Elena Powell | Alta Nova

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Alta Nova

by Elena Powell

John Lennon and Joni Mitchell's love child grows up with David Bowie to write retro-pop songs with a vintage analog sound updated with modern electric violin.
Genre: Pop: Beatles-pop
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Waiting For the Revolution
2:59 $0.99
2. My Vertigo
3:29 $0.99
3. First Girl On the Moon
2:52 $0.99
4. Lucky Break
3:12 $0.99
5. Sneakin' By
1:53 $0.99
6. Alta Nova
3:15 $0.99
7. Marianne
2:41 $0.99
8. Sensitive Guy
3:16 $0.99
9. After the Riots, the Junk Man
3:27 $0.99
10. Twixt 11 and 12
2:47 $0.99
11. Nine Million Miles
16:00 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
"Alta Nova" might be translated as "the New High" , and the title certainly rings true. With its smart, organic pop sound, Elena's third full-length CD is easily her most exciting, well-crafted and fully realized, and was produced by Jeffrey Clark (Shiva Burlesque) and mixed by Oz Fritz (Tom Waits, Las Pesadillas). It's not a "retro" album, but unexpected cross-currents of impeccable influences like The Kinks, Joni Mitchell, Harry Nillson, and XTC consistently help make each of the 11songs on "Alta Nova" a distinctive pop gem.

The strength and vulnerability of the Nevada City, CA based singer/songwriter's voice and lyrics hold center stage on the album, but Elena's electric violin magic ups the ante on two instrumentals. All this plus scattered swirls of keyboard, edgy electric and acoustic guitars, and other fine musical brushstrokes keep "Alta Nova" ear-friendly and mind-engaging; while band partner and bass player Morgan Patton and drummer Jeff Tuttle provide classic but inventive rhythmic support throughout.

The CD will be reaching college and independent radio playlists and is distributed nationwide by Burnside Distribution. Elena Powell is also playing a residency in Amsterdam this fall to establish connections in the European market.

Elena Powell was born in Santa Cruz, CA, raised in Madison, WI and educated at University of California Berkeley, Cambridge University, England, and UCLA. Her parents, both academics and musicians, encouraged her to begin classical violin at the age of 5. Elena began playing in bands in 1988, and began singing, guitar and songwriting in 1995 in Los Angeles. After trying out different careers in illustration, filmmaking and dance, she settled on writing and performing music as a full-time occupation after seeing Patti Smith, and moved to Nevada City, CA with husband Jeff Clark. She formed Mugwort Manor Records in 1998 which released two full-length albums, "fractal hoedown" (1999) and "Left of the Moon " (2000). The third record "Alta Nova" is out July 2002.

Elena met first Morgan Patton (bass) in May 2001, after deciding to create a full-time touring band based out of Sacramento. The two met Jeff Tuttle (drums) in November and began recording "Alta Nova" together as well as playing in the Sacramento area and Northwest region. The band rehearses three times a week and will tour regionally for the 2002 summer then head off to Amsterdam for September to promote the new CD.



to write a review

Laura T. Lynch, Kweevak.com

Versatile and well crafted!
Singer/songwriter Elena plays the violin and its sweet sound is subtly incorporated into her well-crafted music. Powell's style is an energetic mix of retro meets alternative with a dash of pop. Funky beats, edgy executions and diversity are found on this eleven-track collection. Elena writes personal poetic songs and each song is a pleasant surprise. Moods and melodies are constantly shifting but Alta Nova is a cohesive unit. Powell has a wide vocal range and her delivery is diverse. Elena is supported by skilled musicians giving her CD a wide full sound. 'Waiting For The Revolution' is the strong opening track with its solid beat, innovative instrumentation, special effects and versatile vocals. 'First Girl on the Moon' has a dreamy vibe, whimsical lyrics and fluctuating vocals. 'After The Riots' is an energizing track with an angry grunge feel accented with a turbulent trumpet and high voltage vocals.