Widely regarded as one of the most brilliant songwriters of her
generation, Suzanne Vega emerged as a leading figure of the folk-music
revival of the early 1980s when, accompanying herself on acoustic
guitar, she sang what has been labeled contemporary folk or neo-folk
songs of her own creation in Greenwich Village clubs. Since the
release of her self-titled, critically acclaimed 1985 debut album, she
has given sold-out concerts in many of the world's best-known halls.
In performances devoid of outward drama that nevertheless convey deep
emotion, Vega sings in a distinctive, clear vibrato-less voice that
has been described as "a cool, dry sandpaper- brushed near-whisper"
and as "plaintive but disarmingly powerful."
Since Suzanne’s debut 25 years ago she has sold over 7 million albums
and has been nominated for 7 Grammy awards. Her song “Luka” about
child abuse was a surprise hit and won MTV’s Best Female Video.
Suzanne was the first artist on the main stage at the very first
Lilith Fair. Her voice and song “Tom’s Diner” was used in the
refinement of the MP3, earning her the nickname “The Mother of the
MP3”. Suzanne recorded “Tom’s Diner” a cappella but it has since been
remixed upwards of 25 times (including most famously by DNA, but also
Will Smith, REM, Tupac, Jars of Clay, Destiny's Child, Lil Kim, and
Ludacris) Suzanne was also the first major label artist to perform a
concert on Second Life in the form of an avatar.
Currently, Suzanne is reinterpreting the majority of her catalog in
an intimate and personal manner, creating 4 new thematic albums called
The Close-Up series. The latest, Close-Up Vol. 3, States of Being,
has Suzanne revisiting her most haunting songs.
“This is Volume 3 of the Close-Up series, called States of Being. I
used to call these the ‘Mental Health’ songs. They express a state of
mind, but also more than that. I wouldn’t call them personal songs,
but descriptions of a place deep inside. Anyone can feel like the
narrator in Penitent, or Cracking, depending on your mood. The new
song in this collection is called “The Instant of the Hour After”.
It’s a song from a new theater piece with music, “Carson McCullers
Talks About Love”. Duncan Sheik is the composer, and I have written
the book and lyrics. It is based on the short story by Carson
McCullers, which is loosely modeled after the author and her husband
Reeves McCullers, featuring two alcoholics at the end of a long night
of drinking. Hope you enjoy what I think of as the freakier side of
Vol. 3 also includes a brand new song, a collaboration with Duncan
Sheik from Suzanne’s play, “Carson McCullers Talks About Love.”
Close-Up Vol. 3, States of Being comes out July 11th in Europe and
Asia, and in the fall in North America.