Borderline Brilliant? Awesome. Thanks One Stop Record Shop.co.uk
As a music blog, we receive a host of weird and wonderful videos on a daily basis. That being said, some of the offerings are decidedly weirder and far more entertaining than others. Introducing a new segment we like to call “WTF Videos Of The Week” – a concise round-up featuring the oddest visual offerings we’ve come across in recent days.
Gena Perala – Hip Hop & Cartoons
Seamlessly blending original lyrics – “We can fuck and watch The Simpsons / Make it like some new tradition / Every Sunday like clockwork” – with lines containing far too many syllables to audibly hear, this cartoon-hybrid video is so bizarre it’s borderline brilliant.
Gena Perala – Hip Hop & Cartoons – Feb 25, 2017
Pleased to be among the Weird & Wonderous on YabYum Music & Arts
Gena Perala – Hip Hop & Cartoons – Feb 17, 2017
Some Canadian Blog Love from RideTheTempo.com
Fun and colourful video from Gena Perala that those who grew up with The Simpsons/the 90s can relate to.
Gena Perala – Hip Hop & Cartoons – Feb 15, 2017
Some Vancouver Blog Love from VanMusic.ca
Gena Perala – Hip Hop & Cartoons – Feb 14, 2017
“Hip Hop and Cartoons” is Vancouver based Singer Songwriter Gena Perala’s newest music video which she is launching in conjunction with a Crowdfunding campaign to support the recording of her new album.
“The song pays homage to the power and brilliance of conscious hip hop music and to cartoons such as The Simpsons. She refers to it as her Church song because she says we can learn more from hip-hop and cartoons if we understand and believe in them, than we can from religion. “Perhaps not the most popular statement” she says with a laugh. When asked how it all transpired she says “It was a lot of work figuring out how to shoot with a green screen, finding a space, finding an illustrator and of course styling it, which is a character in itself.”
When asked about the lyrics of the song, with opening lines like “We can fuck and watch the Simpsons, we’ll make it like a new tradition” she says, “It’s something a lot of people of my generation can relate to. Trust me.” And with lyrics like “forgive me father for I have sinned I save myself and I like to win. Forgive me mother I’m no slut but I get around and I like to fuck.” “That’s my feminism I guess. Owning my sexuality as well as my independence. Two things women still aren’t ‘supposed’ to do.”
Perala teamed up with a small crew to help shoot the video. “I found an illustrator named Cael Nolan on Craigslist to do the background illustrations. It was actually really hard to find someone who understood what I was trying to do and who could do it for the budget I had. He did an amazing job!” “ I’m fortunate to have an executive producer Trevor Holt on board for this and he supplied me with the DOP and Editor Chris Hebert who basically showed me how to do everything. Then there are the girls who are my pals. Shoreline Studios gave me a break on price being that I’m an independent artist so shout out to Shoreline and the rest of the work was styling it really. That was a huge job and I begged borrowed and stole to make it happen. Well I borrowed anyway.” “All in all it was a ton of work but I’m so happy with the end result”
Gena Perala is launching this video in conjunction with a Crowdfunding Campaign to support the recording of her new album, a down tempo electronic pop synth sound with Producer Chris Gestrin. “I just have so many ideas and like two albums worth of material and tons of music video ideas, I just can’t afford to get it all done. I’m also burning out. I work really hard to pay for all the stuff I create but it’s just not sustainable. So Crowdfunding made sense.” “I’m actually really nervous because I’m pretty unknown so I have no idea if I have enough ‘Crowd’ so to speak to make this happen. Plus it’s just putting myself out there in a way that’s pretty scary. But hey, all I can do is try.”
