LENA ANDERSSEN’S ‘State of the Land.’ Triumphant, melancholic, rich in melody and harmony.
‘State of the Land,’ the sixth album by Faroese-Canadian artist LENA ANDERSSEN, is finally released today via SongManic Records.
At times triumphant, at times melancholic, but always rich in melody and harmony, the record is a beguiling mix of folk-rock, classic ‘70s pop, with a hint of new Americana never far from the surface.
And speaking of the Fleetwood Mac tinged lead track, ‘There Must Be Something More,’ Anderssen said, “A couple of days before heading to LA to record, I picked up the guitar and remembered this song that had been lying around untouched for quite some time, and we thought the album needed a nice four-chord song where we celebrate some of my inspirations, like Tom Petty.
“Grammy-nominated mix engineer Marc Daniel Nelson was asked by Blackbird Studios to do a filmed mix tutorial for one of their ‘Inside Blackbird’ sessions and he chose this song, and what you hear on the album is that mix, done on the legendary Neve 8078 console once owned by Donald Fagen of Steely Dan.”
The album was recorded in Los Angeles with legendary recording engineer Geoff Emerick, known for his pioneering work with The Beatles on albums Revolver, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, and Abbey Road, with ‘State of the Land’ garnering unforeseen significance as the last full album he worked on before his untimely death.
Today’s release has a delightful, natural flow to it, from opener ‘The Lark,’ right through to closing track, ‘Good to be Kind,’ which bears the hallmarks of John Barry’s glorious, ‘Midnight Cowboy’ era.
“In a way, ‘The Lark’ is several songs put into one,” adds Anderssen. “At just under five minutes, it’s the longest track on the album. Dynamically it’s also the song with the highest peaks and lowest valleys, so to speak, and where both the tempo and the metre change. The basic tracking was done live with piano, drums, bass and lead vocal, so was probably the song we worked hardest on in the studio, because it was done without a click track, and we really had to be together to make it feel right. As with many of my songs, you can say they were born in darkness, but it is all about hope.
“With ‘Good To Be Kind,’ and with Geoff Emerick behind the console, I wanted to conclude the album in a classic manner, and with the simple message, ‘that the seeds we plant eventually will grow.’ I also vividly remember how Geoff complimented this song when we tracked it. Perhaps it was because the musical inspirations can be traced back to his youth in the ‘50s and ‘60s, with lush string arrangements and a song rich in harmony. Or maybe I’d also like to think the simple message of the song rang a bell with this giant of a sweet soul.”
Anderssen and long-term musical collaborator, guitarist/producer Niclas Johannesen, brought together a stellar recording band including drummer Matt Chamberlain (Bob Dylan, David Bowie, Adele), pianist Matt Rollings (Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, Mary Chapin Carpenter), guitarist Jon Sosin (Melissa Etheridge, Alessia Cara, Andy Grammar) and leading Faroese bassist Jóhannus á Rógvu Joensen, augmented at times by a 30-piece string orchestra, lush horns and the backing vocals of North American indie-folk troubadour, Matt The Electrician.
Mixed by Grammy nominated mix engineer Marc Daniel Nelson and mastered by Eric Boulanger at The Bakery in Los Angeles, ‘State of the Land’ is another landmark step in Anderssen’s musical journey, a journey which began in her early twenties when she was discovered singing to herself waiting tables at a coffee shop in the Faroese capital, to touring with Roxy Music, Beth Hart and Xavier Rudd, and having her songs feature in major TV series Scrubs, Nikita and Felicity.
Listen in full: Lena Anderssen – State of the Land (hearnow.com)
Connect with LENA online: Lena Anderssen (lenamusic.com)