Common wisdom in the entertainment business dictates if you can't describe it in two sentences, go back and refine your pitch. However, those well traveled in the business know that in truth, it's the ones that you can't describe easily that are the...
Common wisdom in the entertainment business dictates if you can't describe it in two sentences, go back and refine your pitch. However, those well traveled in the business know that in truth, it's the ones that you can't describe easily that are the true and lasting artists.
Seattle-based singer/songwriter Andrea Wittgens is the freshest new voice on the scene in years. Combining sultry, hypnotic vocals (she has been compared to artists as varied as Rickie Lee Jones, Regina Spektor and PJ Harvey) with disarmingly honest lyrics, she has been holding audiences in rapture throughout North America.
Originally from Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Andrea began her pop writing career in Seattle WA in the late 90s stirring up a wave of notice with pop outfit Sugartown. After two successful albums with the band, it was time for Andrea to shine as a solo artist. With the help of Grammy producer/mixer Bob Power (Erykah Badu, Citizen Cope), Andrea released her first solo effort, Alibi (2006). The EP and Andrea's instantly arresting voice garnered excited reviews both in the Northwest and on the east coast where she performed to packed houses at legendary NYC venues like The Living Room, The Knitting Factory, and The Bitter End.
While touring to support Alibi, she was plotting and writing material for her full-length followup album. Working with rock producer Johnny Sangster (Mudhoney, The Briefs), the critically acclaimed album is a return to a more viscerally emotional live band setting. As befits the fantastical lyrical content, evocative arrangements make use of a colorful sonic palette weaving spooky Mellotrons, quirky Farfisas, and luscious string quartets into the mix. In the Skyline is a convergence of the writing, singing and riveting stage presence that marks Andrea Wittgens' arrival as a singer/songwriter of the highest order.
Seattle Sound Magazine: 4 1/2 stars! by Shawn Telford Strength can be commanding, but so can eloquence. Especially when a silver tongue rides a voice that flitters with the wonderful unpredictability of a butterfly and the laser precision of, well, a...
Charleston Gazette by Michael Lipton This Canadian-born, Seattle-based singer/songwriter/keyboardist has a fresh, beguiling voice that adds depth and personality to her tunes while her musical approach will keep your interest from...
Seattle Sound Magazine: 4 1/2 stars! by Shawn Telford Strength can be commanding, but so can eloquence. Especially when a silver tongue rides a voice that flitters with the wonderful unpredictability of a butterfly and the laser precision of, well, a laser. Such is the case for Seattle's Andrea Wittgens, whose two greatest assets (her voice and her pen) both underline and elevate each other. Her poetry is thoughtful, genuine and, on many
occasions, as playful as a cabaret. Meanwhile, her pop ambitions are never too obvious; in fact, they're often obfuscated by chamber-sized orchestrations that oscillate between classically minded, grand strategies and flashy accoutrements. Beneath her penchant for torch songs and love songs is a tendency toward writing about unreal realms as diverse as Oz, Mordor and B-movies. This imaginative pop maestro's delivery and message are so delightfully refreshing that it's hard to remember she's working from the pop music playbook.
Charleston Gazette by Michael Lipton This Canadian-born, Seattle-based singer/songwriter/keyboardist has a fresh, beguiling voice that adds depth and personality to her tunes while her musical approach will keep your interest from beginning to end. Born in Nova Scotia and schooled in Ontario, Wittgens moved to Seattle in the mid-‘90s where she joined Sugartown. After five years, she struck out on her own with the 2006 EP “Alibi.” From the opening of the clever “Punchline,” the full-length follow up is chock full of songs based around her voice and piano - and, with wonderfully creative arrangements and instrumentation paint one vivid picture after another. “Empires of Straw” adds a string quartet while, in the middle of the quirky “Marching Orders,” she adds a gorgeous choral interlude. With a tip of the hat to Brecht, Jellyfish and maybe even XTC, Wittgens’ music is a soundtrack for a waiting room in a bordello or perhaps a carnival. Throughout the dozen tracks, the ideas and creativity seem to flow effortlessly, from the rock edge to “Blue-Eyed Fool” and the meticulously orchestrated “Everything Is Relative to You.” The Beatlesque “Beautiful You” sounds precisely like its title: With a flanged, almost liquid guitar line, the songs ebbs and swells from nothing but Wittgens voice to a beautiful ensemble. – Michael Lipton
Vintage Guitar: "In The Skyline" review by Steven Stone With musical compositions that combine the energy of early punk with the slickness of modern pop, she creates music that is perfect for now... Multiple time signatures, key changes and occasionally dense orchestrations make each song an aural journey rather than merely another pop ditty... It accomplishes something few contemporary albums achieve - a cohesive and unique musical statement that defies labels and simple descriptions.
Midwest Records: Andrea Wittgens "In The Skyline" by Chris Spector You want to know what it is you dig about Wittgens and her music but can’t put your finger on it? Suppose Lisa Loeb had something to back it up beside the glasses and the short dress. Got it? Witty and engaging singer/songwriter brings to bear on the weighty things that weigh today’s young people down, but she veers toward how to escape from it as opposed to just kvetching about it. Certainly one of those low key affairs that sneak up on you out of the box and keep you on board. Forget all that compared to this and that stuff, Wittgens is her own voice and it’s one you’ll be glad to hear. Hot stuff from a newcomer that’s sure to be around for a while. – Chris Spector