NEWS / Shannon Bryant found a different way to put her philosophy degree to good use. Accompanying the singer-songwriter’s effervescent melodies and honeyed harmonies are philosophical ruminations on love, connection and intimacy that, like life itself, offer a balance of sunny optimism and hope along with inevitable bouts of pained heartbreak and disillusionment. The soprano songbird wrote and produced her third adult contemporary-acoustic rock album, “Light,” which will be released February 26 by Belle Estrela Music and serviced to NPR, CMJ, Triple A and college radio stations and specialty shows for airplay. Multiple GRAMMY® winner Joe Chiccarelli (Jason Mraz, Alanis Morissette, U2, Elton John, Frank Zappa) mixed the ten-track set.
Bryant opens her thought-provoking songbook on “Light” with the poetic piano-led beauty “Kind of Girl” on which she confesses analytically “I’m the kind of girl who sees meaning in everything” before detaching from the heartache by professing to see life like a play and deftly shifting the focus to life’s journey. Unafraid to display vulnerability, the mid-tempo lullaby “11th Hour” professes love through an enduring pledge with an honest slice-of-life acknowledgment of frustration and disappointment. Her gracefully soaring voice seems to skip with the glee of new found love on the celebratory “Wide Open.” As if ripped from the headlines, “Light” poses probing questions in the face of gun and domestic violence on the track rife with tension that hints at finding safety and security in the spiritual. Penned for her late mother, “Milk & Honey” is a gentle guitar-strummed singalong. Instead of aimless searching and fruitless pursuits that ultimately fail to provide lasting happiness, “Gold” points the search for joy inward. The disc’s lone cover is a haunting, atmospheric reading of Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes,” which suits Bryant’s angelic and expressive voice divinely. Revealing her affection for Brazilian jazz, she sublimely charters a sultry rhythm taking a sensual departure on the elegant “Make Me Believe It’s Love.” Revisiting an earlier tune that was used on the PBS series “Roadtrip Nation,” the rousing anthem “Open Your Eyes” advocates being present and making good choices along with an affirmation of loyalty. The entire set features live strings, but perhaps they pack the most potency on “11th Hour Reprise,” a stunningly, aching stripped down version that closes the record poignantly.
“My intention for the album was to be honest and intimate, and inspire human connection, love and beauty. My goal for ‘Light’ and my music in general, is to heal the world from the inside out - to help illuminate our inner strength and light,” said Bryant, a Canadian transplant from London, Ontario who will soon announce concert dates to support the album release in her adopted hometown of San Francisco.
Bryant decided to pursue a career in music during a soul-searching backpacking trip in Dublin, Ireland where she landed a six-month stint performing in a piano bar. Upon her return to Canada, she continued honing her chops by joining a popular local band. Her self-titled solo debut disc was released in 2004 followed by 2007’s “Oceano,” the sophomore set that garnered national airplay throughout Canada as well as television placement for the single “Open Your Eyes.” Among her many prominent concert and festival performances in Ontario and the Bay Area is sharing the stage with legend Carlos Santana at a NARAS salute to the Grateful Dead’s Mickey Hart.
The songs contained on Bryant’s “Light” album are:
“Kind Of Girl”
“Milk & Honey”
“In Your Eyes”
“Make Me Believe It’s Love”
“Open Your Eyes”
“11th Hour Reprise”
For more information, please visit www.ShannonBryant.com.