CRISTINA VANE – ” Badlands “

Posted: January 23, 2021 in Classic Albums, MUSIC
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When you watch the video for “Badlands” the first single from Cristina Vane’s forthcoming debut LP Nowhere Sounds Lovelythe first thing that catches your eye is the bottleneck on her finger. Like a young Bonnie Raitt, Vane sings from both her voice and her supple, bluesy guitar playing almost simultaneously–her sound as earthen as the South Dakota landscape with which she sings about on “Badlands.”

“This song was an exercise in trying to capture the energy of a place,” Vane says about the song. “Until this record, I seldom wrote about anything besides human emotion and relationships. My first cross-country tour lasted five months, and opened up my experiences to visions and sensations I had never seen or felt. Contemplating a place like the Badlands of South Dakota for the first time inspired me to write a song to do it justice. 

“Out of the flat, wind-strewn setting of the prairie, the Badlands emanate and draw your attention to them immediately, much like the swallows that seemed drawn to my car as I drove through long stretches of the Dakotas (hence, ‘dead birds’),” she continued.  “You are constantly seen, for there is nowhere to hide on the plains. The toughness of the weather and soil year around, paired with the menacing, jutting, mineral rocks are what give the Badlands their name, and they are what birthed this song.”

Yet Nowhere Sounds Lovely was recorded in Tennessee, where Vane and an A Team of studio pros–including bassist Dow Tomlin, Tommy Hannum on pedal steel and fiddle man Nate Leath among others–convened inside The Embassy in Leipers Fork with acclaimed producer Cactus Moser to create an album that chronicles her first cross-country trip in the United States.

I had hit a wall in Los Angeles trying to pursue music and decided it might be worth seeing if other people around the country respond to it, Having been born and raised in Europe, it was a way for me to get closer to understanding my American side as well as to reconnect with my musical purpose- to connect with and inspire people through performance. I recorded Nowhere Sounds Lovely pretty soon after ending the tour and deciding to move to Nashville, and I think it reflects elements I gleaned from my travels and discovering country and bluegrass music so late in my life.”

Nate Leath layed down some really impressive fiddle, and I would never have thought to include that on my previous records,” she proclaims. “Similarly, Tommy Hannum plays pedal steel and dobro on the record. ‘Dreaming of Utah’ and ‘Satisfied Souls’ are both waltzes which nod to the classic country style. 

Born in Italy to a Sicilian-American father and a Guatemalan mother, Cristina Vane has always had a tenuous relationship with geography. She grew up between England, France and Italy, and was fluent in four languages by the time she moved to her fathers’ native United States for university at the age of 18. And when you listen to “Badlands” and watch its accompanying video.

Vocals, and guitar – Cristina Vane Percussion- Cactus Moser Bass – Dow Tomlin Pedal Steel- Tommy Hannum
“Nowhere Sounds Lovely” comes out on April 2nd.

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