Flora Reed is among a new generation of artists forging their way up through the ranks of the singer songwriter world; twenty-somethings who are coming up on the heels of Patty Griffin, Suzanne Vega, and Aimee Mann. Flora's songs are fiercely written poetics that hint at the unknowable in all of us--not merely delivered, but sung with a voice that can softly lilt as well as it can confidently roar. Couple this with Flora's evocative, attention demanding lyrics, and you have an artist who brings an irresistible mix to the world of independent music. Born in Japan, and raised in the D.C. suburb of Alexandria, Virginia, Flora grew up surrounded by the music that her father loved- western baroque and classical Indian music. But, it was while exploring his old reel-to-reel collection that she discovered Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, and Simon and Garfunkel. As her schoolmates listened to New Kids on the Block, Flora attempted to untangle the meaning in songs such as 'A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall' and 'Bird on a Wire.' She moved back to Japan at age ten, to Germany at twelve, and then back to the States to finish high school and begin college in Maryland. She always sang, but didn't pick up the guitar until her final year of high school. It was at St. Mary's College that she began her musical career. Flora quickly became a campus favorite, with a devoted fan base; playing frequently at coffeehouses and other student events. Upon graduation Flora headed for Northampton, Massachusetts, where she immersed herself in a part of the country brimming with a vibrant acoustic scene. Her first few years in Northampton found her working simultaneously for artist management, a record label, the Iron Horse Music Hall, and as a music publicist. All the while, Flora's true passion is making her own music. Her debut CD SETTLE DOWN, has been long in the making but well worth the wait. 'Since I'm in this business, I am surrounded by great music and have friends that are equally great artists,' Flora says. 'I intentionally incubated until I felt fully ready to put out a record.' Produced and engineered by Dave Chalfant (Erin McKeown, The Nields), the disc showcases Flora's uniquely luxurious voice in front of a backdrop of lush harmonious pop, balanced by almost live acoustic performances. 'I wanted a variety of sounds and atmospheres, but I also wanted balance. As a listener, I don't always like being flung too quickly from mood to mood. Dave did a great job of making the entire record feel centered.' The last song on the record is a uniquely chosen a cappella cover of a Bjork song. 'I'm really proud of that one,' Flora explains. 'We did it on the second day of recording in one take. I thought it would be the last thing we finished because it had to be just right, but it literally sung itself.' From the album's effervescent keyboard and drum driven opener 'Flowers At My Feet' to the gentle acoustic guitar and cello of 'Beloved' (based on the Toni Morrison novel of the same name), SETTLE DOWN is a set of songs filled with drifting melodies that are as passionate as they are delicate. Flora's sound evokes acclaimed artists such as Beth Orton and Lisa Germano; artists who create sublimely urgent songs that are hard to categorize yet so easy to fall in love with. Lyrically, the songs are impressionistic yet literate, with plenty of room for the listener to walk around and take away whatever meanings resonate with them. With her first CD, Flora Reed will surprise you with the perfect blend of sparkling pop and evocative mood pieces. SETTLE DOWN debuts the voice of a new and distinctly true artist.
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