Erika Stucky: Lovebites: Release Information
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Release Date: 01.10.2003
TT Catalogue No: 4470
“Fasten your seat belt, I´m taking you on my trip : We will be overflying the so-called Heidi Alps, hitting
Charles Manson on our way, passing Doris Day (or was it Mrs. Tate?), only to
meet Nazareth for lunch and steal a kiss from Screaming Jay Hawkins or Joe
Pesci whoever is home - and end up wiggling Rosmary‘s baby to sleep...
Lean back, close your eyes and Trust In Me!“
Music is an eternal mystery, playing with people’s associations as if
they were intelligible chess figures. But in an age when every sound imaginable
enjoys unprecedented availability, fewer and fewer musicians are prepared,
or even able to exhaust these creative possibilities fully.
Already on her last album „Bubbles And Bones“, Erica played an enigmatic game, pawning pieces from Alp folklore, pop and jazz. European collided with American and mostly inverted its valency just when you believed a musical position had been taken on one of the two continents. The demarcation line between archaic and avant-garde, between imagination and reality was overstepped from both sides The more reflection Erika Stucky allows herself, the more prophetically she looks ahead. For her it’s all about the absolute honesty of every single expression, which often sums up to something completely different than could ever be suspected by using simple addition.
On „Lovebites“, the Swiss globe trotter brews an even more organic hybrid from different cultural conditions, and epochs which exclude each other. She describes a wide span of melodies that everybody knows, but no one, in their supposed consequence, has ever dared to cover - from “A Whiter Shade Of Pale“ by Procul Harum, or the evergreen, lovesick schmaltzy “Love Hurts” by Nazareth, to a whole palette of her own songs. The amazing thing is that the songs she pens herself often sound more familiar than the classics.
The opener “Stolen Kisses” already offers an entire bouquet of familiar images and deja-vu’s. Erika Stucky takes the listener into a labyrinth of memories, and you never have to leave the vantage point of the present observer. Her songs are so relaxing because imagination gets by without being sentimental, and the whole album makes you feel like you’re just browsing through a glossy magazine.
Stucky’s images become three-dimensional with her voice often taking a different direction than that of her lyrics. With vocal command and melody, she sets fateful counterpoints to the lyrical content of the seemingly naïvely sung songs. “As an actress I follow the maxim not to play anything I don’t feel,” says Stucky. Some songs already exist as hooklines in my head and follow me around for days until I decide to give them flesh and bones. With other songs it’s pictures I’ve been carrying around for a long time that finally want to come out. And other songs I just heard some time on the radio. I was captivated by them and enthralled by the people behind them. I would sing them constantly again and again until I finally learned the lyrics by heart and made them my own. Before recording any one track I would tell my producer Knut Jensen the exact story of what connected me to the song.
This is the way „Lovebites“ became a film of sound. Made up of different episodes, Erika Stucky’s voice is the leitmotif. But the vocalist is not the only performer in this song movie. “I have the best band in the world”, she raves. “Without the boys the music wouldn’t be anywhere near what it is. Musicians like Ray Anderson, Lew Soloff, Jon Sass and Bertl Mütter are a godsend. In the last ten years I have worked intensively with horns and that undoubtedly has had a strong influence on my vocals.” Indeed, the horn section with two trombones, tuba, sousaphone and trumpet entwine around Stucky’s vocals like a fairy-tale arabesque, her voice itself bewitched into a verbal trombone. On the other hand, exactly this instrumentation supplies the architectonic fundament for the bridge between the Matterhorn and the swamps of Mississippi. In the cinema of her songs Erika Stucky does not only write the plots, but creates the stage and setting.
“Lovebites” is a collection of treasures, a basket of amber holding memories preserved, shimmering in the sun, awakening different associations in every beholder. It is just as much a loving and passionate declaration of faith to Switzerland, most prolific in the adaptation of Jimi Hendrix’s “If Six Was Nine” (of all songs!), with sound documents from the legendary “68 demonstrations in Zürich. At the same time the album describes an escape into the world and a return to the microcosm of a personality. Fierce anachronism as conscious resistance against digital frigidity, documented in the short spontaneous shred of conversation “Rolling”. Music as a process of an individual emotional and intellectual movement of permanent learning and re-evaluation. Last but not least, this album is an impressive manifesto of liberating doubt, which ultimately vents itself on the hidden track, “I Want A Man Like Joe Pesci”.
© Traumton Records