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Beguiling singer-songwriter, Janet LaBelle, recently released her ambitious sophomore album, “Blossom & Blue.” LaBelle, who came of age as a musician in the New Jersey pop-punk scene, demonstrates a successful exploration of different styles, ranging from ‘60s bossa nova to alternative country, on this five-song EP.
LaBelle became enthralled with playing and writing music at a very early age. Starting with piano lessons at the age of 7, LaBelle discovered her love of music and her desire to experiment. Instead of following strict lessons from her piano teacher, she ventured out on her own, experimenting with new sounds and arrangements inspired by iconic artists such as the Beach Boys, Elton John, and Janis Joplin.
She later tried her hand at everything from piano to the drums, taking up a job as a school janitor, where she literally scraped and saved up enough money to buy instruments. In high school, she started the pop-punk band Avery that went on to sign with the indie label, Small Records. Touring and recording with Avery set the groundwork for her love of writing and performing with a band. Her new collection of songs, "Blossom & Blue," reflects this band mentality. "I wanted the album to sound like a band record, which was very different from the approach for my last album."
“Blossom & Blue” reveals several of her main influences. Opening track, “Losing All The Way,” has a '60s girl group vibe to it, while “Heaven Can Burn” contains flourishes of Fleetwood Mac and Tom Waits with the chorus emerging like a howl, brimming with emotion. “Honey Song” goes in a different direction, with tinges of Patsy Cline and alternative country, and features a haunting melody that’s impossible to get out of your head. LaBelle also explores several different moods on the record, delving deeply into the bittersweet complexities of romantic relationships.
“I feel like I’m at a time where I’m blossoming as an artist,” LaBelle says. “I've always been into vintage sound and taking an organic approach to recording "Blossom & Blue" allowed me to achieve a sound that was spontaneous and energizing. I feel a rebirth from this album.”
LaBelle, who currently lives in New York City, is gearing up for a series of live performances in 2012, as well as working on material for a new full-length album.