Becca Mancari & Lilly Hiatt
As it is in the up-and-coming songwriter world, there's usually a hill or two to climb, only negotiated by grit and talent. So it's fitting that our interview with Becca Mancari had a few obstacles like chirpy birds and A/C units. But, Becca was game and so were we.
Stumbling upon a new artist that you fall in love with is a special thing. That's exactly what happened when my sister and I went to the Susto show in Nashville at the unparalleled High Watt. Unknowingly to us, Becca and her band were the opener, and opened up they did. By the 2nd song she had drawn the apprehensive crowd up to the stage and started a dialogue of dancing and singing that lasted throughout her set. Mancari's music flows between roots music and something a little more experimental, something more on the fringes. But it's all held together by a voice worth paying attention to and songwriting rivaling any of her peers.
After moving around from Staten Island, NY, to India, and eventually to Nashville, TN, Mancari started her music career with a song and a job at a taco shop. Both of these realities led her to recording her song "Summertime Mamma" with Adam Landry and Justin Collins, who have recorded Deer Tick, Middle Brother, Lilly Hiatt and Diamond Rugs (some good company). Since then she's been busy recording her debut album "Good Women," recording a short film for her song "Arizona Fire", and setting up tours with Hurray for the Riff Raff and Susto. She's on the rise and has made her way onto my list of artists I'm rooting for.
Follow her on social media and stay tuned for her tentative album release date in September. From what I've heard, it's going to be a good one. Tell your friends.
Hiatt has finished tracking her junior album Trinity Lane, which is set to release on August 25th. We met at her boyfriend's cozy little studio, Magnetic Sound, along with their dog Waylon (that's the lapping sound in the background). We talked about her experience traveling to Johns Island in South Carolina to record it with Michael Trent of Shovels and Rope, in the same house S&R recorded O' Be Joyful. She also discussed how this album feels a little more like a straight forward rock band, and brings to light the same sense of anger and heartbreak from her previous album Royal Blue, but with a deeper understanding of where that comes from and how it manifests itself. It seems to be a trend with artists that give up substances that their music afterwards hones in on their past and present with vignettes that truly touch on the human experience. Below are some lyrics from a new song called Records that reads like a realization of what matters, and a raw tipping of her emotional hand.
I'm 32 / I feel 23 / Got no husband next to me
I just want to rock and roll / scream out my lungs and burn real slow
I'll take lonely if it means free
It's never how you thought it'd be
But that record waited up for me / that record waited up
6 year ago / hope was nothing much / waking up to a strangers touch
I gave up vodka / I chilled out on weed
that record still hung on to me
Haitt has received some stellar reviews of her new material showcased at SXSW and Record Store Day in-stores, and it's obvious why from the lyrics above. She seems to have found a heavy introspection that's evident in all great songwriters, while still making it relatable to the listener. I think everyone can relate to how a specific album has gotten them through tough times in their life, and Hiatt sounds to be no different. She has some shows lined up proceeding the album release and plans on some heavy touring later this year.
If you end up in Nashville make sure to check out her FB and IG accounts (@lillyhiatt) for random little shows. She's a performer that's learned to love the stage. Or at least isn't afraid of it.