Angela Sheik to Release 'Home Before Dark' on 9/16
On the follow up to her 2013 full length debut One By One, the crafty multi-instrumentalist works with producer RYAT to create a richly textured 10 track exploration of deep grooves, infectious melodies, dynamic vocal harmonies and soulful ambiences.
A truly groundbreaking musical force of nature, Angela Sheik's enigmatic style presents a dynamic challenge for anyone trying to capture or pin her down with simple phrases or traditional categorizations. On her new album "Home Before Dark", the soulful music innovator opens up a world of sonic, rhythmic and compositional possibilities that have driven her success as a multi-faceted, trip-hop and electronic-infused folk-pop indie artist.
Though she has been compared to everyone from Billie Holiday to Imogen Heap, the expansive vibe of the album reflects many of her favorite lifelong influences, including tripnotic downtempo masters like Bjork, The Chemical Brothers, Portishead and contemporary artists like Jack White, Grizzly Bear, Sia and Zero7. Blown away by RYAT's fierce innovation after seeing her perform for the first time in Flagstaff, Arizona, Angela knew that RYAT would bring the perfect touches, textures and effects to help her realize her own vision for the songs.
Angela Sheik has been brilliantly fusing her traditional singer/songwriter leanings with electronic innovations since the release of her aptly titled 2011 debut EP "Songs from the Red Box." The Grand Prize winner of the BOSS Loop Station 2011 U.S. National Finals, winner of the Philadelphia Songwriter Project Competition and twice voted Female Artist of the Year (93.7 WSTW Hometown Heroes), the multi-talented singer's sensual rendition of "Can't Help Falling In Love" - from her 2013 full length debut album "One By One" - was nominated for Best Cover Song by the Independent Music Awards.
Wowing audiences with her fearless creative experimentation, fast effects pedal footwork, mischievous smile and self-generated swirl of rhythmic harmonies, beatbox rhythms, a looper pedal and a unique collection of instruments, the multi-talented artist has performed regularly at the intimate Philly hotspots Tin Angel, World Café Live and Melody's Café; toured the U.S. and Europe; performed at The Living Room in NYC and Uncommon Ground in Chicago; and opened for The Neon Trees, Julia Holter, Joseph Arthur, Terra Naomi, Tim Fite and renowned bassist and pop singer Meshell Ndegeocello.
Tri-State Indie Magazine may have expressed the audience reaction to Angela best: "I was blown away...and I'm still recovering." Sam Yahres, a music critic from Pittsburgh added, "Angela's vocals are truly mesmerizing, the words coming from somewhere deep and escaping her body with a breathy soulfulness that connects directly to the audience."
Angela says that "Home Before Dark" feels more natural and closer to her true voice than her first full length album, "One By One", released in 2013. "One By One was an exercise in learning to write songs. I love that album, but Home Before Dark is definitely closer to my core and takes more musical and emotional risks."
Those risks and her candid, insightful and stirring reflections inspire an epic journey, starting with the edgy, rolling rock-influenced "Bring It On," whose rumination on the ludicrous, violent nature of life has led Angela to create a provocative new video featuring a battle between centuries-old Pierrot clowns. Battle ready on the hypnotic "Here Comes Trouble," she then ruminates on the defense mechanisms we bring (but hide effectively) in social situations on "Tiger In Tow" and then contrasts a downtempo moodiness with defiant optimism on "Getting Out Of Here Alive." "I prefer to have joy and be a hopeful person," she says. "But the key is to get up off the couch and choose life."
A friend of hers calls the haunting, percussion heavy "Over My Dead Body" a song where she's "getting bratty with God," while the slow building title track "Home Before Dark" was her parallel response to a similarly brooding favorite Chemical Brothers piece called "Where Do I Begin." "When No One" is Angela's hushed, mystical response to being left alone in a house with her aunt's belongings in the days after her aunt passed away - and feeling peace about it. After the sweeping, cinematic "Evening Calls," where she feels the ironically beautiful call of sadness, she makes the whimsical, classically influenced "Discovery" that "The truth is we don't know/The truth is it's okay...Together we can trust." Angela wraps the set with a seductive, chillout twist on the romantic standard "I Only Have Eyes For You" that explores the song's heretofore hidden emotional dimensions.
"Home Before Dark is more spiritual and introspective than any of my previous work, but I was inspired by the challenge to probe deeper into the unanswered questions I had without being 'mopey.' The album reflects my struggle with faith and doubt, thoughts about the brevity of life and the possibility of God in the midst of the bizarre chaos that we experience as humans."