Pioneering American singer/songwriter Suzanne Vega returns to the UK with her brand new tour Lover, Beloved.
One of contemporary music’s most iconic singer/songwriters, Suzanne Vega, celebrates the remarkable life of another distinguished writer, Carson McCullers, when she releases a new studio album inspired by the novelist entitled Lover, Beloved: Songs from an Evening with Carson McCullers on her own Amanuensis Productions on 14 October 2016.
Having long admired McCullers’ work since first reading a short story of hers as a teenager, Vega already made the determination at a young age that, “If I ever want to play a character at any point in the future, I could play this woman.” On her new album, Vega inhabits McCullers’ extraordinary character and renders the life of a woman who, revolted by the politics and racism of her upbringing in the American South, arrived in New York in her early twenties and became one of the literary lights of the 20th century.
“Lover, Beloved is a collection of ten songs from the musical Lover, Beloved: An Evening With Carson McCullers. In the play McCullers is shown at two historical moments that bookend her career: the first, set in 1941, when The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter propelled her to literary fame, and the second shortly before her death, as she movingly reflects on her life and work. The songs, which she co-wrote with longtime friend and theatrical collaborator Duncan Sheik, richly capture the essence of McCuller’s insightful words and forward-thinking philosophies on gender and love. “I feel that McCullers’ ideas and thoughts are very modern,” Vega says, “and she incarnates them in a way that other authors don’t. She tried to live them and paid a price for it.”
The recordings on Lover, Beloved which feature Gerry Leonard’s evocative, atmospheric electric guitar playing are set on a beautiful bed of acoustic, piano, bass, drums, accordion, trombone and clarinet. That McCullers herself was an accomplished, classically trained pianist and that the lyricism of her writing reflects that innate musicality – only further enhances the shivery dynamic between words and music on the album.
In addition to releasing the new Carson McCullers-inspired album, Vega will also premiere a new production of her play Lover, Beloved: An Evening With Carson McCullers in Los Angeles on 21 October.
With songs such as Marlene on the Wall, the Grammy nominated/MTV award-winning Luka, the hugely successful album Solitude Standing, and acappella song Tom’s Diner, which was a worldwide remix hit for UK-based dance duo DNA in the early 90’s, Suzanne Vega has come to be regarded as the vanguard of a new generation of female singer/songwriters.
“Story-telling was made for Suzanne Vega – perfection” (Manchester Evening News)
“She shows love, loneliness, and overall goodness in her timeless songs” (BBC Music)
“States Of Being is a masterpiece…..fantastic” (Daily Express)