Claudia Brucken Where Else on Limited Edition Import LP
Claudia Brücken's third solo album Where Else (follow up to 2012's acclaimed collection of cover versions, The Lost Are Found) is, with the exception of Nick Drake's Day Is Done, a self-penned collection of songs that explores different genres and styles – it moves through and around folk, blues, rock, film score, country and electronic music. Every album of her career, solo or in groups, has been a way of demonstrating her passion for evocative musical atmosphere, but this is the first one that does so without relying on computers and synthesizers.
The album is a collaboration with co-writer and producer John Williams (Housemartins, Proclaimers, Paul Heaton & Jacqui Abbott, Blancmange, Petula Clark) and was written and recorded in the winter and spring of 2014 at John's studio in North Kensington. Used to constructing songs in a more abstract electronic setting, Claudia felt it important that in this new environment, each new song they wrote could be sung accompanied only by piano or guitar. It was only then that the songs were ready to be recorded. Influences on Where Else were varied. For Claudia, the Velvet Underground and Lou Reed, Depeche Mode and Roy Orbison. For John, Jimmy Webb, JJ Cale and The Zombies set the standard. On Where Else, these reference points deftly interact.
As she recorded the album, Claudia also learned to play guitar – an instrument she had toyed with as a teenager before the electronically ethereal sounds of Kraftwerk and synths took over and took her somewhere else. As she learned to play the guitar, she learnt to play her favorite songs by artists as diverse as Marlene Dietrich, Patti Smith and The Temptations – and out of this, these new songs with new textures, spaces and intentions began to emerge.
Where Else follows the lyrical thread of Claudia's debut solo album Love And A Million Other Things. The album is not only a collection of moods and styles but a further examination of the vagaries of love; exploring emotion, beginnings, endings, past life and future hopes. "That's my nature," says Claudia. "I want to explore different styles, a big reason why the title ‘Where Else' suits me – where else will I go? What will I do next?"