Shana Halligan (Bitter:sweet)

Shana Halligan (Bitter:sweet)

Change is the only constant. Just ask Shana Halligan.

After nearly seven exceedingly successful years as the singer/songwriter of sophisticated pop band Bitter:Sweet, the Los Angeles native found herself all alone in Europe, a freshly minted solo artist in search of her next sound. But as an artist who’s constantly craving new experiences and new ideas, it was a creatively fertile period that has resulted in a renewed confidence and a whole new way to express herself through music.

With a final (for now) Bitter:Sweet EP—appropriately titled “THE BREAK UP”—scheduled for release before the end of 2010, Halligan has spent the last two years stretching her musical muscles through a series of inspired collaborations. She indulged her house/dance music side with “”Until You Find Another,” a track on house producer Carmen Rizzo’s latest full-length, “LOOKING THROUGH LEAVES.” She also recorded the blissful electronic dance track “Sleepwalk” with stalwart San Francisco DJ/producer Charles Webster exclusively for designer eyewear brandOliver Peoples’ most recent CD compilation, simply titled “SEVEN.” Working with Webster proved especially fruitful, with the pair producing enough music for an upcoming EP release.

A far more unexpected collaboration found Halligan writing and recording with friend Serj Tankian, best known as the lead singer ofprogressive metal heroes System of a Down. “It’s seems like it would be an odd mix, but we go way back and the music comes together for us so easily,” is how she terms their working relationship. The pair collaborated on two songs that appear on his September 2010 solo album, “IMPERFECT HARMONIES.”
Halligan's most recent achievement was a collaboration with Electronica band innovators Thievery Corporation where her seductive vocals and songwriting will be featured on their forth coming album scheduled to release in June 2011.

“We’d decided that it was time for Bitter:Sweet to end, and I was ready to venture out and try on some other styles,” Halligan explained when discussing life after the band. “As great as that time was in my life, I knew there was a lot more music I needed to write. There are so many amazing new producers out there, and I wanted to see what kind of sounds could come from working with some different flavors in the mix.”

After writing a track or two with a handful of different producers, Halligan found herself leaning towards two music-makers in particular, eventually going on to create entire albums worth of material with each of them.

One of these albums was recorded with Marc Collin, best known as the man behind the French musical collective Nouvelle Vague, at the helm. Recorded in Collins studio in Paris, the resulting music is what Halligan describes as “dark, moody, very heavy synthesizers— I call it Sebastian Tellier meets Donna Summer meets Peggy Lee.” It was a collaboration that found Halligan swept up into the Nouvelle Vague universe, recording and performing as part of the band throughout Europe .( One of which included a sold out show at London’s Royal Albert Hall this past November) . She will also be featured on Collin’s forthcoming “GIRLS OF NOUVELLE VAGUE” album due out March 2011.

Halligan crafted an entirely different album of music with Brighton, UK producer Alex Cowan, better known as TM Juke. She’s enthusiastic to describe the music, which she terms “A really fun, soulful, upbeat club album. It’s more comparable to acts like Empire of the Sun Gnarles Barkley.” The album titled “RICHMOND PARADE” is scheduled to be released first of the two, early in 2011.

Having a longtime relationship come to an end was a large catalyst for Halligan’s outpouring of creativity. “I could’ve gone into a deep depression and never come out of my bed, which I heavily considered,” she laughed in retrospect. “Instead, I decided to fly to another part of the world and just throw myself into music. There are a lot of songs that embody that emotion. Music is the one thing that keeps me really excited. I feel so lucky that I even get to do all of this and share my music with the world.

“The music is still very playful and sexy, but it also has more depth, soul and heavier beats”. Halligan elaborated. “But it’s still very much me. I’ve just really pushed myself in different directions. It’s a rounder sound – the music goes into a few more places.

Halligan is also eager to have her new music continue to be used in film and television. Bitter:Sweet was no stranger to such placements. Their songs were featured in such major motion pictures as “THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA", "SEX AND THE CITY",DUPLICITY, SHOOT EM UP, and hit TV shows like “GREY’S ANATOMY” and “SMALLVILLE.” Bitter:Sweet song “Dirty Laundry” had the distinction of being used in a high-profile "VICTORIA’S SECRET” TV ad campaign and “The Bomb” was used as the theme song for "LIPSTICK JUNGLE". The Mating Game is currently being used as the"KORBEL CHAMPAGNE" advertisement as well as in the film "Cars 2".

More than anything, she’s ready to reconnect with old fans while introducing herself to a new world of music listeners as Shana Halligan, solo artist.

The daughter of founding Blood Sweat and Tears band member/composer /arranger Dick Halligan, Shana learned from an early age that there are no limits as far as where you can go in music. “I’m not really scared of anything. There are so many different angles to work with now,” she insisted. “But some things never change. You still have to tour and put out good records. “People will find you if you’re worth finding".

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