March 3, 2017 - 8:00 pm
Upon releasing her 2014 album, Ease My Mind (Kingswood Records), singer-songwriter Michaela Anne garnered considerable acclaim for her introspective songwriting. The New York Times praised the “plain-spoken songs of romantic regret and small-town longing” and the Village Voice listed it among its Top 5 Country Albums of the year. Since then, however, this once-solitary diarist has transformed herself into a gregarious storyteller. Michaela Anne has discovered her inner extrovert.
Bright Lights and the Fame (Kingswood Records), recorded at Farmland Studio in Nashville, is full of sharp observations and easy wit, with several upbeat numbers tailor-made for the dance floor of the nearest honky-tonk. While there are gentler, more personal aspects to it that recall her earlier work, Bright Lights and the Fame displays a newfound brashness, starting with the album’s cover image, in which Michaela Anne sports a bedazzled denim outfit, a vintage find that’s perfect for catching the spotlight.
Having recently relocated from Brooklyn to Nashville, Michaela Anne took advantage of the many collaborative writing opportunities Nashville has to offer as she developed her repertoire for the album. She’d met the Grammy-nominated producer Dave Brainard (Brandy Clark, Jerrod Nieman) after opening for singer Clark at the Highline Ballroom in Manhattan and co-wrote two tracks, strikingly different in mood, with him: the heartbreak ballad “Everything I Couldn’t Be” and the up-tempo “Won’t Go Down,” a deceptively barroom-worthy number about the lines the narrator just won’t cross. Michaela Anne and Brainard had a lot in common: they both were raised in very disciplined military families but were drawn to the more freewheeling world of the musician. The song reflects that intriguing dichotomy in Michaela Anne’s own life.
Given her dad’s military service, Michaela Anne’s upbringing was an itinerant one. Coming on her own to New York City, she enrolled in the School of Jazz at the New School in Manhattan, thinking that jazz, which she loved, was where her talent lied. That’s the circuitous way Michaela Anne found her voice and her calling as a musician – and earned a diploma. And with her move to Nashville in 2014, she may have found a home.
Her work is candid and convivial, heartfelt and fun, like a night on the town or an intimate conversation with a friend. You’re definitely going to want to hang out awhile.
"In the country/Americana realm, voices like Margo Price, Nikki Lane, Cale Tyson, Andrew Combs, Rayland Baxter, Kelsey Waldon, Caitlin Rose, Joe Fletcher, Michaela Anne and Steelism are some of the dominating names — all coming to represent a sound more enamored by craft than chart-topping, more comfortable with Telecaster slides than synthesizers." - Marissa R. Moss, Rolling Stone Country
NPR selected her song “Where Will I Be Found” for it’s Songs We Love feature this past July. You can read what they had to say as well as listen to the song here.
$23 in advance : Buy Online