“’Same Illusion’ is an acknowledgment that reality is just a distortion,” says Barbara Trentalange of the title track from her upcoming new album, out January 14th, 2014. As with all previous Trentalange records, Same Illusion was produced by Martin Feveyear (Brandi Carlile, Mark Lannegan, Jessie Sykes), who Trentalange met during her time as a touring member of Crooked Fingers.
Influential, now legendary, female-focused zine Venus (RIP) referred to the 2006 debut Trentalange album Photo Album of Complex Relationships as “disturbing music for disturbing times,” and while the times might still be disturbing, Trentalange is writing from a more joyous place than before. Her “mix of Annie Lennox’s most sinister growl and PJ Harvey’s vocal anguish” (also noted by Venus) remains, but becoming a mother since the release of her most recent album Awakening, Level One in 2009, has changed Trentalange’s mood.
Fans of the artist’s work will not miss Trentalange’s sensitivity to the human soul, as her deft hand at drawing character studies continues throughout Same Illusion” And while Trentalange’s songs are still dark in timbre on the new record, they now shine with glimmers of brightness that revolve around themes of love, longing, and spirit. Sonically, the tunes reflect this new light, as well.
“I wanted to draw on my love of soul music and singer-songwriters for this record,” listing Dusty Springfield, Stevie Wonder, Dolly Parton, Lou Reed, Nina Simone, and Bruce Springsteen as artists that influenced the tightly focused album that draws much of its precision from Trentalange’s disciplined work ethic.
After five years as frontwoman for the darkly sophisticated Seattle-based band Spyglass, Trentalange already knew what it was like to work around other people’s schedules, but the creation of Same Illusion put these skills to an even greater test.
“I needed to wait until my daughter was in pre-school before I could concentrate on writing again,” she says of her new life as both artist and mother. “And once she was in school, I treated making this record like a day job. Every morning after dropping her off, I would have four hours to work on writing and recording simultaneously. When the time was up, I had to walk away.”