Imbued with Brandi Shearer
's smoky voice and classic, blues-inflected songwriting, Close to Dark
is by turns languid and lively, an excursion into dreamy worlds simmering with understated sexuality. The restrained arrangements and deft production by Larry Klein (Madeleine Peyroux
, Joni Mitchell
) add a delicious tension to the songs and compliment perfectly Shearer's less-is-more vocal style.
For these sessions, Shearer assembled well known players from the Brooklyn roots music scene and augmented the roster with a cast of crack LA musicians. Most of the tunes were captured in a single take, adding to the album's warm, spontaneous feeling. "I think we captured that air of spontaneous creativity you get when you're flying blind and everything clicks" says Shearer. Standout tracks include the bittersweet, soulful "Lullabies" and the rocking "Yes, Yes, Yes" the album's most confessional number.
Raised on a farm in rural Oregon, the daughter of two carpenters, Shearer initially picked up music in scraps - from her grandmother, who could play any song by ear on the piano, from a cowboy neighbor who taught her how to harmonize, and from classical guitar lessons in high school. A study abroad program in college led to an extended sojourn in Hungary and France where she sang American blues and pop standards in small bars and clubs. Finally settling in San Francisco, Shearer spent several years performing locally before putting together her own band in 2003 to record her self-released Music of a Saturday Night in a single day. An intense 4-hour recording session several months later led to her sophomore disc, The Sycamore
-Video Interview with Brandi
-'Lullabies' (live at The Mint, Los Angeles, CA - 12-15-06
(Streaming audio and/or video links may expire without notice)