Fur Traders, Alana Amram
2220 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA, 90057
Doors 8:30PM / Show 9:30PM
This event is 21 and over
Watch & Listen
Sophia Knapp’s Into the Waves is unlike any record you have heard in the past or will hear in the future. Upon listening, much like Alice in Wonderland, you are transported to a new sonic realm—dazzling and uniquely pop but with its own set of rules. Some elements of the landscape are warmly familiar: Sophia’s voice appears first and foremost—sensual, emotive, relaxed, and loaded with personality. Baroquely fingerpicked guitar, smooth piano, crystal-line synths, and a down and dirty rhythm section complete the picture. Aspects of this place bring to mind melodic psych pop of the 60’s, Tropicalia ballads, chilly New York dance records of the 80’s, the seduction of Stevie Nicks or Françoise Hardy—but make no mistake, Into the Waves is a pop vocal record of our time.
Into the Waves is Sophia’s first record outside of Cliffie Swan/Lights, the Brooklyn based rock band that she has performed in over the past five years alongside Linnea Vedder. A blend of acoustic and synthetic instruments frame Sophia’s cinematic song structures this time around, in contrast to the electric/analog paradigm of Cliffie Swan. The mystical elements of Cliffie Swan continue to flow through this record, as do Sophia’s signature harmonies and layered vocal arrangements. Gentle ballads here are underlined with hip shaking grooves and sparkle sounds, and the lyrical content is more detailed and intimate. Tales of love, magic, and transformation rub shoulders with themes of alienation and loss. The mysterious words, studded with metaphors, demand repeated listens to decode.
Into the Waves is equal parts experience and imagination—no doubt influenced by Sophia’s years spent living in New York, and her colorful upbringing in the Haight Ashbury area of San Francisco. Both cities are places where people reach for the stars, fly high, and fall hard. When you live like Sophia, the boundaries between dream and waking life are barely there and every moment is a mini movie. These songs were written on planes, trains, while listening to rain, and drinking too much champagne.
Sophia brought in several heavy hitters this round to collaborate and create the poised sound of Into the Waves. Film composer and pianist Jay Israelson and Eric Gorman (the engineer/mixer for Cliffie Swan’s Memories Come True, with a fabulous background in pop vocal production), co-produced and co-arranged the album. “Bassy” Bob Brockman, whose credits include playing, engineering, mixing and producing TLC, Fugees, Mary J. Blige, Cee-Lo and a host of other R&B stars, contributed bass guitar, and Robert “Chicken” Burke (The Duke and The King) played drums on several tracks. Bill Callahan’s rich baritone vocals are also featured on two slinky duets a la Nancy & Lee, or Serge & Jane.
Welcome Into the Waves, to Sophia’s weird and wonderful world. Things will never be the same, and they never have been.
Michelle Vidal was raised by wolves in the wilds of California. It was not until she stood upright that she discovered that she had nice legs and could carry a tune.
Nathan Van Hala was hatched from a pod, has never met a horse he couldn't beat at checkers, and tickles the ivories with more than a feather.
Will Scott, the world's only known living pre-neanderthal, was found fully grown, preserved in ice in a Baskin Robbins freezer in Hackensack, New Jersey. He is currently learning to communicate with fully evolved humans but at this time he is limited to grunts and primitive rhythms pounded out with wooden bats.
Alana Amram, is a Brooklyn based singer/ songwriter who fronts country rock band Alana Amram & the Rough Gems. Formed in 2003, they have toured internationally.
She also plays bass for Lights (Drag City).
Amram and the Rough Gems are finishing up their first LP Painted Lady with producer Jesse Lauter (James Blood Ulmer, The Low Anthem). Breaking the industry standard,
they are releasing their second LP, Songs of Vince Martin simultaneously. Produced by Jesse Lauter and Mark Sebastian (Loving Spoonful.)
Amram comes from a huge music family, often seen sitting in with the band. She has garnered a reputation for her classic songwriting. Influenced heavily by folk, country-
western storytellers and early rock and roll, the Rough Gems range from deep sentiment to wild honky tonk.
They are currently the subject for the feature length documentary Sound of Asphalt.
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