Katharine Whalen, former frontperson in the roaring nineties swing band Squirrel Nut Zippers, is planning her return to music following a short hiatus with her first solo album in seven years, Dirty Little Secret
. The album is slated to hit the streets June 6 on M.C. Records.
Squirrel Nut Zippers met with worldwide success with their second album, Hot, which sold more than a million albums on the strength of the hit single Hell." Riding high on that success, Whalen found she wanted to explore her inner jazz chanteuse, forming Katharine Whalen's Jazz Squad. She enjoys this opportunity to showcase her jazzier side, but comparisons to the legendary Billie Holiday, while favorable and flattering, made her realize that she still hadn't achieved what she set out to do: to find her own, true inner voice.
After the demise of the Squirrel Nut Zippers and, more importantly, the birth of her daughter, Cecelia Mae, the North Carolina-based artist says her focus turned more personal, more inward, and in becoming a mother, she found her voice.
Download.com describes the new album thusly: A luscious array of jazz crooning over trip-hop beats and cabaret sensuality, Katharine Whalen drafts the script for a futuristic burlesque show that never stops. Dizzying and dazzling, Whalen dreams up masterpieces of exotica for decadent nightclubs with her eccentric and seductive charm. Picture the Squirrel Nut Zippers crossed with Portishead, then grab a martini for this melange of the neurotic and erotic."
Producer/musician David Sale (of the band Camus, whose 1997 Atlantic recording won critical notice) produced the album. David also added his musical talents on the piano and guitar among other instruments to the project, which was recorded in Hillsborough and Efland, North Carolina, and in San Diego.
Katharine further stretched her musical wings on Dirty Little Secret by co-writing lyrics with David on the songs The Funnest Game," Angels Coming Home," Meet Me By The Fire," Blur," The Garden," 3 Blind Mice" and Follow."
When we sat down to write," Katharine said of her creative sessions with David, we were telling each other stories we thought were interesting. We are both fans of songs that introduce you to a character ... maybe someone you know, maybe yourself."
Katharine will tour this summer in support of the album.
Hear portions of the the new album at http://www.mc-records.com/html/ katharinewhalen.html or http://www.myspace.com/katharinewhalen.com .