What inspired you to first start making music? And how did you come to be in your current incarnation? Or if you prefer, a brief bio about you.
I grew up in a home of singers and music lovers. My six siblings and I inherited our passion for music from our father, and our mother’s love as a listener. But from my earliest memory I wanted to be a performer as well, inspired by family variety shows of the ’80s, where coordinated costumes and guest star appearances gave me something to look forward to weekly. We are talking hokey, wholesome content of course, but it definitely sparked the interest.
However, I didn’t venture into performing until 2006, fronting various bands in Texas before coming to my Loretti place around 2009. Loretti is a solo project at its core, focusing on my most basic instincts as a songwriter. It has also been a vehicle, a rusty old Chevy van from the ‘70s, where some amazing artists have hopped on and off to contribute.
Provide us with some info about your latest release…
Congratulations, released in December 2019, was recorded in 2018 at Moosecat Recording here in Los Angeles with Mike Post. I sent Mike the demo utilizing elements from my solo performing setup, my 1977 Maestro Rhythm King drum machine with me playing my vintage Schecter Solo guitar, and backing up my own vocals. Our intention was to craft a studio recording that was similar enough to my solo performance while still adding in full band accompaniment. So we had Danni Ammon come in for drums in the final chorus, and Jason Goldstein over the top of the entire song with his sweet keyboard line. Mastered by Will Borza, the song retains its simple nature but builds interest and emotion to the end and I am so happy with it. The music video came together at home while in quarantine. I had bookmarked in my brain a 1905 public domain silent film titled The Jester, then shot new footage myself and had my husband, Drew Sommer, cut, edit and craft the final story. It is thematically true to the lyrics and I’m so thrilled to have it turn out so well.
Which ones would you consider your main influences both music-wise & non-music-wise?
Loretti is equally influenced by sounds, movies, books and experiences from my past. The sounds are that beautiful blend of soft rock, vintage country, and powerful female voices of the late ’70s and early ‘80s. Voices like Linda Ronstadt, Ann Wilson, Annie Lennox, Debbie Harry, Dolly Parton and Joni Mitchell are the alchemy that feeds me. Bands like Bread, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Chicago, Hall & Oats, 10cc, Electric Light Orchestra, Heart and the Statler Brothers imprinted their soundscapes in my psyche at an early age. Songwriters like Cat Stevens, Joni Mitchell, James Taylor and Carole King taught me how to tell a story in an interesting and engaging way for song. And films and novels are directly linked to Loretti songs on an individual basis. I have songs that were written immediately after watching a movie or reading a book that touched me deeply, constructed as if I were the main character or bystander to its events.
In what way does your sound differ from the rest genre-related artists/bands and why should we listen to your music? In other words, how would you describe your sound?
Describing Loretti’s sound is complicated for me. Having constructed it from so many internal factors, it’s hard to separate the influences from the end product when I try to describe them. Each Loretti song can somehow be tracked in reverse to the time period I’ve described above, but if you dwell in the now I have been told that it’s a mix of Beach House, Phosphorescent, Best Coast, with folk and country undertones. What I believe Loretti accomplishes is a deja vu sensation for the listener, striking a familiar chord deep within for something forgotten or neglected in your memory.
Please name your 3 desert islands albums, movies & books…
This is such a hard question for me because I feel like such a fickle fan sometimes. But as I considered this question I realized that I consume my art as if I am living on a desert island already. What I mean is if I am touched by a song, album, book, movie, I put it on repeat. I return to it over and over for years sometimes, never getting tired of it. So I’ll make my list using random selection and with the caveat that if asked next year, this may change, because there are just far too many to choose from and I’d be content on an Island with any of these. For music I’ll stick to albums and begin with Hey Rosetta!’s 2008 album Into Your Lungs, which perfectly executes a journey from introspective emotions to joyous external expression. Jewel’s Spirit, 1998, is an album I jammed while driving across the country in that same year and never tired of it’s ’90s alt-girl vibe. It takes me back every time to CD cases, using road maps, real isolation without cell phones, and stepping out into the great unknown. The recently released “Talkers” from Suzie Chism is currently on repeat for me and I’d absolutely be taking to the island today! Her closet studio production with inventive soundscape and provocative lyrics are delightful. Books are easier and I’d bring the novels I’ve read multiple times, Willa Cather’s Song of the Lark, All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy and The Bolter by Frances Osborne. Movies would be Coal Miner’s Daughter, Amelie and Wall-E because I’m on a freakin desert Island and I need uplifting and easy.
Do you prefer studio or performing live and why?
I love performing so much, but for me the clear winner is studio work. Audio engineering as a craft is mysterious to me. I know so little about the magic producers weave to get the end result I’m asking for. But being an artist in a booth fine tuning and finessing a song until it all comes together in the exact way I want it to is about the best way to spend a day.
Is there any funny-unique story you would like to share with us, always in relation to your music ‘career’?
Pass. Ha ha.
Which track of your own would you point out as the most unique and why?
The most unique among Loretti tracks is one that is yet to be released. And I’m not trying to be coy, I am actually talking about “Los Feliz,” which is due out later this summer. It will be part of the EP, Bigger than The Sun, all recorded at Moosecat Recording with Mike Post. “Los Feliz” pushes further into the dreamscape and vibey world of my inner self than any other Loretti song before and I cannot wait to share it. I also have an animated music video currently in production by Maggie Nobles that steps into a new place for Loretti.
Would you like to share with our readers your future plans?
Loretti’s future looks very much like the now. Writing when inspired, recording when ready to solidify, performing when it makes sense, and producing videos with every opportunity.
Free question!!! (Ask yourself a question) you wish to answer and haven’t been given the opportunity…
Curated by: Christos Doukakis
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