[Cover photo credit to Shervin Lainez]
Berlin and Los Angeles-based composer, multi-instrumentalist, and multimedia artist Christina Wheeler has announced new LP, Songs of S + D, due out March 25, 2022, and previewed it with the single “Asleep at the Wheel” joined by an official music video. Her November 2021 EP, That Was Then, This is Now formed a kind of prelude for the new collection, which blends Soul and Shoe-gaze (or “soul-gaze”), electric and acoustic elements.
Christina Wheeler is known for performances with David Byrne from his tour throughout the U.S., Europe and South America in 1997 and 1998, and she has also recorded and played with musicians like Ryuichi Sakamoto, ChakaKhan, VernonReid, and more. As a solo artist, Wheeler blends analog and digital electronic processing for recording.
Throughout much of her work, Wheeler explores “universal dichotomies such as good and evil, life and loss, and elation and devastation”. Speaking about the single “Asleep at the Wheel”, Wheeler says the track:
…reveals the lures of living a full-throttle life to the point of destruction and the challenge of choosing to step away for grounded clarity, only to fight the temptation to return to thrilling yet ultimately dangerous downward spirals.
The album’s recording process took place between Red Bull Studios in both Berlin and New York City, as well as Berlin’s Vox-Ton Studio. Wheeler expanded the record’s scope and quality with several collaborators including Melvin Gibbs, (electric bass), Marque Gilmore (drums, programmer), and Marika Hughes (cellist). Additionally, Joe McGinty and Kelvin Sholar added synths and synth bass lines, while Christian Prommer, Antonio Pulli, Simon Goff, Chris Tabron, and Evan Sutton engineered the recording. Veteran engineer Scotty Hard mixed the album, and Michael Fossenkemper mastered the digital version.
Commenting on the new LP as a whole, Wheeler says:
It’s a deeply personal album long time in the making. Inspired by my experience of having lived through 9/11 in New York City and the subsequent attempt to negotiate the aftermath of that time once I moved to Berlin, I began to write a series of songs addressing the larger human experience of life, loss, joy, ecstasy, sadness, and the connecting, universal condition, framed through the context of vivid, intimate vignettes.