The poet, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Vera Sola is hard to pin down. Attempts to define her music have had her cast as the ‘lost love child of Leonard Cohen and Nancy Sinatra,’ ‘Nick Cave in the role of Staggolee,’ ‘a mordant Patsy Cline,’ ‘PJ Harvey at her most irate, teeth-bared.’
But its near impossible to find a truly fitting comparison. Described as ‘a living anachronism’, Vera Sola makes timeless, time-bending sound. In the words of the London Sunday Times, she’s a creature all her own, ‘an utterly singular talent’.
All of this was a long time coming. Despite a background in poetry, a successful career as a stage and voice actor, years of touring in Elvis Perkins’ band, and a collection of hundreds of secret songs, it wasn’t until early 2017 that she began experimenting with the idea of recording her own material.
Only then, when a series of life-altering events reframed her relationship to her music, did she book time at a studio in St. Louis and lock herself inside.
From there came her debut album ‘Shades’—written, performed, and produced entirely alone. Instruments she’d never before touched, hand-made percussion, chains and breaking glass, were arranged meticulously around multi-part harmonies, and brought to the fore a newly discovered vocal skill— her otherworldly vibrato.
The result is a record both complex and sparse, lyrics full of sorrow yet arch and wry. Sincere but sardonic, self-aware and scathing. Poems and stories set to music. Songs of the present that conjure the past.