|Come Thief, Come Fire|
Natalia Zukerman — Come Thief, Come Fire
•↑ Natalia Zukerman grew up in New York City, studied art at Oberlin, worked in mural arts in San Francisco, began her songwriting career in Boston, and now resides, writes, plays and paints in Brooklyn, NY. Her new album (Come Thief, Come Fire) is out now.
•↑ This project is a big artistic leap for me in that I wrote the title track first and all the other songs followed suit, some of their own accord, some molded and cajoled to fit the dress code. Come Thief, Come Fire came from two sources: a Janet Hirshfield book of poems called Come, Thief and the poem by Elizabeth Bishop in which she says, ‘The art of losing isn’t hard to master.’ I wrote (and then re–wrote with Erin McKeown) about fire’s power to create and destroy, to resurrect, recreate and devastate. The way that a Jack Pine needs disaster to keep growing (its seeds will only open under extreme heat!) I used these ideas to create all the songs on this record, to take what had been a very transformative year for me personally and to create a story of a cycle, from loss to discovery and back again.
Born: 25 June 1975, New York City, New York, United States
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Album release: 2014
Record Label: Talisman Records
01 Courage to Change 4:18
02 Jane Avril 2:35
03 Bucket 3:44
04 I Don't Feel It Anymore 3:55
05 The Hunter 3:24
06 Come Thief 2:33
07 One of Us 2:56
08 What Comes After 3:19
09 The Light Is Gone 3:11
10 Give 3:06
11 Hero 3:16
12 Please Don´t 2:55
Instruments: Guitar, vocals, acoustic guitar, slide guitar, lap steel guitar, dobro
Brice Ezell, Thursday, Aug 14, 2014
•↑ Singer and songwriter Natalia Zukerman‘s latest project, the studio album Come Thief, Come Fire, began as two separate projects. One was an EP of sparely arranged, largely acoustic material; the other, in contrast, utilized a full band. However, upon realizing that there existed between the material “an overarching theme about fire and its elemental capacity for destruction and growth”, which lead Zukerman to merge the two EPs into one full–length recording. Two tracks from Come Thief Come Fire, “I Don’t Feel It Anymore” (representing the acoustic material) and “Hero” (representing the full band material), can be streamed below.
•↑ Zukerman told PopMatters about these two songs in great detail, saying, “All of the records I’ve made to date have been a collection of the songs I’ve written over a certain period of time, their only connective tissue being me as the writer and performer. This project is a big artistic leap for me in that I wrote the title track first and all the other songs followed suit, some of their own accord, some molded and cajoled to fit the dress code. Come Thief, Come Fire came from two sources: a Janet Hirshfield book of poems called Come, Thief and the poem by Elizabeth Bishop in which she says, ‘The art of losing isn’t hard to master.’ I wrote (and then re–wrote with Erin McKeown) about fire’s power to create and destroy, to resurrect, recreate and devastate. The way that a Jack Pine needs disaster to keep growing (its seeds will only open under extreme heat!) I used these ideas to create all the songs on this record, to take what had been a very transformative year for me personally and to create a story of a cycle, from loss to discovery and back again.
•↑ “The first set of songs were recorded with Willy Porter in Milwaukee. At the time, I thought we were making an EP but when I sent one of the tunes (‘What Comes After’) to my friends AG and Meg Toohey in Los Angeles and they sent back a cinematic explosion of sound, I knew I needed to investigate further. I thought then, perhaps, that there would be two separate EPs, one ‘acoustic’ and one ‘produced’. But when the two parts were finished, I knew the story worked as a whole, that to follow the metaphor, the record goes from a small spark to a smoldering flame and back.
