This past April, Saratoga-based trio Warden and Company released its first full-length album, an insanely catchy, sing-along-able 11-track folk/rock debut called Somewhere, to rave reviews. Critics especially loved the album’s title track, a duet by Warden and Co. frontman Seth Warden and his 13-year-old daughter, Ella, whose stage name is Lovella. But while there’s no question that the Maple Ave middle-schooler stole the show this time around, Ella has been influencing her father’s music since long before Lovella made her musical debut.
“My wife and I started having children, and as a musician I was being tortured by a lot of the television programming that was for children,” Warden says. We had The Wiggles and Teletubbies…The Teletubbies didn’t even speak! And the music was very silly. I was like, why don’t they make music that’s a little more universal?” So the musician wrote a children’s album, and the band Seth and the Moody Melix—made up of Warden, Doug Moody and Brian Melick—was born.
Fast forward a few years, and the music Warden was writing began to change, again because of his children. “My kids were getting older and the kids that we were performing for were getting older, and it felt like the messages needed to change a bit,” says the vocalist and guitarist. “We started writing more adult-themed or world-themed music in the last couple of years, and it has been very gratifying.”
In 2019, Warden, Moody and Melick released their first EP as Warden and Co., but it wasn’t until the pandemic hit that the new band really found its sound. “Those moments of downtime with the guitar sitting in the corner really proved to be fruitful as far as music and new material is concerned,” Warden, a middle school music teacher, says of the early days of COVID. “I wrote something like 26 songs over the pandemic and nine of those are on Somewhere.”
One such tune is “Somewhere (feat. Lovella).” “We originally thought I was going to sing on a different song, and I sang it and it just didn’t sound right,” Lovella says of the day the band recorded the album at Ballston Spa’s Millstone Studio. “And I was going through the songs in my head and I was like, ‘What about this one?’ And it just ended up working.” Warden adds: “When she started singing in the studio, the song instantly became better.”
So, will Saratoga hear more from Lovella, either on future Warden and Co. tracks or albums of her own? “A couple reviewers said they were hoping for another duet, and the two of us have started working on some music for her specifically,” Warden says. “So it’s completely inevitable.”