Originality is not always finding something new to look at, often it’s finding a new way to look at the things we see everyday. Informed and impacted by the musical and personal influences on her life, Paula Standing blends these elements into a musical style that comfortably borrows inspiration from a number of sources yet strongly retains a feel that is very much her own.
In her self penned work there’s a directness and simplicity of lyric that says proudly of her song writing that it lies, well grounded, in the basics of the folk/country genre. Paula’s influences and song writing heroes are top shelf bona fide quality……..Hank Williams, Lucinda Williams, John Prine, Gillian Welch.
There are elements of folk with sweet slices of Joni Mitchell and her childhood heroes, Simon and Garfunkel. Then to add some spice to the whole mixture there is the classically trained soprano voice blending it all together into a wonderful rich mixture.
In her 2010 self funded debut CD, “In The Living Room”, Paula covered classics from all her above heroes. The CD title and the inclusion in the liner notes of a snippet of studio chat from Emmylou Harris provide indicators of what is musically important to Paula.
“Years ago I had the experience of sitting around in a living room with a bunch of people and singing and playing, and it was like a spiritual experience, it was wonderful. And I decided then that was what I was going to do with my life was play music, do music. In the making of records, I think over the years we’ve all gotten a little too technical, a little too hung up on getting things perfect. We’ve lost the living room. The living room has gone out of the music, but today I feel like we got it back.” Emmylou Harris
This sentiment mirrors Paula’s early musical influence of family and friends singing round the piano until the very early morning, the experience important for the communion and bonding that the music provided.
Paula’s early recordings portray an immediacy, a sense of “the living room” coming across in the sometimes confronting, yet ultimately reassuring approach of just voice and guitar. The songs and playing stand courageously bare in a ‘take it or leave it’ kind of way, softened, but not diminished by her sweet, sweet voice. They ask as much of the listener as they do of the performer. Give a little of your time and you will be well rewarded. ‘Telling Tales’ released 2013, consists of all original works, penned over the previous decade.
A new single in 2014 however, moved in a new direction. Not so rough around the edges, ‘Running Away’ sports smooth harmonies with both acoustic and lead guitar. Continuing on this path, Paula embarked on a whole new project with further instruments and artists in 2015 to produce a stunning new album ‘All Fun & Games‘.
Unchanged is the deeply personal songwriting, always important, never frivolous.
In late 2016, work began on a collection of songs with careful planning and production. ‘I Tried To write A Christmas Song’ was released in October of that year. Further tracks were laid in 2017, culminating in a new EP/Single release set for November 17 with plans for further releases in 2018.