Artist and songwriter Vanessa Lively celebrates the mystery and joy of motherhood with Return to Waves, a new record of folk, world, and soft soul. Producer Paul Curreri introduces an ethereal mood to Lively’s organic sound. Synthesizers swell in Sade-esque waves around LIvely’s breathy voice. Simple songs of love and growth are given a shade of mystery. Curreri and wife Devon Sproule lend subtle and unusual harmonies.
Following a 2012 release with Continental Records (formerly Rounder Europe), Vanessa Lively has established a regular presence in Europe. At home in Austin, TX, Lively moves between community and family life, music and touring, and painting (her work is featured on the cover of Return to Waves). She was recently named one of the Top 10 Artist of the Year by KUNC in Colorado. Mario Tarradell of The Dallas Morning News writes, “Vanessa Lively is a true multidiscipline artist. She’s a singer, songwriter, musician and painter with a do-it-yourself attitude and a compassionate spirit.”
About the Music
With a compelling mix of tempos and styles that embrace hints of urban, world, Latin, funk and pop, Lively’s songs fully capture her compassionate nature and love of community.
An eclectic blend of alternative folk music bringing together a variety of stringed and percussive instruments, balanced by expressive lyrics.
Alternative, indie, neo-folk music that speaks to dreamers, artists, laborers – all of us alike. Lively strikes a chord with the root of humanity, singing about hope, loss and love.
Contemporary folk music with an eclectic blend of world influences.
Keywords: Eclectic, Diverse, Hopeful, Expressive, Raw, Inspiring, Pure, Passionate, Beautiful, Sweet, Authentic, Moving, Honest, Powerful, Fearless, Warm, Energetic, Unique
Musical Genres: Singer-Songwriter / Folk / Americana / World / Latin / Soul / Funk / Pop
“Recorded by Keith Gary in Austin, Vanessa Lively’s fourth album is a fine example of Spanish flecked Americana, the sort of thing that Texas’ great music city is renowned for. Relentlessly accessible thanks to a style which owes just as much to classic pop songwriters, she places her words amongst an evocative selection of roots instruments (charango, violin, mandolin, trumpet) and the results are languid Latin ballads, alt. country laments and upbeat folk rock. Impossible to truly pigeonhole, Lively’s a musical adventurer, and “Uncovering Stones” reflects her passions and tastes. “Digging Up Dirt” marks an ideal opening, with her voice cajoling whilst the subtlest of Caribbean rhythms play out. “Men In White Hats” is altogether gentler, and displays an uncanny talent for pitch-perfect song craft. That’s followed by “Honeybee”, a faultless roots-pop song, which in some parallel universe would become a staple of daytime radio.”
– Rob F., Leicester Bangs (Leicester, England)
“Austin’s Vanessa Lively is a true multidiscipline artist. She’s a singer, songwriter, musician and painter with a do-it-yourself attitude and a compassionate spirit. The beautiful mosaic artwork on her new CD, Uncovering Stones, is an original piece that she painted on 42 smaller canvases. She sold each of them to fund the recording and production of the disc. Uncovering Stones, not unlike that painting, is an earthy pastiche of styles. The San Antonio native combines folk, reggae, world beat, Americana, bluegrass and funk into a batch of 12 empowering songs that reflect her varied personal and musical influences. Lively, now with four albums to her credit, has spent time living in Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia. That explains her ease with the Spanish language. Two tracks on Uncovering Stones, “Estoy Volando” and “Baile Conmigo,” are sung in Spanish. In fact, Lively paid homage to late Argentinean singer Mercedes Sosa on her third effort, 2010’s Canto y Cantera.”
– Mario Tarradell, The Dallas Morning News
“Through the Veil” and “Men in White Hats” aptly demonstrate Vanessa Lively’s polished songwriting across the eclectic musical pantheon, but her calling lies in her puro Americano confluence of American roots and border music (“Estoy Volando,” “Baile Conmigo”), such songs dominating her previous Canto y Cantera. That’s not to suggest that her country (“Honeybee”) and folk (“Follow Your Heart”) aren’t as weighty, only that the road between San Antonio and Austin is paved with guitars, and she strikes a chord in Spanish.
– Margaret Moser, The Austin Chronicle
“San Antonio-born, Austin-based singer-songwriter, Vanessa Lively’s new album, Uncovering Stones, is an eclectic world exploration of the universal language of music. Whether singing in Spanish or English, Lively is extremely aware and connected to the people of the world, describing the album’s themes as “feeling other people’s struggles and joys and being connected with them.” This connection isn’t just talk, but through her life experiences as a migrant farm worker raking blueberries in Maine and volunteering in South America’s impoverished areas with her husband, Lively has created a solid album possessing 12 pretty songs varying in styles. And, even though, all of the songs on Uncovering Stones are worthy, it’s the Latin songs like “Estoy Volando” and “Baile Conmigo” that make an impression.”
– April Wolfe, Common Folk Music
“Vanessa Lively gave the most passionate performance of a song I have ever seen.”
– Matt Peyton, A Truer Sound
“Folk music on fire with worldly rhythms and a Latin pulse that Lively – now locally based – masters fluidly.”
– Margaret Moser, The Austin Chronicle
“San Antonio-born, Austin-based Lively crafts acoustic music with strong lyrics and world-music underpinnings.”
– Jim Beal, San Antonio Express-News
“Vanessa Lively and her husband Jason, recorded [Canto y Cantera] in honor of Mercedes Sosa, who died last October… it’s a splendid introduction to a powerful genre.”
– John Conquest, Third Coast Music Magazine