Recording artist Maya Solovey’s new album FORTE brims with that exuberant American sound: colossal drums, cinematic strings, grand percussive pianos, rollicking guitars, tasteful electronics, and most notably Maya’s full-bodied beatific voice, which sounds as if were made from silk and ache. “I was raised in the woods of Massachusetts, damn it,” laughs Solovey. “I’ve been an American my whole life but somehow this is the first American record I’ve made.” Yet it took this multilingual songsmith a few trips around the globe and a couple of albums later to realize that she wanted to return home, to what was familiar, embracing many of the American pop sensibilities that detailed her youth. “Every song started with a piano. I’d pound away and sing until my head hurt. On my previous recordings it was more about this delicate voice, accompanied by classical guitars and a ‘world music’ aesthetic, but I had to abandon this approach. I was now fixed on making something that felt robust and colorful, something that spoke to my roots.” Solovey’s origins extend through much of the American catalogue: from Motown to Soul, onto piano-driven Pop, to the thud and swagger of Funk and Hip Hop, while even blending in some Psych-pop and Folk configurations. And what makes this vibrant collection of songs even more memorable is that it was recorded, produced, and mixed by her live-in boyfriend, two-time Grammy Award Winner, Bassy Bob Brockman (Notorious BIG, Christina Aguilera, Bob Dylan). “When you work with your significant other it becomes much more than just making a record. It’s an act love or better yet a labor of love, and if you don’t put your all into it, well, you can count on sleeping on the couch for the rest of the week,” Brockman jokes. All jokes aside, as an expert and veteran to the game, Brockman was focused on constructing something masterful, “We were bent on making something that rivaled the high-end production of the big label records. However, we were going to do it on our own terms, proving to the ‘big dogs,’” he laughs, “that we could make a giant lush record at a tenth of the price.” Besides Brockman, Maya enlisted some of the Brooklyn’s best musicians to round out this fresh towering sound: Kuroma and MGMT’s Hank Sullivant added his psychedelic guitar leanings, renowned classical musician Dave Egger performed on cello, and acclaimed composer Naren Rauch organized all of the arrangements. “There’s something cathartic about making something this massive. When you’re done collaborating on a project like this you feel like you’ve emptied out your soul,” says Solovey, “and I think that’s a good thing.” But to say that this record is merely “massive” might discredit the songwriting because the lyrical content within depicts an authentic portrait of a couple’s relationship, and it’s treated with the care of a literary novel or an art-house film. From the naïve and playful optimism every couple experiences on “Ring, Ring, Ring” onto the theme of infidelity with “Smile” and finally resolving with an apology on “The Most” where Solovey closes out the record in a whisper, “I wish I’d learned to be more kind to you, who I loved the most.” The beauty of FORTE is that although the sound is huge the sentiment remains intimate, as so it chronicles this age-old arc of a couple’s relationship in a very contemporary fashion. Solovey adds, “It’s funny we made this big-sounding recording yet at the core it’s still a very personal record. The contrast is ironic, I suppose,” she smiles. “So maybe it’s the irony after all that makes these songs feel so ‘American.’” credits released 19 June 2012 Produced by Bassy Bob Brockmann "Ring Ring Ring" produced by Eric Maltz and Bob Brockmann All songs written by Maya Solovey, except "Ring Ring Ring", written by Eric Maltz, and "Orphan", written by Maya Solovey, Zach Adam, and Bassy Bob Brockmann. Recorded at Womb Room Music, Commando Room, and Moon Lab Studios, Brooklyn NY Engineered and mixed by Bob Brockmann and Eric Gorman at Commando Room, Brooklyn NY Mastered by Ricardo Gutierrez at Stadium Red, NYC Art Design by Christine Giberson, www.cgiberson.com Cover photo by Donna DeMari, www.donnademari.com Maya Solovey- All vocals, piano, and harmonium Bassy Bob Brockamnn- bass (obviously...) Naren Rauch- String Arrangements, guitar, banjo, and ukelele Eric Maltz- Additional vocals and keyboards Hank Sullivant- Guitar and Bass Tommy Mokas- Guitar Philip Sterk- Pedal Steel Timo Ellis- Ukelele Evan Pazner- Drums Robert "Chicken" Burke- Drums Dave Eggar- Cello Ron Lawrence- Viola Julie Goodale- Viola Esther Noh- Violin Chern Hwei Fung- Violin Pauline Kim Harris-Violin Thank you so much to our friends, family and colleagues that have supported us. Our gratitude to you is truly immeasurable. tags
3/4 and 6/8 by Maya Solovéy is licensed under a Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
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