Singer Madeleine Peyroux, who’s drawn comparisons to the legendary Billie Holiday, visits South Orange Performing Arts Center Thursday, Oct. 4 at 7:30 p.m.
Peyroux’s musical journey is truly compelling, and reflects her independent spirit. Known for her dusky, lyrical style, and affinity for reinterpreting classic Jazz, Blues, and Folk standards, Madeleine Peyroux is an artist who gazes fearlessly into the depths of a song and reflects back a searing emotional truth.
Emerging in her teens as a street-busking performer in Paris’ Latin Quarter in the 1980s, Madeleine Peyroux eventually caught the attention of the record industry. Her debut album, 1996’s Dreamland, featured a noted Jazz artists and drew accolades for her distinctive take on Blues and Jazz standards. Overwhelmed by her initial success, the singer took time off before returning with her diverse sophomore album, 2004’s Larry Klein-produced Careless Love. Since then, she has continued to cut a low-key, if no less lauded career path, releasing a handful of highly regarded albums.
Eight albums and 22 years since her debut Dreamland, Madeleine Peyroux continues to challenge the confines of Jazz, venturing into contemporary music with unfading curiosity.
Madeleine Peyroux’s new album, Anthem, finds the singer-songwriter collaborating with writers/musicians Patrick Warren (Bonnie Raitt, JD Souther, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Lana Del Rey, The Red Hot Chilli Peppers), Brian MacLeod (Sara Bareilles, Leonard Cohen, Tina Turner, Ziggy Marley) and David Baerwald (Joni Mitchell, David and David, Sheryl Crow), who are also the basic rhythm section players on the album. Together, they cast a sober, poetic, and at times philosophical eye on the current state of the world. Anthem weaves the colorful stories of people confronting life’s challenges in a multitude of ways.
Anthem is Peyroux’s “biggest project to date,” with the artist investing many months of hands-on involvement in the studio, “exploring processed sounds and editing in post tracking.”
Notably, it was written with the group of musicians/writers who also played on it, “this album was about discovering the original songs as they were being recorded” and mastering the courage to “let the songs choose their own path.”
The new album includes several songs bearing Peyroux’s distinctive style including “On My Own” and “Sunday Afternoon,” but Anthem’s spirit was that of exploring new styles while safe in the knowledge that “if you are loyal to yourself, there should always be a thread running through your music.”