NEWS: Alanis Morissette Announces November UK Tour

Multi-platinum, Grammy winning artist Alanis Morissette has just released her highly anticipated seventh studio album, HAVOC AND BRIGHT LIGHTS, on 27th August with Columbia UK and will return to the UK this November starting with a huge show at London The O2.

Produced by Guy Sigsworth (Björk, Madonna, Seal) and Joe Chiccarelli (Tori Amos, Elton John, My Morning Jacket, U2) and recorded in Los Angeles, the new album marks the songstress’ first release in four years.  Fans will be able to purchase the album’s first single, “Guardian,” on 26th August.

“This record, as always, is a snapshot of what I currently obsess about, care about, and what strikes me at 4 in the morning in my most introspective moments,” says Morissette. “It is my emotional, psychological, social and philosophical commentary through song. I can’t wait to share it with this fun and funny planet, and to tour, and can’t WAIT to have the lively, engaging and challenging conversations that these songs may invite.”

Following a string of sold out shows in June Alanis will return to the UK this November:

Weds 28th            London                         The O2                                                0844 856 0202
Thurs 29th             Nottingham             Capital FM Arena                         0843 373 3000
Fri 30th             Liverpool             Echo Arena                                     0844 8000 400

Tickets available from 9.00am on Friday 31st August from<http://www.gigsandtours.comand from 24hr CC Hotline: 0844 811 0051

The Kaje talks creative growth to Manna

Finnish songstress Manna first registered on The Kaje‘s register when she unleashed the beyond brilliant “Songs Of Hope And Desire” back in 2010. With “Truth Song” and “Holy Dirty Game” constantly sung around the office, we were majorly thrilled to hear that Manna was back with album number 3, “Shackles”, and if the stunningly stirring title track is anything to go by, it will be just a blinding and brilliant as its predecessors. With two years to catch up on, The Kaje jumped at the chance to talk creative growth with the lady herself…

“Shackles” is album number 3-how have you grown as an artist over the course of 3 records?

I’m always interested in trying out new things and making my sound evolve by it. I get bored so easily! Creating music with real emotion is my goal but I tend to change the approach production wise and sound wise with every album.
Is your approach to your career the same now as it was at the outset?
You live and you learn! I’m more hands on with all the details now at every stage from composing to production.
What would you say is your defining goal?
Being able to release and tour all over the world. Hopefully one day it’ll be possible.
How would you describe your sound?
On “Shackles”, I would say: moody, rough and dark but with a lot of melodies. Emotional also. I love creating landscapes with music, I aim to make the sound tell a story also, not just the lyrics.
Critics often pull comparisons with PJ Harvey, Courtney Love and Alanis Morissette out of the bag-do you agree with these?
Hmm, I can surely appreciate all of them, so I take it as great compliment. Though Alanis I haven’t listened to.  I guess there aren’t that many women making guitar driven rock´n´roll after  all!
If you were forced to state your own comparisons, who would you say you sound like?
So far I’ve been happy to have comparisation with only musicians I admire, hopefully it’ll stay that way!  I’m just in the process of demoing new songs with gospel and old blues influences so we’ll see who they compare me too with the next album. Although very flattered about comparisations, in the end I of course hope to sound like myself !
What are the overriding themes involved with “Shackles”?
Breaking all “Shackles” that keeps one from evolving, mostly fear.. In the end it’s about the aim for real freedom.
“Battleships” and “Shackles” have already been released from the record-how do you select your singles?
The one’s that are ready the first! Just kidding. I listen to the songs and pick the singles with intuition. The ones I’m keen at the moment of choosing usually!
What other songs should we keep our ears open for?
“Wishing Well” and “Soul To Keep” are very dear to me. So I can give you those two, but I do recommend listening all of the album as it’s thought out as a whole really.
The album sees you teaming up with Mark Lanegan-how did the collaboration come about?
He was recording his solo album with the same producer as I were, so coming by the studio Alain ( the producer) played him some tracks we were working on and to my happiness he liked them. He even wrote his own lines to my song “Wishing Well” which made me so proud as I have tremendous respect for him, I remember listening to his recordings with Kurt Cobain and the the Screaming Trees (his first band) already as a little girl.
Who else do you have ambitions to collaborate with?
Hmm, there are so many I admire!  Karen Dalton or Nina Simone if they were alive, but from the one’s that are still here, I would have to say Bob Dylan or Patti Smith as they are both hero’s of mine. M.I.A and Robyn are geniuses in my books, so let’s add them to the list. I used to love Oasis as teenager so for old times sake I have to say Noel Gallagher also. Eclectic bunch there as I’ve always loved all sort of music. As long as it feels real, has soul and emotion and a good melody – you got me. I’m easy like that..
Interview and Photographs by Jeremy Williams

VIDEO: Alanis Morissette “Guardian”

The Kaje could not contain our excitement when we heard that Alanis Morissette was touring in 2012 alongside the much-awaited release of new material. So you can imagine our delight to find that “Guardian”, the lead single from upcoming album “Havoc And Bright Lights” sees Morisette on form. With her last few albums having received a mixed reception, the immediacy of “Guardian” should have no problems raising the bar once again.

