WHEN VIRGINIA MET THE STEEL CITY
Reverend and the Makers hit songwriter Ed Cosens helped shape the sound of “Deep South Yorkshire” for Game of Thrones’ Rebecca Van Cleave’s debut EP “The Bedroom Sessions”.
Earlier this year, Rebecca Van Cleave gained international recognition for her work as Lena Headey’s body double in the season finale of Game of Thrones. The 27 year old British-American actress and model is now adding another string to her bow: singer-songwriter.
Van Cleave wrote The Bedroom Sessions on her baritone ukulele. Through singer-songwriter and producer Samuel Taylor, she was introduced to Ed Cosens. Cosens, of Reverend and the Makers fame who co-wrote their UK Top-10 single “Heavyweight Champion of the World”, teamed up with Van Cleave, Taylor, and local Sheffield musician John Redgrave to help her find her sound.
“We’ve kind of jokingly dubbed it ‘Deep-South Yorkshire,’” laughs Van Cleave. “When I first showed the songs to the guys, I told them I really wanted to hear my hometown in them. Staunton (nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia) has an amazing music scene. Just about every night of the week you can go to someone’s back porch or a bar or Marino’s and find the town’s musicians having a picking party. I really wanted the opening track, Beverley Street, to sound like that - a bunch of friends on a hot southern summer night with instruments and some whiskey, just jamming out with each other.
The guys have done a fantastic job of taking these songs and my ideas and added their own style to them. It’s like we’ve thrown Virginia and Sheffield into a melting pot and created this really amazing sound. I feel very fortunate to be working with Ed, Sam and John and I can’t wait to see what we come up with next."
So is Van Cleave hanging up her acting hat in pursuit of a musical career?
“Definitely not,” she says. “But I am up for seeing where this musical road leads. I have a few acting projects lined up for the end of this year, so I’m looking forward to that, but I’ve also really loved making this EP. It’s been a nice change of scenery.
I think with acting you take pieces of yourself and put them into a character and become that character, and it’s a different kind of creative release, but with songwriting it’s 100% me. My heart on my sleeve if you will. This record is definitely honest. But I think that’s what music should be. My father is a very talented singer-songwriter so from the time I was born my life was always surrounded by music. Growing up, I had a lot of friends in bands. Music has always been a massive part of my life so it’s really nice to feel like I now have something to contribute. I’ve written a lot of songs over the years, but have never really shown them to anyone. I’ve had so much fun working with the guys to turn these songs that I wrote on a ukulele in my bedroom into the bigger sound I had imagined in my head. It’s been a very rewarding process and I feel lucky to have such amazing producers and friends.”
Rebecca Van Cleave - The Bedroom Sessions
Track 1. Beverley Street
Track 2. N.R.T.
Track 3. Everest
Track 4. Losing You
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