Listening to "Fall To Rise," the new CD by the group Love Over Gold, is like hearing two souls occupy the same space.
Love Over Gold, www.love-over-gold.com, is a new collaboration between esteemed singer-songwriters Pieta Brown and Lucie Thorne. They are sure to perform songs from the new album when they open for Mason Jennings on Oct. 4 at the Old Town School of Folk Music, 4544 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago.
The show starts at 10 p.m. and tickets are $28, available at www.oldtownschool.org.
I had the chance to talk to Brown about Love Over Gold.
Q - Great talking to you again. Of course, the name of your new duo with Lucie Thorne is Love Over Gold, which is also the name of Dire Straits' fourth album.
I know that you listened to Dire Straits growing up and that you toured with Mark Knopfler. Is the name of the band an homage to Dire Straits?
It's true I used to rollerskate around the apartment complex I lived in with my mom in Birmingham, Ala., listening to Dire Straits on my headphones, and Mark continues to be an inspiration, but the name of the band is LOVE OVER GOLD because Lucie and I both love that phrase! Tell me a better one...consider it our graffitti to the world!
Q - I understand that you met Lucie Thorne during your first tour of Australia. Did things just click musically between the two of you?
Lucie and I clicked as friends first. When I saw Lucie play a live solo show at the end of my first tour there, I felt a musical spark and I reached out to Lucie after I got back to the States.
When I went back to Australia the following year Lucie sat in with us on our sets and it was very fun. And it rolled on out from there.
Q - You've said you wanted to blend two voices into a singular sound on "Fall To Rise." Do you think you were able to accomplish that?
Yes, I do. In exactly the way I was hoping. Blending is truly its own art form.
Q - The two of you will be touring in Australia later this year in support of the new album. Do you think that will be an extra special occasion because it is Thorne's homeland? How do audiences overseas compare with U.S. audiences?
I have toured with Lucie in Australia before, but just separately on the same bill. Lucie sat in with us on a couple of songs but that is a different deal.
So, I think it will be fun to sing these new songs together there. And the spark really started there, so it will be meaningful in that way.
I found the audiences in Australia to be very cool! I really enjoyed the openness and enthusiasm I experienced there before...But I feel like the people that come out to the shows in the States are especially cool too!
Q - Why was it important for you to record "Fall To Rise" in your native Iowa?
We recorded Fall To Rise in Iowa because Lucie was able to stop in Iowa on her way to tour Europe. We started writing songs separately...and sent a few back and forth over the big wide Internet...but all the pieces crystalized when we were in the same room, which happened to be my kitchen!
The creative process was very natural because of the underlying musical chemistry between me and Lucie. You don't come across that kind of musical chemistry every day, and so I've really enjoyed having the chance to try something with it.
We did both exchange lyrics and melodies. Some songs are Lucie's lyrics with my melodies at the core and vice versa. And a couple songs are both of our lyrics and melodies merged!
And then we each put a couple of our own songs in the hat to try recording together, too.
Q - I understand the both of you started writing songs around a kitchen table. How did the creative process work? Did you both exchange lyrics and melodies?
The creative process was very natural because of the underlying musical chemistry between me and Lucie...you don't come across that kind of musical chemistry every day, and so I've really enjoyed having the chance to try something with it.
We did both exchange lyrics and melodies. Some songs are Lucie's lyrics with my melodies at the core and vice versa.
And a couple songs are both of our lyrics and melodies merged! And then we each put a couple of our own songs in the hat to try recording together, too.
Q - One song in particular, "Then We Were Flying," came together very fast, and the two of you recorded it live in one take. Why do you think the song came together so easily?
Each song has its own life and magic if you ask me. That one just really happened all the way.
That is Lucie's lyric and my melody. And the melody came in like it was chasing the lyric.
I reckon the lyric has a lot of natural music in it, because I only read the lyrics once (actually standing beside a tethered hot air balloon if you can believe it!) and started singing/humming the song.
The melody was as clear as day to me, somehow. We worked out a few of the chord changes together later with our guitars after I started singing Lucie the melody I was hearing, and the song just wanted to live.
We recorded it the next morning, live in one take, as you mentioned. That is already one of our favorites to sing together too.
Q - What's next for you after this tour? Will you be working on some of your own music? Would you like to do more projects with Lucie Thorne?
I have my own album recorded, mixed and mastered. It's an album I'm extremely proud of that was recorded out at Justin Vernon's studio in Wisconsin.
It will come out early next year sometime. And I'm truly looking forward to touring behind it!
Lucie Thorne is a true pal and a friend in the music too, so I imagine this recording we did together is a beginning. Not to mention that "No Boys Allowed" can be pretty fun!