This Spring 2015 Paula Cole releases 7.
“Music has the tiniest hands, working their way into people’s hearts, eliciting empathy, changing hearts and minds.”
– Paula Cole.
With her seventh studio album over a two-decade-long career, Paula Cole has created “7”, writing out her life, touching emotion.
“7 is a collection of songs that came suddenly and urgently. The songs demanded to be written and released, as if my subconscious needed to reach out to me; to tell me all I was going through. I recorded this album live, as an acoustic quartet. It sounds like a soft, soulful album made in the 1960’s and the songs speak for themselves.”
Featuring Cole’s original band members/musical soul mates Jay Bellerose and Kevin Barry, with upright bassist Dennis Crouch complementing the bottom-end, “’7’ is about the songs. I’m very proud of it. These are entirely live performances, no overdubs by the band. The only overdubs are my background vocals, and my requisite Alfred Hitchcock appearance, my clarinet”, laughs Cole. “Very intimate.”
The songs of “7” reveal Cole reflecting on her life: “The cycle of 7 years is powerful to me. I believe I’ve finished another ‘life era’ of 7 years, and I’m beginning a new one. Intuitively I feel I’m not going to be doing the same thing now. I’m moving into a different time of my life, standing on a mountaintop with some wisdom; looking down at my life as a whole. There are songs here that were crystalized by my past - but there are songs that reflect my future - a glimpse that I’m headed on an unknown road to my unknown fate. All my albums, all my songs are Polaroid snapshots of my life, as intuitively I’m an autobiographical writer. This album represents a bridge to my next chapter, as I finish a cycle of 7 years back on the road, still dedicated to this crazy music business. I feel there are good things ahead even though it has been challenging. My career changed when I had my daughter. I entered the realm where too few of us working musicians go; motherhood. I sing concerts on the weekends, I go home to be Mom. There’s a dearth of women role models for me in my career; too-few who’ve had children, the long, successful marriage and the long, successful career. I’m arriving at new perspective nearly 25 years as a singer-songwriter, and I sense society is keen to hear the rare voice of the wise-mother-art rocker. I feel a bit like Hermann Hesse’s “Siddhartha” coming back to the river of realization after having lived as an ascetic, as a lover - I see all the things I’ve lived combined together in my songs. I’m facing a new cycle of the next 7 years: I don’t know what this means yet, of course…but when I do I will write about it.”
Paula was raised by her musical parents Jim Cole, an ecology and biology professor, gigging bass player and multi-instrumentalist, and Stephanie Cole, a visual artist, in Rockport, Massachusetts. Cole often credits them as being her primary influence, and she has chosen to eschew the big-city-life in order to live close to her parents, so her daughter may grow up with extended family.
Paula graduated from Berklee College of Music where she is now Professor, has a background in jazz, receiving her first record deal from a jazz label in 1990 (which she declined in order to continue writing her original work.) She is loyal to her loving fans and is happy being an independent artist on her own 675 Records label, free to make music in her “second career”, her “more authentic career.”
Cole is a supporter of women, animals and the environment, performing for charities on a yearly basis. She is the first woman in Grammy history to be solely nominated as Best Producer, has been nominated for 7 Grammys, winning Best New Artist of 1997. Her songs have been covered by diverse artists (Herbie Hancock, Annie Lennox, Jo Jo, Katherine McPhee etc.), featured on numerous television shows (The Voice, Charmed, Dawson’s Creek etc.) featured in many movies, commercials. Paula Cole’s songs live on in the hearts of the public, and the radio waves of the world. They are classic and timeless, they live on as their own entities, even when Cole stayed away from the spotlight to raise her daughter for a 7 year period.
From her jazz, rock and soul roots, sophisticated writing and production, her touring/collaboration with Peter Gabriel’s “Secret World Live”, her Grammy-winning solo recording, to her feminism, deep musicianship, close relationship to fans and exceptional live shows, Paula Cole is complex and defies any one category. Her undeniably authentic voice simply allows the songs to speak for themselves.