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The Funhouse at Mr Smalls
400 Lincoln Ave, 2nd Floor, Millvale, Pennsylvania 15209
The Funhouse at Mr. Small's presents…
Heather Kropf «LIGHTS» CD Release Show
with special guest Joy Ike!
Kropf's fifth album «Lights» is a sonically arresting singer/songwriter alt-pop/rock album. No matter the arrangement – the mid-tempo pop of “Ghost Town,” the achingly spare “Love Light,” the haunting rhythm of “Winter Sun” – Kropf’s honeyed vocals are mesmerizing.
Heather Kropf | piano and vocals
Colter Harper | guitar
Justin Bechak | keys
Randall Venturini | bass
Alex Peck | drums
Joy and Peace Ike | guest vocals
A little more about the making of Lights…
Sometimes change is not only good, but necessary. Heather Kropf has been a musician in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, for almost two decades, earning acclaim for her evocative singing and songwriting. She could have stayed on the same path, performed with the same musicians, and her music would still be irresistible.
But a desire to expand her musical footprint, to see if she could find a wider audience, spurred Kropf to step outside her comfort zone. “Lights,” Kropf’s new album, is her finest. Recorded in Nashville with producer Lex Price and an all-star cast of musicians, the album rewards the decision to change her routine.
“I knew these songs needed someone other than me guiding the arrangements,” Kropf says. “I feel like they were somehow beyond me.”
Kropf first sought a producer who could realize her vision. Enter Price, who has worked with musicians including k. d. lang, Rodney Crowell, Grant-Lee Phillips and Miranda Lambert, and produced music for Mindy Smith, Robbie Hecht, and Peter Bradley Adams.
“I usually work with people I’ve previously met or worked with in the past,” says Price, “but with Heather, I didn’t know her at all. Once I was able to hear one of her songs, it was an easy decision for me.”
Collaborating with Price allowed Kropf – who previously produced her own records — the freedom to concentrate on vocals and piano, resulting in some of her finest recorded performances. No matter the arrangement – the mid-tempo pop of “Ghost Town,” the achingly spare “Love Light,” the haunting rhythm of “Winter Sun” – Kropf’s honeyed vocals are mesmerizing. Think of Suzanne Vega with a dash of Joni Mitchell thrown in, and you get an approximation of Kropf’s sound.
The musicians include Price on bass, guitarist Tim Young (Fiona Apple, house band member with the “The Late Late Show with James Corden”), keyboardist Steve Moore (Laura Veirs), drummer Ian Fitchuk (Kacey Musgraves), and engineer Joe Costa (Ben Folds). Their collective contributions resulted in a sonically arresting sound that was different from her past efforts.
“Heather was really open to new ideas and stretching herself,” says Price. “She’s been playing some of these songs live and when we wanted to take them in a different direction, she was open to that.”
“I love how everyone worked as an ensemble to create so much atmospheric depth and texture,” Kropf says. “Their integrity as musicians and lack of ego was really beautiful to experience.”
The band created a lush backdrop that gives Kropf and her songs center stage. That approach meshes with the unifying ideals that are the core of “Lights.”
“By being true to our own hearts we become a part of something so much bigger,” Kropf says.
“Lights” is available May 19 and Heather Kropf will be joined by the full band at tonight’s release concert. 8 PM SHOW | 7 PM DOORS