Vera Sola grew up between New York City and a farm in Canada, raised by artists, writers and seekers. As a child she was surrounded by music—training early on as a dancer, learning to play piano, and later teaching herself guitar and bass. Writing too was always a passion. Considering she holds a degree in Literature from Harvard, it’s fitting that Vera Sola’s songs are arranged to give words a well-earned place at their center.
The poet, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist 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 Sunday Times Culture, she’s ‘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.
“Veering from the personal to the profound, Shades is a darkly poetic confrontation of modern turmoil…Such is the virtuosity and accomplishment of her playing...It’s hard to believe it is the work of just one person.”
--The Line of Best Fit 9/10
“An absolute masterpiece”
--6/6 and No.2 Album of the Year - Magic RPM
“Hauntingly magnificent debut”
“[What] Quentin Tarantino soundtracks are made for.”
--Rolling Stone Magazine
"Fresh and fierce, bitter and bewitching."
released April 5, 2019
Written, Arranged and Performed by Vera Sola
Recorded by David Beeman at Native Sound Recording, Cherokee Street, St. Louis, MO.
Additional Recording at Native Sound by Will Godfred.
Additional Recording by Kenny Siegal at Old Soul Studios in Catskill, NY.
Mixed by Ben Majchrzak, David Beeman, & Vera Sola at Native Sound Recording, Cherokee Street, St. Louis, MO.
Mastered by Heba Kadry, Timeless Mastering Brooklyn NY
There are people who can craft songs that sound and feel utterly and warmly beautiful. To me, one was Stevie Wonder, and one is now Kadhja Bonet.
Everything here is pure beauty: from Bonet's enchantingly soothing voice and wonderfully produced music, to the spellbinding, arcadian psych soul vibes that permeate the album, weaving 70s influences into something new and original.
This is a record that brings you heartwarming joy. One that takes you to a better place. muschiosauro