Having worked for years as side-woman for the likes of Sufjan Stevens, The National and My Brightest Diamond, Marla Hansen returns with her first solo album in twelve years. »Dust« has the weight and wisdom of hand-me-down folk songs, but also sparkles with the confidence and the excitement of an artist with new colours on her palette.
Working as a creative collaborator can be a triple-edged sword: Helping others explore the jungle of ideas inside their heads can be both inspiring and challenging - but making time for your own creative projects as well is often a delicate balance.
The years as side-woman for the likes of Sufjan Stevens, The National and My Brightest Diamond have made Marla Hansen’s journey from 2007’s »Wedding Day« to her new album »Dust« a faraway honeymoon: time spent recording and touring the world with others before settling in Berlin to focus on her own follow-up, a multi-faceted gem which wears the lines of its lengthy travels like a hard-earned medal.
The slow-burn of »Dust’s« inception can be felt as the album plays. The tracks have weight and wisdom like hand-me-down folk songs, but also sparkle with the confidence and the excitement of an artist with new colours on her palette.
»Wedding Day’s« breezy innocence has graduated into grown-up chamber music - Hansen’s classical background comes into wide focus as solo plucked viola evolves into technicolour Americana dreamscapes, courtesy of Berlin’s Oriel Quartett.
The influence of Hansen’s new hometown are all over this record - nowhere felt more than with the swashbuckling contributions of Berlin synth pioneer Barbara Morgenstern, crackling under the fireside songs like shards of electric glass. Andi Haberl (The Notwist) lurks under every track, his drums simmering like an approaching army of wooden horses.
Taylor Savvy (Peaches, Bonaparte), Knox Chandler (Cyndi Lauper, R.E.M.) and Christian Biegai (Antony and the Johnsons) are all present at this banquet - a transatlantic tapestry sewn together by producer Robbie Moore (L.A. Salami, Jesper Munk) at his Berlin studio complex Impression Recordings.
It is this tangled underbelly which allows »Dust« such an infectious friction. Hansen’s iridescent, aching vocal delivery continuously breaks the gloom like a golden thread, effortlessly gliding above the thunderclouds - a front-row seat in the safety of her silver-lined spy plane with a view of the neon jungle below.
Dust falls from an age-old story and lands in a whole new world.
releases March 6, 2020
All songs by Marla Hansen
Produced by Marla Hansen, Robbie Moore and Barbara Morgenstern Recorded at Impression Studios in Berlin, Robbie Moore Engineer, Sam Vine Assistant Engineer
Mixed by Robbie Moore and Sam Vine
Mastered by Rupert Clervaux
Mastercut by Mike Grinser at Manmade Mastering, Berlin
Karaoke Kalk 116 LP
℗+© 2020 Karaoke Kalk www.karaokekalk.de firstname.lastname@example.org
Published by Just Isn‘t Music Ltd.
Marla Hansen: guitar, viola, piano, vocals
Barbara Morgenstern: keyboards/electronics, piano, vocals
Robbie Moore: piano, percussion, vocals
Andi Haberl: drums, percussion
Anna Eichholz: violin
Simon Goff: violin
Sebastian Peszko: viola
Alice Dixon: cello
Taylor Savvy: bass
Knox Chandler: guitar
Fritz Moshammer: trumpet
Jason Liebert: trombone
Christian Biegai: baritone saxophone
Electronic arrangements by Barbara Morgenstern String and brass arrangements by Marla Hansen
Album artwork by Ingrid Bittar Layout and design by Anne Fehse
Many thanks to:
Thorsten Lütz, Robert Schultz and Kersten Mayer from Initiative Musik, Dominic “Mocky” Salole, Elsa Quarsell, Luis Horacio Pineda,
Samuel Ramos, Dr. Sylvia Grotjohann-Ernst, George and Christine Hansen, Ella Biegai, and my boys, Christian and Victor Biegai.