Gena Perala grew up as a carny kid, spending much of her childhood traveling with her family on the carnival circuit. This explains her astute lyrical insight into human nature and the world around us. She has performed for the United Nations, on the PNE Main Stage, at the Stanley Theater, up the East Coast, down the West Coast and all over Vancouver. She has published three books of poetry, “I’m a Worst Case Scenario Type of Girl” (2003), “Clean Getaway” (2005) and “Better Sorry than Safe” (2011) and has released two solo albums “This Ain’t Pretty” (2008) and “Exactly Nowhere” (2014). She’s currently in the studio recording her third full-length solo album.
Thanks NEW LEASE MUSIC for the continued support!
Gena Perala Hip Hop & Cartoons – Feb 14, 2017
The teaser was a huge hit and was named Video of the Week by NEW LEASE MUSIC…now here’s your chance to watch the full version of GENA PERALA‘s visual to single, ‘Hip-Hop & Cartoons.’ Appropriately released on Valentine’s Day, the Vancouver singer/songwriter shows love for the brilliance and power of hip-hop and cartoons in the two-and-a-half minute production, referring to the two mediums as her church song.The video is launching in conjunction with a Crowdfunding campaign to support her upcoming downtempo/electro synth album…look out for that!
Crowd Funding Campaign Coming Soon!!!
Yes I will be launching a crowd funding campaign really soon to help me fund my upcoming album. A down tempo electronic synth pop sound with producer Chris Gestrin. Join my mailing list to find out when it launches!
Interview with New Lease Music
Gena Perala – Fatworld – Oct 16, 2015
Her singles Superstar Supernova and Hoopla were one of the most listened tracks on NEW LEASE MUSIC this year. Now GENA PERALA recently released the music video to her single, Fat World…but before you check it out, come and get to know this Canadian singer/songwriter.
NLM: You just released the video to single, Fat World (very cool production btw!). Although your effort has the fun factor, it also has a message of reckoning and accepting your personal insecurities. Are you hoping that Fat World will be the anthem for young girls to overcome society’s idea of the ‘perfect body image?
GP: Yes the Video was fun! And thanks for the props! Keep in mind though that the song is as much about sex as it is about body image. I think it’s important that we as a culture get more comfortable hearing women talk about sex but I wouldn’t say the song is anthem worthy especially for young girls. It’s also about being honest with yourself and accepting who you are, bad choices and all. I fear the sarcasm and irony might get lost on some people as well. Having said that, if this song helps anyone overcome society’s pressure to look a certain way then I’d feel great about that.
NLM: The single is coming from your 2014 album Exactly Nowhere. What’s the reception been like on the album so far?
GP: I’d say the reception has been really good. Unfortunately it’s been quite small. I’m pretty unknown but my experiences touring the album were amazing. It appealed to all demographics and genders, which was a huge measure of success for me. Some people have a hard time understanding the scope of the album thinking I’ve combined too many genres and I get that. I personally hear a cohesiveness but it’s definitely more conceptual cohesiveness than every song having the same sound. So that’s been a bit of a challenge. I would like to see Canadian radio supporting it more as well as my own city of Vancouver. I’m enjoying making videos for all the songs that’s for sure! And the videos are being received really well however small the scope.
NLM: Out of interest, what’s your favourite track on the album and why?
GP: I don’t think I have a favourite track. I like to say “they’re all my children” but there are certain things that I really love about certain songs. Fine is so simple and hauntingly pretty and the opening verse is quite perfect if you know the story behind it. Hip Hop and Cartoons means a lot to me. There’s the shock value of course but it also expresses my respect and gratitude to Hip Hop and to shows like The Simpsons and South Park for speaking hard truths in a way people can hear. Life is hard is one of my favourites lyrically and of course Exactly Nowhere, for many reasons, one being that it brought me my album title.
NLM: You’ve been described as a cross between country singer/songwriter Jewel and electro punk singer/producer Peaches (personally New Lease Music think you’re the 21st century version of Tori Amos). Have you had any other comparisons?
GP: Wow, thank you. I’m honoured to be compared to all those talented women and yes I’ve been compared to a lot of people actually. None of which have been insulting. I think the Jewel meets Peaches description just communicates well. The lyrical singer songwriter meets the shocking unapologetic conceptual artist.
