Raised among the ferns and the farmland of Northern Washington, lyric-driven songwriter Anna Tivel loved words long before they became the backbone of her music. After moving to Oregon in 2007, she slowly discovered the friendly music scene as a fiddle player, and soon after picked up the guitar and began to write. Her latest album was released in June 2014 on Portland's well-loved Fluff and Gravy Records. Anna is based in Portland and spends her time reading and writing and touring and fiddling and watching her dog try to catch flies by the window.
There’s a lot of California in Cleopatra Degher’s soundbut, in fact, she spent more of her childhood in Sweden than in California. After attending kindergarten near San Diego, she lived the rest of her school years under the gray skies of Malmö (the child of a Swedish mother and a Californian father). But her school years in Sweden were not always rosy. She felt like an outsider and spent a lot of time alone. When Cleopatra returned to California at eighteen, she released a debut EP, Restrung (2012). She says that’s how she felt coming back to California “like a guitar with brand new strings.” Dan Bennett of the San Diego Union Tribune called it “a catchy acoustic collection brimming with melody and insight.”
Now Cleopatra has taken things to the next level: her first full-length album is out. Pacific, is a lush, fully-realized collection of songs that dive deep, that seek, that calm. It’s a record where traditional American folk influences underpin both the songs and the performances. But Cleopatra has little interest in being a museum piece. Her contemporary folk sensibilities, along with something fresh in her serene and haunting voice, ensure that the album resides securely in the present. Even if the ghosts of Laurel Canyon and the Dustbowl do make frequent appearances (not to mention those of Southern Sweden). Pacific was produced by singer-songwriter Darius (who played on Warren Zevon’s Sentimental Hygiene album), mixed by award-winning San Diego producer-engineer Jeff Berkley and mastered by Gavin Lurssen (T-Bone Burnett, Jackson Browne) in Los Angeles. The album features an eclectic cast of L.A. musicians, including drummers Phil Leavitt (7Horse & Dada) and Kevin Jarvis (Leonard Cohen, Peter Case), keyboardist Carl Byron (Michelle Shocked), as well as other contributors with credits ranging from Warren Zevon to Donovan. The record also boasts some beautiful vocal harmonies, courtesy of her friends in the San Diego music scene.
In the first weeks after Pacific’s release, Cleopatra has been featured on NPR’s World Café Next, and the record is garnering lots of college radio airplay. She recently completed her first West Coast tour. She has also logged quite a few shows in San Diego (opening for Aoife O’Donovan and others) and Los Angeles. She was chosen as a finalist in the 2014 San Diego County Fair singer/songwriter contest.