FEATURE: Manna “The World Is Not That Big Music Wise”

“People will always compare. I do that when someone asks me what I thought, I just say it was a little bit of this and little bit of that.” Finland’s Manna is quite aware that as a female solo artist about to be launched into the currently female dominated British music scene that there will be inevitable comparisons. She accepts it but like many a musician does wish it were otherwise. “Obviously I want to make my own sound. It is easy to compare. It is better that people listen and make their own decisions.” The music press and blogs are already hailing her as a new PJ Harvey or Alanis Morissette. Her raw sound proving somewhat refreshing in the current 80s electro climate. Clearly accepting of the Harvey likeness, her reaction to Morissette is slightly different. “Alanis, I was surprised because I never listen to her music. I am not saying anything bad about her. I mean I remember her hits but she isn’t someone I have ever stopped and listened to.”

“Obviously I want to make my own sound. It is easy to compare.”

As for defining her own position in the current climate, the Parisian born half-Algerian, half-Finn seems unsure. “I don’t know yet. I hope I am in there somewhere.” She is aware that her sound is different to all the other girls out there, but hopes that this will allow her be found. She proclaims herself a big fan of “Florence and The Machine. I love her voice. The fact is, I am just getting to know the music here better. I was booked to support Marina and The Diamonds but the gig didn’t fit my schedule. So now I am booked to support Ellie Goulding, which is very different but very good music. So I am just excited to be able to be working alongside these girls and getting to know them. I can’t wait to do festivals and gigs.”

“I grew up listening to The Verve, I am not saying my music sounds anything like them, but I loved their music. Also The Stone Roses and Elastica, I loved them. The British bands I love are sort of older.” Having moved from Paris to Finland at the age of five, Manna grew up in the age of Britpop. Though she connected with some of Finland’s finest she found her musical home in the edginess and honesty of Britpop’s finest. “To be honest I have always listened to male-vocal music. I don’t know why, but for some reason I have always listened to the boys more. I can’t tell you who my idol is.”

Her connection with male-led bands has clearly taken effect. “A lot of music journalists are finding quite a male sound with the heavy guitars. It is actually interesting. Somebody said to me I sounded like Kasabian. I actually don’t mind the ideas that people get, I haven’t gotten any horrible comparisons yet. It is ok for now.”

For someone who dislikes obvious comparisons, Manna never writes the unexpected off. Instead she embraces a suggestion and tries to understand the reason behind it. Having stayed true to the sounds which inspired her, Manna is far from surprised by the male comparisons. “I have never  been afraid to mix emotional lyrics and sensitive material with raw sound. Things don’t have to be so obvious. Pop melodies with a soft production. I like to  keep the edge there, something which gets under my skin. There are not so many guys who do that, it is more guys.”

“I can’t really write without it being somehow true. That’s just my way of working, I am not saying it is the right way. Everyone has their own way to work. It is all quite honest and raw, but there is still a hope and desire for life. Living life to the full and allowing all emotions. It is hard to describe emotions really, but I just try to be honest with my music.” Having been famous in Finland for several years, first as an actress then a singer, Manna has had her fair share of positive and negative attention. Her 2008 debut album “Sisters” was slated by critics. At the time she was just an actress turned singer, who happened to be married to HIM guitarist Linde. Viewed as another celebrity cashing in on their situation, Manna’s musical efforts were written off.

“When you are honest, you have nothing to hide. You can take it or leave it.”

Whilst in private her and Linde were in fact going through a divorce and Manna had been taken for a ride by her record label, who had allowed her no creative freedom with the record. It felt like her world was crumbling, but prompted her need for honesty. “At first it is easy to be scared. But then, if you think about it, when you are honest, you have nothing to hide. You can take it or leave it. I am what I am, I hope you like it. If you don’t, well doesn’t matter. There isn’t any role to play, it isn’t an act. I can then move on all the time, musically and personally, just as Manna.”

The brave decision paid off with the self-penned “Songs Of Hope And Desire” proving both a critical and commercial success on her home turf , Manna is excited to broaden her horizons with her UK release.

“Songs Of Hope And Desire” is out now.

Words & Images: Jeremy Williams

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