Brianna Lea Pruett is a Native American singer-songwriter from California. We admire her Americana-infused modern folk songs, and her fifth release Gypsy Bells comes out on October first. This lover of vinyl, nature documentaries, snowboarding, skiing, surfing, and volleyball took the time out of her busy schedule to speak with us. So, have a read as we talk about Gypsy Bells, meditation, writing feature films, and what she’s been listening to.
AMBY: Hello Brianna, how are you and what have you been up to lately?
Brianna Lea Pruett: Hi Alicia, I’m great, today I’m driving with some friends to the First City Music Festival in Monterey to relax and take in some music as a listener this weekend. Neko Case is playing and I’m stoked to see her, Modest Mouse, Father John Misty.
Lately? Surfing around the Pismo/Avila Beach area, getting everything prepped for the Gypsy Bells release, tinkering in my garage. Waking up early to paint and enjoying being home before I go out on my next tour.
AMBY: How would you describe your sound to those unfamiliar with your music?
Brianna Lea Pruett: It depends on who I’m talking to, and the musical background they have. I might drop references to Joni Mitchell, Patsy Cline, Gillian Welch. I might reference Mazzy Star. Usually I say it’s folk music, but I work with different instruments to make it happen in the studio than just an acoustic guitar. I’ve described it as indie-folk, folk country, new folk. I’ve heard it described as “dreamy” “post folk” and my most recent favorite, “pretty lady morning music.”
AMBY: Your new album Gypsy Bells will be released October first. What is the significance behind the album’s title?
Brianna Lea Pruett: Gypsy Bells is named after the title track, a song I wrote years back after a particularly harsh breakup as a way of saying, I’m going to love and think about love, and focus on that, and that can happen anytime. We can feel burned by love but the reality is there’s always the new moment and the possibilities are endless. It’s an homage to endings and beginnings
AMBY: What kind of sound can people expect to hear off the LP?
Brianna Lea Pruett: Very modern indie sounds, happening over a classic folk song structure. It has a definite edge to it, there are some grungy and dark qualities in there, the vocals though have a pretty sweet, soft treatment.
AMBY: Some of your interests are vinyl, songs we sing in our sleep, nature documentaries, snowboarding, skiing, surfing, and volleyball. But what’s your favourite pastime?
Brianna Lea Pruett: Totally impossible to pick just one. I really enjoy meditation, painting, the ocean. Writing and recording is probably my favorite, I get a lot of good feelings and satisfaction in it.
AMBY: Does hailing from California have an influence on your sound? And if so, how?
Brianna Lea Pruett: Definitely. Being exposed to California musicians my entire life, both well-known and lesser known, has certainly made its way into my psyche. The Beach Boys, Joni, Kate Wolf, basically the music my parents had around to listen to. My sound could be way more country, more straightforward, but being from here puts the easy come/easy go into it, gives it the rainbow.
AMBY: If you had to read one book on repeat, what would it be?
Brianna Lea Pruett: Tough question! I don’t have a title for you, books are like friends, the more the merrier. Probably a children’s book. My producer and I were recently discussing Byrd Baylor, Google her.
AMBY: What did you listen to growing up, and what have you been listening to lately?
Brianna Lea Pruett: Growing up I Iistened to the music that was around me at home to put on the stereo. The Chieftans, U2. Sinead O Connor. Roberta Flack. Tom Waits. John Denver.
Lately I’ve been listening to some new purchases from the lady singers on Orange Twin Records, modern Peruvian folk, Iron and Wine, and Dusty Springfield.
AMBY: What’s the best song of 2013?
Brianna Lea Pruett: Clearly, it’s Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky.”
AMBY: And lastly, what’s something about Brianna Lea Pruett that nobody knows yet?
Brianna Lea Pruett: I’ve written a couple of feature films and I’m going back to school to finish my B.A. in that subject.
Thank you Brianna Lea Pruett, for giving us your answers!
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