NLM: Who are your musical (or non-musical) influences?
GP:Many many influences. From Folk artists to Pop and R&B, Trap, Soul, Hip Hop – So many influences. Poetry is also a big one.
NLM: If you were to collaborate with just ONE chart-topping artist of today, who would it be?
GP: Ok so I had to go to the billboard charts to see what my options were and the stand outs that I would want to collaborate with because I think we could make the best music together are: Shrillex and Diplo, Drake, Ed Sheeran and The Weeknd. I think I’m going to go with Shrillex and Diplo but if Drake calls, I’m ready.
NLM: So what are your plans for 2015 and beyond? Do you have any upcoming gigs?
GP: I am currently in the studio recording my next album. I also have an electronic collaboration I’ve been working on that I’m loving and my band Tomgirl is probably going to work on a new EP as well. I’m also going to continue making videos so expect to keep seeing those.
NLM: How can potential fans reach you?
GP: I am on all the usual social medias and it’s great to hear from fans!
Join Mailing List: https://tinyletter.com/genaperala
NLM: Finally, if music didn’t exist, what other profession would you do?
GP: Dancer. Or Public Defender probably.
Wonky Sensitive Blog Love for Fat World
Gena Perala – Fatworld – Oct 1, 2015
Interview + New Music Video
Gena Perala – Fatworld – September, 2015
Hi Gena, welcome back to VENTS! How have you been?
Hi! I’ve been pretty good. Happy to say goodbye to summer and welcome the fall. A few too many late nights this summer and not enough productivity and healthy living.
Can you tell us more about the story behind your track ¨Fat World¨?Originally the song comes from the acceptance and the reckoning of my own personal insecurities and desires. It started with the first line, “I am not a skinny girl even though I want to be, thankfully I’m pretty, lucky, lucky, lucky me.” I still think it’s a funny line because within it lies truth and sarcastic irony and that theme continues throughout the song.
How did you come up with the idea of making a song about discrimination?
I wouldn’t say the song is about discrimination exactly but it does touch on it, in choruses like “It’s hard to get ahead in this world when you’re an ugly fat girl” and “Nothing is as depressed as really, really bad sex.” People don’t like hearing woman talk about sex in an unapologetic way. With regards to the lyrics in the “Fat Girl” chorus, women are still judged, defined and undermined by their looks and their bodies. And that is hard and it totally sucks.
Why from all the genres, you went with Pop Punk?
I didn’t set out with a genre in mind. This song just happened to have that pop punk feel with a little ska thrown in there.
How was the film experience?
With limited budget, I always do so much of it myself which is a lot of work, especially all the preparation but once I’m shooting and frames are taking shape it’s really satisfying. This was definitely the most fun video I’ve shot so far because the collective experience of friends and bandmates hanging out and partying made it feel natural. It’s also just so incredible to have a team of people that are willing to help fulfill my vision because they believe in me and they believe in creating. It’s really special.
How was the recording and writing process?
This story is kind of funny because I was in the studio with my two super fantastic producers, Chris Gestrin and Russell Marsland and Russell is one the best guitar players I’ve ever known and he’s laying down some guitar riffs over mine and it’s just not sounding right. We keep listening and listening until finally I figure it out. He’s too good. He sounded too clean. When I play it sometimes I fall behind, sometimes I distort, I like it messy. Anyway, we all had a good laugh because I kicked him off the track for being too good essentially.
Besides social issues, where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?
I write from a very personal place. It’s the process of what I’m dealing with as well as my personal observations. A lot of my lyrics are extremely vulnerable. Some people even find them uncomfortable, but I’m not interested in always being comfortable and those that appreciate my music probably aren’t either. I encourage pushing boundaries and challenging the status quo and that inspires me. I also write about failure a lot in one way or another. I think I’ve really embraced it or at least I’m trying to.
