
What made you go into music?
For me, it was more of an instinctive feeling and process! Music felt like my calling and something I was naturally drawn to! I grew up listening to a wide range of genres and musicians, which undoubtedly aided things along, but I almost feel like I had no choice but to accept that music would always be a part of my life.
Who are your influences?
I’ve been immensely inspired by genres with a deep level of lyricism and literary approaches like imperfect rhyming, allegory, and complex syllable patterns, which fascinated me when I first started writing songs as a 13-year-old teen. Other key influences for me have included Fleetwood Mac, Elle King, Amy Macdonald, Tina Turner, and I could go on, but we’d be here all day! As a band we are hugely influenced by and feel aligned with Ashely McBride, Cam, Carrie Underwood and Luke Combs.
Are you a signed?
We are not signed!
You released your new single ‘Take It Off’, tell us more about the single and the meaning behind the song.
“Take it Off” represents so many things but to me what it means most is taking off in confidence and feeling liberated with who you are and your expression. I first wrote the song after a period of struggling with my sexuality. I came out as a gay woman when I was 19 and like most people in the LGBTQIA+ community, the fear, guilt, and anxiety were at times overwhelming which led to me being reluctant to use the pronouns she or her in a song. However, with great support, I made the choice to no longer let the fear stop me from what I really wanted to express and “Take it Off” was the result of that. The opening line “Walks into the room like she owns it” was written as a call to myself to be bold, embrace and let the beauty of who I am shine.
Describe the track in two words.
Liberating & Powerful
What was the writing and recording process like?
As I mentioned before, I wrote the song in my early twenties, including the lyrics, melody, and chord structure. I had it on the back burner in my collection of original songs for a long time, but it wasn’t until the band, and I decided to embrace the darker/grittier components of our music that I thought it would be a great addition to our set list. The first band version was much bluesier and rockier, which we loved and enjoyed showcasing live, but in the studio, our producer took it in a different direction, a more traditional country music style with a spaghetti western flair, especially with the slide guitar and those powerful glissandos in the middle 8.
Who did you work with on the single?
First and foremost, my extremely gifted bandmates Ross MacAndrew and Nathan Clarke. They loved the song right away, and the original live version came together quickly, but we never settle in our band, and via our regular demo process, we all added in fresh ideas for each musical component, bringing the song closer to the studio version you all hear today. Next our producer Sandy Jones based in Motherwell. Who is most well-known for his incredible producing work with Wet Wet Wet completely understood the assignment and collaborated with the band to include that stylistic adjustment while retaining all the dramatic, dark qualities that hooked us during the rewrite process.
Will we see a music video for ‘Take It Off’, and if so, what can we expect from the creative process?
We already have an animated music video accessible on our YouTube page! We’re working on something bigger with a really skilled director for a future release, and so far we’ve sent some references and a basic template for the sort of music video we want, and we’re happy that our director is passionate about the project.
Will we see an EP or album and if so, what can we expect from it?
We would love to at some point! We are proud of all our songs and the work that goes into them and having them all together in one art piece would be amazing, but for the time being, releasing singles is more feasible.
Do you have any live shows coming up?
Yes! We are about to embark on our “Take it Off Tour” where we will be performing across various cities in Scotland! Dates so far are:
HMV Ocean Terminal, Edinburgh – September 16th
Bannerman’s, Edinburgh – October 5th supporting Jack J Hutchinson
Classic Grand, Glasgow – October 6th supporting Kevin McGuire
HMV Princess Street, Edinburgh – October 28th
HMV Argyle Street, Glasgow – November 11th
Dukes Corner, Dundee – November 29th
Let us know where we can get tickets if so.
Tickets for all our forthcoming events may be purchased via our link tree – https://linktr.ee/thehighryes, which is also accessible via our Instagram! Alternatively, you can find us on Eventbrite for our Edinburgh show with Jack J Hutchinson and Ticket Scotland for our Glasgow show with Kevin McGuire!
What else can we expect in late 2023?
Our third single announcement!
Where do you see yourself now in 5 Years?
I see myself doing what I enjoy and being content with my life. Whatever happens, I want to be calm and happy with my family by my side, and I want to maintain a healthy work/life balance! I expect to have had many more adventures and I most definitely envisage my band thriving and becoming a household name in the UK country music scene and beyond.
What quote or saying do you always stick by?
Remember why you started!
When you are at a gig, what are 5 things you cannot forget?
- Guitars (would be very unhelpful lol)
- Guitar Accessories- Capos, Tuners, Leads and Pics etc.
- In ear monitors/plugs (got to protect the hearing!)
- Camera or Phone to take footage/photos.
- The Lyrics (although I sometimes do)
Do you have social media accounts so your fans can follow you?
Yes, you can find the band and I on:
Instagram & Facebook – @abbiebellmusic
Instagram/Facebook/X (Twitter)/Tik Tok/Threads – @thehighryes
Easily connect with us by using this link