“The vision for The Slowest Curve has been incubating for years, but teaming up with Jay Pinto, the producer, really pushed me in a new direction” Atkins said. “The result is a rare instance where reality exceeded my plans.”
Atkins’ new album pushes the envelope for the trendy indie-pop music scene. The EP entices listeners with innovative sounds while exploring windows, the four seasons and completion.
“The variety of sounds really paint the album in a rich way,” Atkins said. “It takes my songs to a new level.”
Atkins’ keystone soprano voice is partnered with heavy keyboards, digital percussion a la Peter Gabriel and a side of bass. She pairs these traditional elements with that variety of sounds, including a hurdy-gurdy, typewriter, running water, bassoon, a creaking boat, bells, vocoder, a string quartet, and even a gong.
The result is the next evolution of indie-pop that essentially creates art for the ears.
A nationally recognized visual artist as well as a graduate of the Berklee College of Music, Atkins cites an eclectic range of influences, from Laurie Anderson to Leonard Cohen. She also mentions famed writing teacher Natalie Goldberg with whom she studied. Another influence that comes through is her time spent studying opera in her native California.
“There is a different sense of structure in art music,” said Atkins. “It feels wide open.”
Atkins uses her eclectic background to take listeners on a journey. There are four tracks—one per season. Each is set in front of a window in the morning. The consistent set up parallels the impressionist work of painter Claude Monet, whose repetitive compositions highlighted variety in light and color. The album begins with a chant like number in an odd time signature. The next track moves into a cynical loop. The third track, April Rain, interrupts what promises to be a familiar pop song with the sonic equivalent of a moon landing. The closing number has a sticky gospel feel. None of the lyrics repeat, instead following a poetic structure. They show a concern for the particulars such as mallow, stained glass, pigeons, and creeks.
“I’m always looking for different texture, in the words and in the music,” said Atkins. “I love how he [producer Jay Pinto] fleshed that out.”
For more information about Adena Atkins, or to check out her cutting edge new album The Slowest Curve, please check out her website at http://www.adenaatkins.com or visit her Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/