The single comes off your new album – how´s that coming along?
I actually released this album last year so it’s kind of an old album. I’m still promoting it because I don’t think it got the exposure it deserves. And because I’m an independent artist, it’s not like I can just roll out a huge press release with videos and photo shoots. It all costs money so I chip away at it, one piece at a time. The album is called ‘Exactly Nowhere’ and I’m extremely proud of it so if you haven’t heard it, you should check it out!
Any tentative release date or title in mind?
While I’m still promoting ‘Exactly Nowhere’ and probably always will be, I’m excited to say I’ve started recording my new solo project. This one has an electronic 80’s synth pop R&B sound which is a sound I’ve loved and been wanting to do for a long time now.
Any plans to hit the road?
Probably not until I release new music which won’t be until 2016.
What else is happening in Gena Perala´s world?
Besides the new solo project, I have an electronic collaboration I’ve been working on which is sounding tight and my band Tomgirl is probably going to put out a new EP next year as well. So lots happening for Fall and Winter. Hurray!
Hoopla gets more Hoopla!
Gena Perala -Hoopla – September 17, 2015
Some Blog Lovin’ from Wonky Sensitive
Gena Perala – Hoopla – February 18, 2015
Vancouver-based singer/songwriter Gena Perala has recently shared the music video for her new single “Hoopla”, produced and directed by Gena herself and taken from her sophomore album, Exactly Nowhere, which is out now and available on both Bandcamp and iTunes.
Gena says: “‘Hoopla’ is one of the more pop sounding songs on the album so it was fun to make a more pop style video. With a limited budget you’re forced to really get creative and that’s actually a good thing. It’s DIY-or-Die these days and I’m happy about that.”
Also, check out Gena’s cover of Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” below.
A little Emerging Indie Band Blog Love for my New Video :
From the middle of the fifteen track, fifty minute, release – a more rock derived piece than much on the eclectic selection – Hoopla.
The Album ranges from the sardonic to the soulful, always with a wistful smile and well worth adding to your collection.
Exactly Nowhere – Gena Perala is available on iTunes
Hi Gena, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?
Hi, thanks for having me. Yeah I’ve been pretty good.
Can you talk to us more about the story behind your latest single ¨Hoopla¨?
Sure, yeah. I had a really good time writing this song actually. It’s pretty cheeky and touches on a lot of different ideas from social correctness to the futility of working really hard and getting nowhere. Plus adding all the distortion and creating a more pop sound was great fun.
How was the film experience?
It was a ton of work really and a huge learning experience. I mean I produced and directed it myself and I’d never done that before. I had some amazing women on board to help me realize the vision, from the cinematographer, Jocelyn Sanchez, to the editor Karilynn Ming Ho, to the stylist and hair and makeup and of course the babes in the video. I couldn’t have done it without them and I mean who wouldn’t want to look like a hologram cyborg from outer space???
The single comes off your new album Exactly Nowhere – what´s the story behind the title?
It’s kind of a long story and the title means a lot of different things to me but I love the contradiction of being exactly nowhere and the idea of trying to “get somewhere” being futile.
Can you talk to us more about the recording and writing process?
Sure yeah. My writing process differs slightly from song to song but generally I have an idea or a line that represents an idea and I start building a melody from there. Once I have a bit of a melody I write the rest of the song. As for the recording process of Exactly Nowhere, it was awesome. I worked with two producers, Chris Gestrin and Russell Marsland and I would go into the studio and tell them the ideas I had for the full sound of each song we were working on and they totally made those sounds a reality. They also had great ideas that added to the production of each song. It was a pretty magical experience.
Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics in this record? I understand you experimented with different sounds?
