Beth Ann McDowell Presents Darker Side in “Where the Calm Things Are”
Today, February 18th, indie singer-songwriter, Beth Anne McDowell, channels a darker energy in her next single, “Where the Calm Things Are.” Hailing from Minneapolis, Minnesota, she is a seasoned world-traveler, a classic pianist, and provides ethereal vocals to compliment chillingly-penned lyrics. Beth Ann’s music blends classical with synth, electronic with organic, all wrapped in an experiential soundscape with nostalgic undertones.
The single is produced by R. Walt Vincent. And in the collaboration, a natural gravitation came in recording an album in an organic way, with session musicians in a recording that captured the spirit of the moment all at once. Her first single off of the album, “Killers Of The Early Morning”, captures the sort of eerie dream-like vibe that permeates through the entire record. With unquestionably dark lyrics, the song recollects the common experience most of us have lived: giving all that we have to give, and it is still not enough. Following the debut, “Where All The Calm Things Are,” curates a similar, dark energy, all while channeling a melancholic undertone in her ethereal vocals.
Born in Seoul, South Korea, McDowell moved to Bloomington at a young age. She spent her childhood learning classical piano with aspirations of becoming a solo pianist. She then worked as a vocalist and keyboardist for the band Addamanera, in Italy, on their album Un Uomo Che Si Pensava Quell’Altro. During her time in Italy, Beth also collaborated with the band Mariposa, and the founders of the label, “Trovarobato”. She worked with artists Enrico Gabrielli and Sergio Giusti, along with 72 other musicians, on an experimental documentary, called UPM – Unita’ di produzione musicale, which was shown at various film festivals. With such an impressive start to her career, she then chose to focus on her own efforts, built from her roots, to create an album of her own.
Over the course of several months last summer, Beth Ann McDowell made a conscious decision to return to her roots in complex, rich lyrics, and giving more depth to her songwriting as she began to work on her album, The Sim Is Real. McDowell’s upcoming album is arguably the most profound and serious of her career. Produced, recorded, and mixed by Walt Vincent who has worked with some of indie rock’s darlings such as Liz Phair, Pete Yorn, Scarlett Johansson and Joseph Gordon Levitt, it was done in the way McDowell was accustomed to recording music: with musicians playing live and the organic result used for the album instead of overdubbing and piecing recordings together. The project will be released this spring, as a testament to the artist creating her own path.
We recorded [the album] in a farm in rural Wisconsin amongst cows and goats, and the album was recorded in live studio sessions instead of with tons of overdubs, tapping back into my roots and love for songwriting and let’s face it, the 90’s in general. I’d love to give more depth to the realm of Asian artists out there, as my style is a bit more gritty and melancholic than the more famed pop stars people are familiar with. I’m also, at heart, a writer and so I think my lyrics will connect with people, at least I hope so.
~ Beth Ann McDowell
Stream “Where the Calm Things Are” now, available on all listening platforms: