New Yorker Pamela Sue Mann’s stunning, eccentric and ethereal new album ‘Break’ shows a dynamic new direction in her writing and musical sense, influenced by years working with globally influential musicians.
The album includes the talents of Byron Isaacs on bass; Terry Edwards (PJ Harvey) on Sax; Paul Cuddeford (Steve Harley, Last Day Sect) on guitar; Sterling Campbell (David Bowie), Yuval Lion and Doug Yowell(Joe Jackson) on percussion; Gerry Leonard (David Bowie) on guitar; Kevin Killen (Kate Bush) and additional artists on backing vocals.
“The new music isn’t coming out of the old paradigm,” Mann explained. “It arises after a long period of lying fallow and raising a child.” The new work has Mann’s signature dreamlike qualities that draw listeners in on more than one level. She sensually invites audiences into her inner realm as she re-emerges with renewed creative energy. “Now language is coming quickly. I sit at the piano and I have 1500 small pieces that have come of it. Someone described it to be as being much like Freud’s Mourning Liberation or poetry. Letting it happen. All forms, musical and poetic, are coming out at once and I’m letting it.”
Pamela Sue Mann emerged out of the Berklee School of Music in the 1990s. Songs had come easily to her since early childhood and her college professors pointed her toward poetry rather than conventional song writing.
“I love the precision of language. Poetry is the second language of the mind. Music is the same. In music there is rhythm and form, which is the same in poetry,” Mann said.
Her first venture into the public eye was as the keyboardist for The Real McCoys, a German Eurodance band that toured the US and Europe, becoming Arista Recording Artist and Viva TV’s #1 Pop Act of 1995. The band’s song ‘Another Night’ became a global top 40 hit, and their television appearances included MTV’s The Grind, Greatwoods Live TV, the Viva TV Awards, Pop Komm and Universal Studio’s Latin Nights.
Mann, now based in New York, released her self-titled debut album in 1999, blending elements of pop, folk and electronica.
Mann sang on several tracks of Suzanne Vega’s ‘Songs in Red and Gray’ album in 2002, resulting in a European and US tour in support of the album. That album was produced by Rupert Hine and mixed by Stephen Taylor. Mann’s backing vocals are also heard on Vega’s Retrospect album and Gerry Leonard’s ‘The Light Machine’ album. Her song ‘I Quit’ is featured in the 1999 film Story of a Bad Boy, produced by Jean Doumanian. Mann was chosen to sing a cover of songwriter Fiona Kernaghan’s ‘Hello Spaceboy’ on the multi-artist collaborative album ‘Feeling Fiona’, released in Australia. The recording of ‘Hello Spaceboy’ was co-produced by Mann and Mark Plati.
Mann’s second album ‘L’oeuf’, came in 2007, making room for her ethereal impressionistic vocals punctuated by the panoramic soundscapes of Gerry Leonard’s guitar and Mann’s experimental keyboards.
She went on to release the ‘Revenant’ album, collaborating with international writers, singers and actors on interpretations of the music of composer David Carbonara (TV series – Mad Men).
Her frequent musical collaborations include writing songs for three albums in the early 2000s with Gina Fant-Saez of Blue World Music: Rumacea; Broadband; and Roomi, as well as song placement in films and television. A new documentary (2017) about the founding of the Storm King Arts Center features her original piano music as well as guitar by Gerry Leonard. She sang lead vocals for two tracks of Malcolm Payne’s recent album. A current project through Mann’s Boxcar Collective production company features ten experimental keyboard compositions co-written with Swiss musician Benoit Perraud, using miniature Yamaha keyboards recorded through the keyboard speakers onto iphones.