~The Heartfelt Howl, The Whisper of Love~
Nerissa Campbell's music is a fine blend of styles dipped in a smoky beer batter of late night living. There's an easy, swingin' film noir feeling that evokes dark bars and mystery dames and she is wistful and melancholy, like Billie Holiday singing a Nick Cave song. The blues is here, too, but it plays hide and seek with space and sound, creating a depth of feeling beyond the obvious.
Ms. Campbell has developed a unique and deeply personal writing and performing voice. There is a sincere, raw and open emotional quality to her songs. Her voice shifts in mood and expressiveness, becoming rough and syrupy, plaintive, or smooth and sexy. She delivers a song with the laid-back assurance and attitude of a young Peggy Lee.
Musings of a Telescopic Tree has the kind of flow often found on vinyl albums in the sixties and seventies. There is an ebb and flow that unifies the entire recording.
Her two singles, "Bars" and "Pretty" have been played on radio stations in Australia, Poland, Belgium, the USA and in cyberspace.
“Pretty,” is a dark, folk-influenced psychedelic pop song. Foreboding, but also melancholy.
And “Bars” celebrates drinking to forget. This bluesy ode to everyday boozing is a bookend to Bertolt Brecht’s “Alabama Song” but instead of a celebration, this cut lurches along as though at the end of a pub crawl. The band matches Campbell’s Mae West delivery with the sound of an old-time jug band riding along in the back of a rusty pickup truck.
- Truncated notes by Mark Kirby
"Stranger Lurking" was featured on the sampler for Polish magazine, Audio in March 2009 and "Glasgow" was featured on the Oasis sampler in May 2009.
Nerissa Campbell sings songs of moodiness and of melancholy - stories of desire and the sorrows of losing loved things, the weight of depression and the lightness of being. Her music - its roots in jazz, also weaves its way through somber pop-ballads, bluesy folk songs, moody instrumentals and a lyricism full of thought and space. Her songs roil in the smoke of forgotten bars and express a love of many styles and thoughts.
She holds a Certificate of Music and Associate Degree in Performing Arts (Jazz) from the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts and a Certificate of Art & Design from Carine College of Tafe. She currently lives in Brooklyn, NY where she moved to in 2001. She has performed in many an underground music joint, and graced stages the world over, but she can mostly be found singing at the comfy and loving musical home of the 55 Bar in the West Village. Unless of course, she is out of town - best to check the gig page!
Her two albums to date, Paint Me Orange (2003) and Musings of a Telescopic Tree (2009) are like collections of short stories with different characters and different feels, and when listened to as a whole are brought together as one. They were released under her label, Crooked Mouth Music.