New York (soon to be North Carolina-based) musician Linda Draper recently released her latest album Patience and Lipstick on her new label South Forty Records, and we’re pleased to premiere the Official Music Video for the acoustic version of her protest song “Tether.” Draper fills us in on the background of the single and the album.
“The creation of the ‘Tether (Acoustic Version)’ music video was part experimentation and part interpretation,” explains Linda Draper. “My husband, Jason Yantz, who directed it, was experimenting with visual ideas for the song and created one that we both really liked.
“I wanted the concept of this video to show an interpretation of the lyrics, shared from the opposing views that have divided us. The video illustrates how politics and media have worked hand-in-hand in contributing to the divisions that have kept us separated and how these cycles of division have repeated themselves throughout time.
“The main message behind this video that I hope to share, is that even though there’s so much out there that divides us, there is still potential for something true to shine through the cracks, if we learn to put our assumptions about other people aside.”
“I wrote this song during lockdown at the beginning of the pandemic. I was amazed and disgusted with how, literally overnight, every TV commercial, news outlet, and talk show was suddenly barraging us with these insincere and overly sentimental messages about how we are all in this together.
“While I love the full instrumentation version of ‘Tether,’ I also wanted to include a stripped-down acoustic version of the song to share the solitary state I was in when I wrote it. This acoustic version with just my voice and guitar and David Mansfield’s beautifully haunting violin accompaniment, helps convey where I’m coming from.” – Linda Draper
Tell us about the inspiration behind the new album.
The name of the album was inspired by a conversation I had after a gig one night with a pair of married fans, Jack and Ivana. When I asked what the secret to a long and happy marriage is, Jack smiled and said “patience.” His wife, Ivana, elaborated more and told me how she works very long hours as a flight attendant, and that when she gets home, no matter how late it is, Jack waits up for her and leaves the light on. So she always travels prepared, with a tube of lipstick in her purse, and as soon as she turns the corner on her way back home, no matter how late it is, she reapplies. ‘So, the secret to a long and happy marriage is patience… and lipstick?!,’ I remember saying to them, ‘You know, that sounds like a good name for a song.’
The song ‘Patience and Lipstick,’ as it would turn out, captured the theme for the album, too (in more ways than one). It encapsulated this idea of holding on, learning how to endure through some tough times (patience), while also being able to learn how to let go and feel the heartbeat of each moment in order to see more clearly where you need to go next (that’s where the lipstick comes in). The recording process for this album itself, also became a labor of love and a lesson in patience.
What was the writing and recording process?
Recording an album during the height of the pandemic definitely slowed the process down, since we had to figure out how to record it during a time when we couldn’t all physically be together at once. This took a fair amount of ingenuity as there were more logistics to sort through than usual. Thanks to Jeff Eyrich (who patiently produced it), we were able to assemble a songwriter’s dream team of musicians and engineers to help bring these songs to fruition, including Doug Yowell (drums/percussion), David Mansfield (strings), and Jeff Eyrich (who also played bass in addition to producing it). Jeff and I began the recording process by demoing the songs at his home studio, where we recorded my scratch vocals and my acoustic guitar tracks.
These demos were the most critical component of the whole album, as it laid the foundation down for the rest of the instrumentation. In fact, we spent the majority of time on the demoing process itself… really fleshing things out, refining the song structure, and honing in on the tempo. We used a click track as a placeholder at first. Then Jeff transferred the demos to Doug Yowell’s home studio, where they laid down the live drums and percussion elements. From there, Jeff then went to David Mansfield’s home studio, where David shared his eclectic talents on various stringed instruments into the mix. Once we had all of these elements, we recorded my main vocals at Dae Bennett’s studio. Thereafter, we went to Axis Sound to add in my acoustic guitar, as well as my background vocals. Finally, Jeff and I took the whole thing back to Dae Bennett’s studio once more, where Dae masterfully mixed everything to perfection.
Is there a particular song that speaks to you?
The Barbara Keith tune, ‘Detroit or Buffalo’ (the one cover song on this album) that my producer Jeff introduced me to, really resonated with me. As soon as I heard it, I knew that I wanted to record it. I was able to relate to the theme of movement, especially now as I am gearing up to move out of NYC (after living here for 22 years).
This is the first album from your new label South Forty Records. Congratulations! What did you learn from the process, and what will you do differently on your next venture?
Thank you! The release of this album coincided with this move from New York City to North Carolina. The move happened a bit quicker than we had expected. My husband and I are actually moving in a couple of weeks! But as recording this album has reminded me, sometimes you just have to go where life takes you. As we get settled in our new place, I’m looking forward to playing more live shows again. I have a few scheduled in April in NY, with more to follow (I’ll always have NY included in my tour itinerary). I’d like to work on adding in some more livestream performances in addition to setting up some in-studio shows with the radio stations that have given ‘Patience and Lipstick’ some airplay love. In the next recording venture, I’d like to have more of a solid set of live shows scheduled leading up to and then directly after release. Present circumstances haven’t allowed this to happen, but we’re learning how to make the best of it.
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