Singer-song-diarist Elisabeth Cutler cheekily calls her style 'My World Music'.
But it is a world of emotions every one can relate to: Heartbreak and passion,
promises and fears, discovery and loss. Intimate and honest and drawing
from folk, jazz and rock, her songs find unique ways of speaking of these
familar places through the beauty of intense, memorable imagery. It is a fresh
take on an old theme, a poetic dialogue between words and music – and
certainly a lot more than 3-chords-&-the-truth.
As independent as her early inspiration Joni Mitchell, Cutler has always
focused on the thing that sets a good artist apart: Memorable and indelible
songs. "A good song completes the identity of an artist," as she puts it. To
achieve this complete identity, she has learned from the best: Mitchell, the
Beatles and the Grateful Dead are spinning on her turntable at an early age,
the legendary Ralph Towner is her masterclass tutor. Later, she will spend
formative years in Nashville, collaborating with renowned colleagues and
working as a freelance songwriter.
In Nashville, she also hones her chops on the guitar. Groovy yet complex,
almost banjo-like rhythms start making an appearance, intricate harmonic
variations and "unnamable, odd-shaped chords". Over the course of six
albums and numerous performances, her collection grows to include electric
guitars and pedals. They all combine into a personal galaxy of sound and
harmony which infuses psychedelic folk with sonic exploration.
After a lifetime of travelling and moving, her current, quiet Italian home is the
perfect space for writing fresh material. Here, the pieces for her seventh
album, Silence is Rising slowly took shape over a two year period. Outwardly,
its sound is cool, detailed and jazz-oriented, powered by funky world rhythms
and enriched by dreamy electronics. Underneath the surface, however, Cutler
speaks openly about her own mortality and the will to live, personal tragedies,
small miracles and the loneliness and isolation which are the unplanned
consequences of her artistic independence and outspokenness.
The themes of her songs haven't changed, they've just come sharper into
focus. If, like Frida Kahlo, she still prefers to paint self-portraits, then maybe
this is because she's the person she knows best. Each one is different, each
one is bringing her closer to resolving the riddles of her own little world. None
of these portraits would be complete without the audience, however. So make
yourself comfortable, pour a glass of wine – and just listen.
Elisabeth Cutler’s tracks