Sunday, January 18, 2015

Singer-songwriter Misty Boyce coming to Chicago with new album in tow


Los Angeles singer-songer Misty Boyce likes to keep busy.

After spending most of 2013-14 touring with Sara Bareilles, Boyce has released a new album, "The Life."  Fans of her music will get two chances to see her, as she will perform at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 21 at the Levere Memorial Temple, 1856 Sheridan Road, Evanston.

At 9 p.m. Jan. 22, Boyce will perform at Uncommon Ground, 3800 N. Clark St., Chicago. There is a $5 cover charge.

I had the chance to talk to Boyce about the new album.

Q - Great talking to you. Your second album, "The Life," will be released soon. In sitting down and making the album, what were your goals and do you think you accomplished them?

Stylistically, I really wanted to make an album that bridged the gap between my interest in pure, Americana-ish acoustic songwriting, and electronic, synth-pop. Emotionally, I wanted to make an album that was honest and felt like a pure expression of myself and my voice and my experience.

I think I came as close as ever to reaching those goals with this album.

Q - Is there a story behind the album's name? Filipe Bessa made the video for the title track off the new album. What was your concept for the video and what did he bring to the project? 
"The Life" is the third song on the album, and most of the other songs also deal with life and death and existence in some way or another, so it seemed like a title that would wrap up the sentiment of the whole record in a nice little package.

Filipe's idea was to make something inspired by the portrait-like shots of Grimes's "Oblivion" video. Thankfully, Los Angeles offers a lot of beautiful and diverse scenery within a couple hours drive in any direction, so we just picked a few of our favorite spots and I loosely built some characters, or different sides of one character, inspired by the scenery and the lyrics. 

Q - You recently toured with Sara Bareilles. What was that experience like and what did you learn from the experience?

Touring with Sara was incredible. I loved every minute of it, even the challenging moments. 
I was pushed to the brink of my musical capabilities and surprised myself by rising to the occasion, and I learned so much watching her gracefully maneuver the terrain of pop-stardom while maintaining her integrity and treating people so very well. 
She showed me how to be a boss without being a jerk and how to incite loyalty and professionalism by leading the way.

Q - How do you think you have grown as a musician since you were the keyboard player for The Naked Brothers band? Who are your biggest influences? 

I think, after a certain point, you become a better musician simply with time and life experience. I'm a much better singer than I used to be, thanks to some coaching, and I know a lot more about synthesizing sounds and gear, but I'm essentially the same musician, I've just been doing it longer.

My biggest influence keyboard-wise is Daniel Mintseris, who plays with St. Vincent. She's also a big inspiration for sounds... 

Q - Do you have any dream collaborations or dream projects?

I would love to work with Blake Mills or Taylor Goldsmith from Dawes or Emily Haines from Metric. Singing and playing and writing with any of them would be a dream come true!