The voice behind 'Rare Bird': An interview with Whitton
As you play the first few seconds of “Turn Off The Light,” the first track on singer-songwriter Whitton’s Rare Bird, you can tell that you’re in for a new kind of musical adventure. Her voice – which she honed with the help of her sister – is unique and versatile.
Rare Bird is a big step forward for Whitton, who says she didn’t have a definitive plan for what she wanted the record to sound like. “..[Producer Ian Coyne] and I kinda just jumped in and explored writing and molding. The instrumentation is built around the core of the tune. I’ve always been a fan of 40′s music, brass, strings and upright bass.”
You can hear those influences throughout the record. “I feel like I’ve really found myself as an artist and a vocalist,” Whitton said. Songs like “Pity Party” and “Better Days” have a very nostalgic 1940’s feel with their plush instrumentation and vocals.
Having grown up in a musical family, finding her place as a musician was “like butter on toast,” she said, “like I was born to do it.” She must’ve been, since she’s been singing since she was a mere six years old. Though growing up in Reno and going to Catholic school with no music courses was not the most ideal place for someone like Whitton to explore her talent, she found her niche in community theater with her siblings.
Now that she’s living in California, playing shows and sharing the stage with the likes of Jason Mraz and Amber Rubarth, Whitton has had more opportunities to share her music with the world.
After playing several live shows around the country, including one at our very own Benaroya Hall in Seattle, Whitton says she’s ready to incorporate the live experience on her next record. “Recording [Rare Bird..] was truly a great experience, but the next time around I want everything recorded live. There’s something about the energy that is created while it’s live and people feel that, even through a recording,” she explained.
Whitton brings a unique sound to the table and one thing is for sure: she’s not going anywhere.
If you had to name 3 of your favorite albums of all time, which would you choose and why?
Peter Gabriel US, Thom Yorke Eraser and Gotye Making Mirrors. Each one of these albums haven’t been tainted by a bad experience. I can listen to them over and over again.