New Artist Alert: Shauna Brittenham, "Uh Oh"
Tue, 25 Jun 2013 17:31:32
Pop artist Shauna Brittenham just released her first single, "Uh-Oh." She's been toiling in the music industry for a while, but this is likely your intro. So allow us to introduce you to her and help you make her acquaintance. Trust us -- you won't regret it.
Her new album is the 11-song Dreamer's Dream, which has been a lifetime in the making.
"Uh Oh" is a bouncy old-fashioned pop gem that would make Adele proud. On the tune, Shauna's pure voice lilts easily between husky and soaring as she laments and examines a turbulent relationship, and apologizes in case she happens to "storm off the train like a small hurricane."
Produced and mixed by Kosta Lois, Dreamer's Dream features Shauna's lyrical and melodic compositions, rendered musically by such luminaries as guitarist Jacques Brautbar (Phantom Planet), multi-instrumentalist Ben Peeler (The Wallflowers, Shakira), drummer Gary Mallaber (Bruce Springsteen, Van Morrison), bassist Shawn Davis (Nikka Costa, Lenny Kravitz) and Lois on piano and keyboards.
And some history, which is pretty thrilling and will inform you as you listen.
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Shauna likely could have enjoyed a quick path thriving music career. That is, if her conscience hadn't interfered. "At 14, I went on a volunteering trip to Africa. Seeing the primitive approach to life that focused on necessity-based existence gives you new perspective," she explains.
Disenchanted and hit with culture shock upon her return to California, Shauna dropped out of school at 15 for some heavy soul-searching, home schooling and reality questioning. However, she quickly earned her GED, and at 16, moved across country to attend college at Furman University. Despite her lifelong obsession with music, she chose to get a degree in Political Science.
While music was clearly her calling, Shauna had other dreams to fulfill: Children and teaching were an equal love and mission. Post-college, Shauna aspired to live overseas and work in international development, but did nonprofit fundraising in Boston to preserve indigenous rights, in addition to the usual array of post-college jobs before she rejoined her mother, then living in Park City, Utah.
The living that defined Shauna's 20s lend a deeper flavor to the 11 songs on Dreamer's Dream.
At 21, she wound up in San Francisco, doing Montessori teacher training. Nearly broke, the student cut an under-the-table deal with a local Best Western hotel—she lived in a room, ate with the staff, paid what she could and helped out around the hotel to earn her keep. A fortuitous meeting with a band performing in the hotel's banquet hall found Shauna a new guitar collaborator/producer in Filipino musician Ezra Maling, who had won the equivalent of a Grammy in his home country. The prolific pair eventually wrote and recorded 20 songs in the span of a year, and in fact, Maling was the first to accompany Shauna on her song Dreamer's Dream.
Inspired and again, always seeking, Shauna returned to her hometown to teach, began vocal lessons with Steven Memel. Sans fanfare, in 2009, released her debut album The Lonely. Now, Shauna is beginning another phase in her already storied life. It may have been a long and winding road for the idealistic young singer-songwriter, but the payoff is clear in every note and word of Dreamer's Dream. With a strong new backing band, she can now live the dream, instead of dream the life.
Listen to "Uh Oh" below:
"'Uh Oh' is essentially about my utter lack of self-control in relationships," Brittenham told ARTISTdirect. "I was seeing someone at the time who I vowed continuously never to see again and the moment I etched the words in stone, I was on a plane to where he lived. At a certain point, breaking up just became a good excuse to get back together and making rules gave us a reason to break them."
What did you think of "Uh Oh" and the life and times of Shauna Brittenham?