The six-year gap between New York singer-songwriter Suzanne Vega’s last two albums did not pass unnoticed.
“Oh, I felt every moment ticking by,” says Vega, 48. “It was a long six years. I was very edgy and very anxious about making a new album. But I had to get some things in place first.”
That included new management and a new recording contract, although Vega says she considered releasing the new “Beauty & Crime” on her own or through an independent label before signing on with Blue Note Records. “I felt the album was more ambitious than what I wanted to pay for myself,” she explains.
“And considering it had been six years since the last one, I felt like I should have that kind of infrastructure to support it.”
Vega was still being creative during the interim, however. Inspired by observations about her hometown in the post-9/11 world, she wrote a steady flow of material and was able to road test a good chunk of what wound up on “Beauty & Crime,” which she says only helped the process.
“It was good to have that time,” Vega notes. “It allowed me to figure out the songs, try them out on an audience, have some confidence in them once I went in (to the studio). I knew what worked live and what demos people were responding to and was really able to talk to the producer (Jimmy Hogarth) about what I wanted to do.
“It just gave me some time to stew in (the material) and made this a richer album because of that.”
Suzanne Vega performs at 8 p.m. Saturday (Sept. 29) at The Ark, 316 S. Main St., Ann Arbor. Tickets are $35 and $35. Call (734) 761-1451 or visit www.theark.org.
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