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Adrienne Pierce Photo 1For LA based pop singer / songwriter Adrienne Pierce, there seemed like no better place to record her Christmas EP Winter, than in Gibsons, British Columbia, Canada, where she grew up playing in the snow with her brother and sister.  She returned to Canada last summer to work on another project, when, “One day I had an idea for a Christmas song, and I just started writing it and the next thing that we (she and fellow musician Ari Shine) knew we were recording that song. Then I wrote another song and we ended up making the EP.”

Winter, is a fun CD that treats Pierce’s fans to some upbeat tunes such as, “All That We Want,” and the fourth track, “Making Angels,” which get you shuffling your feet and swaying to the music. It is however the tune, “Raise Our Voices Up,” which provides a true reflection of Pierce’s soul. To those who know Adrienne Pierce she views life through a lens of almost childlike innocence. That is not to say that she is naïve, because she is far from it, but it is to say that she takes delight in the little things which life has to offer, and she believes that collectively, we as a people, just ought to try harder to get along.

Childhood memories of the Charlie Brown Christmas Special, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer animation (with narrator Burl Ives), and other memories from Pierce’s childhood inspired the imagery that is reflected in “Raise Our Voices Up.” Through her eyes you see the stringing up of the Christmas lights and children making a snowman. The songwriter’s words, “If I was a little tree, just waiting in the lot, I would see you there and hope that I would be the one you bought,” evoke images of Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree and, “If I were a pair of skates in the corner of the store, I would really hope that you’re the one I’m for,” remind us of the Island of Misfit Toys. 

“I was thinking of that Christmas tree in the Peanuts Christmas special. It’s that little tree that you feel so badly for, and you want someone to take that little tree home. I realized afterward how much of an impression that made on me, as a child,” says Pierce. 

The song, “Raise Our Voices Up,” begins with Adrienne Pierce singing the first line, “If I was a snowflake falling, I would follow you.” “I was thinking from the perspective (she laughs) of the snowflake, and so I continued on with personified objects,” she says 

Ari Shine is featured on lap steel guitar and Adrienne sings with a falsetto voice, once again bringing a childlike wonderment to her original, “Raise Our Voices Up.”

Since it was summertime and not winter, Pierce recalls, while giggling, one of her sources of inspiration for her song, “All That We Want.”  “I rented the movie Elf, because I thought that it would get me in the Christmas mood, and at the end of Elf there is a Stevie Wonder song, I can’t remember the name of it, but it is a Motown Christmas song, and it made me feel so happy that I wrote my song, “All That We Want,” in that vein.

The seeds for “All That We Want,” were however sown years earlier, when she was touring with Jane Siberry, now know as Issa. “We were talking about children’s songs that we would like to write, and I told her (she laughs) that I would like to write a song about making cookies. I had this idea in the back of my mind, and I wanted to write something really joyful, positive and sincere, which you could listen to at almost any time of the year. I think that it is important to make music like that right now.”

“Making Angels,” brings out the soulful quality in Adrienne Pierce’s vocals and although it is tough to pick a “best song,” from these six wonderful tracks, “Making Angels,” brings with it the most promise that we will continue to hear it for many years to come. She first wrote the song in her head several years ago while sitting in an airport waiting for her connecting flight, and as she says, she carried it around in her head for years. Eventually, she got together with her friend Vincent Jones in the studio and the two of them recorded, mixed and mastered, “Making Angels.”

When asked if the images in, “Making Angels,” draw upon more memories from her childhood, Pierce replied enthusiastically, “Yes, Yes, definitely, definitely, all of those, getting garbage bags and sliding down the driveway (in the snow). When the snow falls, things become magical and it is a whole new world. I have pictures, and I am not sure how strong the memories are, or if I have made new ones, based upon pictures of my sister, brother and I in snowsuits, playing in the snow as the street light came on.”

“Christmas Time Is Here,” composed by Vince Guaraldi and Lee Mendelson, has been recorded by numerous outstanding musicians and singers, since we first came to associate it with Charlie Brown, but Pierce’s vocal rendition ranks up there as one of the prettiest interpretations that you will hear.

“There is something about the song, “Christmas Time Is Here,” from my childhood that seems (both) sad and magical to me. I wanted to do this song, but I saw that several very talented people had done it, so I wasn’t sure if it was the right choice. Everyone had sung it in the key, and nobody had sung it the way that I remembered it. I thought that I would just sing it like a child. That was fun to do,” says Pierce.

Yes that is a kazoo that you hear during the bridge of, “Christmas Time Is Here,” and Pierce explains, “I started playing it as a joke and then it started reminding me of times in the Peanuts cartoons what it sounded like when the adults were talking, a wa a wa a wa.” 

The last track on the CD Winter is a cover of the Jackie DeShannon song, “Put A Little Love In Your Heart,” a tune which allows us to hear more soulfulness in Pierce’s vocals. Ari Shine who helped produce this CD encouraged her to record the song, in part, so that her fans could hear that quality in her voice.

Adrienne Pierce’s EP Winter is now available to purchase through Borders book stores, which has the exclusive retail rights for marketing the CD, and digitally you can purchase Winter through iTunes.  In the spring of 2009 Adrienne Pierce will be releasing her full length CD Oh Deer, also through Borders and early in 2009 her previously recorded Faultline album.

Interview with Joe Montague protected by copyright ©