(Brooklyn, NY) Janet LaBelle transcends the term singer-songwriter to be an artist with analog depth and richness alongside digital era allure and impact who can't be easily tagged or slotted into a single stylistic bracket. Blessed with what Jersey Beat hails as her "sweet voice and sharp and thoughtful songwriting [that] make for a strong and impressive double whammy," she issues her new three-song EP, I Only See You, on Loantaka Records on December 4th.
It opens with "I Can't Believe You Did That," an airy lament that melds vintage pop sophistication with the Hawaiian lilt of her ukulele. "When I Hear (Beautiful Music)" reflects the influence of her creative hero Brian Wilson – "He's the gold standard for me in terms of songwriting and production," says LaBelle – while her affection for modern French chanson informs her vocal delivery on the lovely number. The stark title track closer displays her affection for "minimalistic styles where you can make the most out of a little."
Janet has previously released the five-track EPs Moon Songs (2010) and Blossom & Blue (2011). In 2012 she issued the two-track EP Just a Little Rain followed the next year by the song “Wide Awake Dreaming."
She recorded the initial tracks for "I Can't Believe You Did That" and "When I Hear (Beautiful Music)" at the historic 4th Street Recording in Santa Monica, CA and finished them with noted producer/engineer Tony Maimone at his Studio G in Brooklyn. LaBelle plays guitar, ukulele, piano, Hammond B-3 organ and Mellotron on the songs. "I Only See You" is a self-produced solo home recording.
Making music professionally since her mid-teens, New Jersey native LaBelle won an indie record deal at age 16 with her punk-pop band Avery, toured nationally with the group, and had her songs featured in TV shows and on radio stations nationwide. Since launching a solo career, Janet has also played in bands like Jimmy Destri and the Sound Grenade (his famed group Blondie was one of her youthful favorites) and New York psychedelic garage rockers Sharkmuffin as well as performing with jazz producer and songwriter JC Hopkins – known for his work with Norah Jones and Willie Nelson – in his Biggish Band.
As DoNYC observes of LaBelle, "her range of influences is limitless, but her unique voice emerges as entirely her own." Her early musical grounding instilled a strong sense of classic rock, pop, soul and folk as well as classical music. Her diverse tastes range from 1960s French chanson pop to surf rock to vintage country to Hawaiian rock bands and ukulele music and much more.
I Only See You is the second release on Loantaka Records, the indie label run by LaBelle's longtime friend and musical collaborator Evan Taylor, the producer/multi-instrumentalist best known as musical director and co-producer for funk-rock legend Bernie Worrell. The label released Ferry Boat by The Chapin Sisters earlier this year.
Blessed with memorable songs and charisma to spare, the sky's the limit for Janet LaBelle," predicts Music Connection. As she concludes, "I love timeless themes and catchy melodies. I've always had a strong emotional response to music, so I try to let that inform what I write. I really try to connect to my music. And I like to write music that I'd want to listen to."