•↑ “I asked my good friend Erin McKeown to produce one song on the record. I was on the road at the time with AG and we stopped at Erin’s to record ‘Jane Avril’, a song about Toulouse–Lautrec’s muse and the dancer of the Moulin Rouge. The night before going into the studio, we sat around Erin’s kitchen table and talked about all of the things we used to do that were so impactful, so huge in our lives, and that we couldn’t access as easily anymore—from the magical worlds we created as little people, to the earth–shatteringness of first love, to the experimentation and exploration of some of our earlier years! Some of the stories we wrote and told one another were filled with sadness over not being able to access that kind of pure emotion anymore but most of it was filled with a relief and a sense of growth and knowing. So we wrote ‘I Don’t Feel It Anymore’ from our stories that night and recorded it the next day. Abbie Gardner came in later to play the dobro part later but other than that, it’s just as it is. It fit the first part of Come Thief, Come Fire perfectly—a simple song in its purest form.
•↑ “As I was writing the songs for this record, I heard a story about a man who’s known in the lore as ‘Burnin’ Vernon’. Vernon Shultis was a firefighter in the Woodstock, NY area. His family owns a lot of property in that area. In the summer of 1997, there were over 50 barn fires, mostly on Shultis properties. Vernon put them out singlehandedly and became a huge ‘hero’ in the town. Well, it turns out that Vernon was lighting the barns on fire himself! The way that the town divided between the old timers and the New Age newcomers was amazing to read about and the way that Vernon himself was deified and vilified in equal measure was rich with story telling fodder for me. A few songs on the record (‘Hero’ and ‘One Of Us’) are based on Vernon’s story and I have a feeling, there are more to come!
•↑ “These two songs represent the sonic development of this record– the way that an underpainting provides the armature for the completed canvas, we used elements of the more stripped down songs to build the sonic world that the more produced songs live in. I know that in this time when people rarely listen to a record in its tracking order that some of this intention will be lost. Luckily, I think the songs stand on their own individually; but, when put together, there is a world that is created. My hope is that people get lost inside of this world. And then find things they didn’t even know they were missing.” :: http://www.popmatters.com/
•↑ 2014 Come Thief, Come Fire
•↑ 2011 Gas Station Roses
•↑ 2008 Brand New Frame
•↑ 2006 Only One
•↑ 2003 On A Clear Day
•↑ 2001 Mortal Child
•↑ Winterbloom: Winter Traditions (2009)
(with Antje Duvekot, Meg Hutchinson, and Anne Heaton)
Off the wall: http://www.offthewalldesign.com/bio.shtml
Music and career:
•↑ Zukerman's music is a cross–genre blend of blues, jazz, bluegrass and folk. The subject matter ranges from the whimsical to the metaphysical. Often she tells stories or relates personal observations about life and relationships, but her songs are not "confessional" in nature. Her vocal style reflects strong jazz influences.
•↑ Zukerman plays a variety of guitars including acoustic, electric, slide guitar, dobro, lap steel guitar and banjo, but primarily focuses on her Goodall acoustic guitar and vintage 1938 Rickenbacker lap steel guitar. Her guitar playing is described as "fluid and smooth" while she is also acclaimed for her dexterity and nimble fingers.
•↑ Reflecting her varied musical roots, Zukerman cites Ma Rainey, Memphis Minnie, Bonnie Raitt, Erika Luckett, Joni Mitchell, Rickie Lee Jones and Ani DiFranco among her musical influences. Her first three albums were released on her own independent record label, Talisman Records. In 2008, she released her fourth album on Willy Porter's Weasel Records label.
•↑ Along with her work as singer, songwriter and guitarist, Zukerman is also an accomplished artist specializing in large format drawings and murals.
•↑ Her latest studio album was Gas Station Roses. The album featured many guest appearances, including Patty Larkin, Garrison Starr, Meghan Toohey (The Weepies), Adrianne Gonzalez (The Rescues), Todd Sickafoose (Ani Difranco), and Ray Bonneville. •↑ It was first released in 2011, and early post order issues contained original paintings or prints of paintings by Natalia Zukerman.
|Come Thief, Come Fire|