In a recent interview with NPR, Cat Power, has announced her new record, Sun. It is her first release in six years. Her career spans two decades long. I’m sure her fans are thrilled to hear her new works. If that excitement is a little to much to handle, NPR has the new release available to listen to in it’s entirety here. It is also available for pre-order purchase from Amazon.com for September 4th 2012.
In her interview she talks about her alcoholism, and stage fright. Something I witnessed first hand in 2002. On stage she seemed totally uncomfortable. I actually felt bad for watching her, her unhappiness was so transparent. She leaned fully forward over the piano keys, never looked up, and just seemed so completely sad. In her interview she remarked, “I still haven’t been able to capture the joy of what it’s like when I sing — you know, when I’m by myself, or like when I was a little kid. … For me, the moment the mic is on and it’s rolling, it’s impossible to vocally relax for some reason. But one day, I’m going to be able to sing the way I sang when I was a little kid, completely open and free. That’s, I think, the one thing that’s changed: Growing older, I’m not ashamed to hear my voice.”
Sun has a completely different approach to music for Chan Marshall, (Cat Power). She abstained from the guitar completely and was only allowed access to a drum set and synthesizers while in the studio. “The thing that I’d always relied on was the tempo of playing a guitar — you know, like John Lee Hooker taps his foot or Stevie [Ray Vaughan] moves his head. Playing the guitar, you kind of lock into a rhythm and a groove, and then it relaxes me to make up lyrics and sing. So this time, it was a little different. I had to press these strange synthesizers and roll it, roll it, record it, record it, until I did something that I liked.” Though there are guitars and pianos in the record, their presence is interspersed between very interesting synthesizers and rhythms. Her vocals are spot on and harmonized brilliantly. They may be the best recorded yet.
I’m sure her fans will not be disappointed with her most recent work. It goes to show as well, that if you suffer from writers block, lack luster creative ability, or even alcoholism, it can turn around again.