Born in Tennessee, birdpaula grew up in a family where music held an essential place. Be it the school chorale, the church or home, music never left her side. From gospel to folk, cowboy songs to musical comedy, she received, so to speak, all the blessings of the prodigious wealth that makes up American music - a subject she has never stopped documenting and researching. In "Give In To Love" she draws on this wide spectrum of music with subtle mastery.
From her mother, a painter, teacher and poet, she acquired among other things, her love and exploration of the visual arts which has since evolved into one of her several vocations. “Chicago" evokes with understatement and ambivalence, the pain following the divorce of her parents at age two.. moving North, losing all trace of her father and losing her name. Later on after much research she discovered that some of her father’s ancestors, coal miners from northern England, settled in Pennsylvania at the end of the 19th century. In "Dig Down" the folk-blues song which seems to take on the sepia tones of an old photograph, she imagines herself in the presence of the grandfather she never knew, listening to his stories about life in the coal mines, social injustice, and the hypocrisy of the church.
And she continues to “dig down,” until she she discovers other roots - this time, Native American. Her name birdpaula is a reference to what she considers her totem animal - the hummingbird. “To have hummingbird medecine signifies those who seek to bring love, joy and beauty to their surroundings and to those they encounter. It could seem naïve or profound depending on one’s perception, but it entirely corresponds to me,” proclaims the artist. After her mother’s remarriage to a philosophy professor, she leaves the pastoral Smoky Mountains of Tennessee for the noisy avenues and dark skies of Chicago.
More migrations and other culture shocks are to come: Paris, the South of France, Spain, New Hampshire.. "When you change schools and countries so often, you learn to let go of people and places.. to rely on yourself and to use the solitude to make something”. Change of place, name, and identity - birdpaula will use to these elements to forge her wings.
After 2 years of studies at the University of Wisconsin, she takes off to New York in ‘68 where she poses for fashion magazines - an exalting period during which she frequents Max’s Kansas City, the hang-out of NY artists and the Andy Warhol clique, The Scene, the famous music club where she meets Jimi Hendrix who jammed there regularly. In "Cat Has 9 Lives," the song most 70’s rock on the album, she evokes a session with Jimi at the Electric Lady Studios that she witnessed. In London, where she spends a year, she meets the likes of Nico, Marc Bolan and Cat Stevens.. and she is only a step away from Paris.
"I lived in Paris with my parents when I was 6 years old, and already I knew that when I grew up I wanted to live there." Her song "A la Recherche de Hemingway," the one song in French, is a tribute to the author of A Moveable Feast but especially a look back at the bohemian years.. the Luxembourg Gardens, Shakespeare & Co, the cafés of Montparnasse and St Germain.. a time during which she earns her living posing for Vogue, ELLE, Marie-Claire, marries and has two children. All the while nurturing her family and home, she continues to paint, take pictures and write songs on piano, guitar and even the ukulele.
In 2004, Marc Collin, Nouvelle Vague producer, hears her voice on her son’s album Smash - Jackson and His Computer Band, and produces the album birdpaula which is released in 2007. In 2009, she signs a publishing contract at Universal Music, then signs as an artist at Polydor and begins recording the new album in Paris at Studio Ferber. With "Give In To Love" birdpaula recomposes the puzzle of her singular and fertile life with an ever-varied musical score always suited to the expression of her true and profound identity: that of a multi-faceted artist in love with freedom. This independence becomes the lever of the catchy songs on the album - as in the cheeky impudence of "Bird Will Fly”, recalling Nancy Sinatra in her heyday. birdpaula skillfully conjures up musical references and styles as in the 60’s soul feel of "Take the Sway Train," to the playful mix of surrealism, boogie-woogie and ragtime in the joyous and kaleidoscopic "Picnic Party." It is as if the eye of the painter, fond of certain colors, connects with the musician’s palette of atmospherique soundscapes.
And so "Sensuality" is never far from her admiration for Marvin Gaye, whereas "Diamonds To Light" or "Where is My Heart" echoes the feminine singer-songwriters of the early 70’s like Carole King or the white soul of Laura Nyro. With finely-honed lyrics, forceful melodies, jazz voicings and elegant, minimalist arrangements, birdpaula bestows on this modern and upbeat album all the coherence of her rich personality. The upshot is guaranteed. birdpaula knows how to shed light on the past, summoning buried memories and emotions to embody her songs.
Here it is not a question of nostalgia or revival, it is as if the spirit of an era is reborn in the captivating charm of this album. And so it goes, an artist takes flight. www.birdpaula.com Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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