Sunday, 23 June 2013

Sunday Sessions: Suzanne Vega

Suzanne Vega, the artist whose biggest hit "Luka" is a heartbreaking first person account of child-abuse (albeit fictional), hasn't been very public in terms of hit records and radio play of late. I thought it was time to look back at some of her great tunes.

She is a New-York-based folk singer who got her start in the Greenwich Village scene much like Bob Dylan did 20 years earlier. Her first LP was issued in 1985 and it introduced the world to a writer whose songs had depth and power, while being sung in a voice that showed maturity and vulnerability all the same.

How cool is it that she would write a song from the point of view of a photo on her bedroom wall?

"Marlene watches from the wall,
Her mocking smile says it all
She records the rise and fall
of every man who's been here..."

On her latest LP, a 25th anniversary live recording of her second LP "Solitude Standing", she explains that the lyric may have been what Marlene would have said to her after watching all the happenings in that room. Suzanne then admits that, after recently reading her biography, Marlene would actually have said quite the opposite!

"Left of Center" was from the film "Pretty In Pink" and it is a great character of some of the marginalised street-urchins in the inner-city areas. Features Joe Jackson on piano.

"Blood Makes Noise" makes a marked change from her normal sound, but the idiosyncratic vocal and clever lyrics still shine through the sub-industrial arrangement.


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