Produced, engineered, overdubbed and mixed by Mike Dronkers (KHUM Radio) in his Pirate Room and mastered by Gavin Lurssen at Lurssen Mastering (Alison Krauss/Robert Plant), Lila Nelson’s We Never Came, is existential folk pop at its best. This, Nelson’s fifth release, juxtaposes sonic risk-taking and melodic catchiness. Her clear, stark poetry hangs on broad beats, tremolo guitars, keys and bees as Dronkers makes his debut as a one-man backing band and all around sound sculptor.
The title track, “We Never Came” was inspired by the death of Paul Newman. “Custer” is an early years composition,
revealed here with careful intensity and an Arc and Weld guitar solo from Dronkers. And rounding out the trifecta, “If Not
You” recalls Nelson’s radio dj days when she hosted the feature “Write Your Own Damn Songs.” Here, listener song-
seeds come to full bloom.
We Never Came might just be the soundtrack for your ever-arrival.
Street date: 2/15
Watch the video from the release celebration at the Arcata Theater:
1. Rattle My Attic (3:26)
2. Do You Got the Time (4:21)
3. Hold Your Place (3:56)
4. Secret Agent Eyes (4:31)
5. Parallel Lines (3:34)
6. I Was Young When I Left Home (3:39)
7. Thanksgiving (2:36)
8. American Miracle (2:19)
9. Laugh a Little (4:26)
10. Gravity of Levity (4:20)
11. Through The Window (2:31)
12. Let You Go (3:41)
Notes:Letter Home, haunts, hangs, rattles and bangs. Featuring the production and session work of Freddy Koella (Bob Dylan, K.D. Lang, Doctor John) and Kenny Edwards (Emmylou Harris, Warren Zevon, Linda Ronstadt) as well as Don Heffngton on drums and Stewart Cole on trumpet, Letter Home is as tender as it is dark and deep. Hinging on the proverbial letter that was never written, the entire work is a sincerely spoken recitation. “Secret Agent Eyes” whispers and wails through ethereal electric guitars, with Cole’s part-animal, part-trumpet line rising and falling on the horizon. “Parallel Lines” rambles down the street, the lined page, the garden row—bespeckled with banjo, violins and harmonica. The album unfurls, a smile in slow motion, taking a turn for the wry with “American Miracle,” her very own brand of literate lyri-cynicism. Love songs—equal parts stirring and cerebral—propel the record along. Koella’s vivid arrangement style and taste for the cinematic soundscape—featuring everything from a 19th century Martin guitar to a stainless steel lampshade—underscore Nelson’s uniquely evocative voice and incisive turn of phrase. Altogether, Letter Home is a missive not to be missed.
High Gloss Low Sheen EP (2005) -
Hold it in Your Hand (3:07)
Dirty Magazines (3:53)
Child of this World (4:27)
Love Comes Easily (2:34)
One by One (3:44)
Digital Distribution Only.
from CD Baby
Notes:High Gloss, Low Sheen starts off simple and sparse with "Hold it in Your Hand." Just voice and piano, it's stark and potent. Next is "Dirty Magazines"..."don't you know they make it hard...for the girl next door not to be hardcore when she's in her own back yard." This is a well crafted song with a well crafted punch line that will have radio programmers holding their breath. Track 3, "Child of this World" is driving, and rich with instrumentation (Ian Caliendo on mbira) and vocal layering. In some ways, this song is the hard hitter with it's hooks, freewheelin' phrasing, pop sensibility and powerfully dissonant under-and-over-tones, both lyrically and musically. The next track, Love Comes Easily, is again simple and well crafted; the delivery is intimate, the movement of the guitar line playful, and the message bittersweet - reminiscent in ways of early Tom Waits. Finally, "One by One" is joyfully dichotomous with a rough and almost-ready production quality.
Still Got the Farm (2004)
Pool Filling (4:53)
Fresh Paint (4:53)
Up North (4:53)
Spelling Bee (4:53)
River Night (4:14)
Bodhi Tree (4:35)
Still Got the Farm (4:53)
Michigan Spring (4:53)
from CD Baby
Send $15 check to:
Lila Nelson P.O. Box 4150 Arcata, Ca. 95518
Notes:Still Got the Farm was self-produced with Nelson’s husband and partner
Ian Caliendo. With fresh imagery and lyrics that go from pastoral poems
("Up North") to seasonal laments (the opener "Poolfilling" and
“Michigan Spring”), this California native captivates the listener with
simple, folk songs that convey messages through metaphors without
preaching. To illustrate, "Fresh Paint" is a gorgeous song that
shelters its politics behind the image of a new paint job, which stands
for the quick fixes that today's society is prone to taking: from wars
to poverty, these band-aid solutions will never heal the problem.
Through lyrics that hint at big money and big oil, Nelson captures the
state of the union. (Review from Indie-Music.com)
Live From Arcata (2000)
Boats and Babies
Let Go Your Dreams
Santa Cruz Clouds
Early and Late
Early in the Day
Atilla's Tortilla Press
Out of Print.
Send $249 cash to:
Lila Nelson P.O. Box 4150 Arcata, Ca. 95518
"Lila Nelson's Live from Arcata CD captures her appearances at Redwood
Yogurt, Muddy Waters and World Premiere Theatre. With vocals sweet as
spring rain, Nelson offers a variety of styleseasy folk in "Boats and
Babies"; front porch knee slapping with "Early and Late"; the
reflective "Early in the Day."
She plays for cynical laughs with "Retail Therapy," then wraps herself
up in the soaring warmth of "Atilla's Tortilla Press," a striking song
of longing, blossoming.
" I want...my life to have the roundness of Luisa's tamales and the
curve of Rosa's chest."
Many of Nelson's songs revolve around babies, and the undercurrent of
wistfulness, evokes the same sense of longing in listeners not
necessarily desire for a child, but a wanting to fill one's soul with
whatever's missing." -Jennifer Savage, Arcata Eye