So many different things inspire me. It could be a night out partying or the morning after a night out partying.. haha! Or those moments when you remember who you are or a crush, a breakup, inequality and so on. Just dealing with life and all of life’s ups and downs. As for the sounds.. I play guitar and piano.. so that can translate into a lot of different sounds as it is.. I mean the song “Hip Hop and Cartoons”; I like to refer to as my church song so I wanted a church organ kind of sound.. And “Living proof” is a really 60s vibe so we used a Hammond Organ and “Tell it to the Stars” has a real country feel so I wanted pedal steel and it just goes on like that. Each song lends itself to particular sounds and it’s just experimenting until I find the right one.
Will you hit the road next year?
Ideally yes. Either in support of the deluxe edition of Exactly Nowhere that I’m planning to release this year or with my new music project!!!
What else is happening next in Gena Perala´s world?
It looks like I’ll be shooting 2 more videos this month and starting to release music with a new collaboration that I’m super excited about! It’s sort of an acoustic electronic pop project. So keep your eyes and ears peeled for that!!!
Love me some London Blog Love
GENA PERALA just released a striking music video to her latest cheeky effort,Hoopla. Single is from her debut album, Exactly Nowhere.
Feb 4, 2015
It’s not every day you can introduce a new artist with the notion that her childhood was spent traveling around on a carnival circuit with her family. But for Vancouver, BC resident Gena Perala, that’s exactly what her childhood looked like—and we’d be lying if we said it didn’t shape the spectacularly quirky sounds of her latest release, Exactly Nowhere. With a sound described as Jewel meets Peaches, Perala has just debuted her brand new music video for “Hoopla,” and Infectious couldn’t be more excited to premiere. You can check out the video below, and keep up with Gena on Facebook ,Twitter, YouTube,and her official website. Grab a copy of Exactly Nowhere here.
Song of the Day!
Super cool! My song Superstar Supernova is the song of the day over at New Lease Music! Along with these super kind words:
“Having a glum day? Well today’s song, Superstar Supernova by Canadian singer/songwriter GENA PERALA will sure put a smile on your face…go on, take time out and cheer yourself up!
Superstar Supernova is from her debut album, Exactly Nowhere. Trust me, it’s worth a trial.”
Girls Just Want to Have Fun – Cyndi Lauper (Gena Perala Cover)
Produced by Gena Perala and Caydin Sitinjak of GlideForm
Recorded, Mixed and Mastered by Caydin Sitinjak
Some Canadian Music Blog Love Eh!
As I attempt to get back on the beat after a fabulous (but not yet over) Canadian summer, I decided to empty the mailbag. Simply put, I have veritable treasure trove of new music that I have had no chance to do much about. Having said that, we will attempt to empty the bag by starting oldest to newest and plowing through them with you the reader, until they are done.
First up, we have Gena Perala, a Canadian artist out of British Columbia. She is a mufti-talented type who not only writes and performs her music, she also writes poetry, with 3 books to her credit. Very impressive. The song I am featuring is from her second album, “Exactly Nowhere”. The song is “Living Proof”. A fine ballad, featuring Gena playing the piano and belting out her tune. Nice song, well produced.
Gena Perala on Shaw TV
A new song and a wee interview
The New song I played for Shaw TV
Gena Perala plays Harmony Arts
Friday 25th, July 2014 Written by Olga Livshin
Gena Perala plays at Harmony Arts Festival on Aug. 3. (photo by Eric Cairns)
“Creating songs, writing music and poetry, is its own reward,” said Gena Perala. The young poet and songwriter is still striving to find her niche in the Vancouver poetic community but she knows exactly who she is. “I’m a creative, an artist. I love words,” she said in an interview with theIndependent. “I started performing my poems in the Vancouver Poetry Slam but I love music, too. Sometimes, I just write music or sing but I consider myself a writer first.”
Her artistic life began in touring carnivals. “My parents were carnies. My dad ran a bunch of games on the carnival circuit. He traveled year round, only sometimes coming home. My mom, with the kids, stayed home in White Rock during the school years and then, every summer, we would join the carnival and travel with my father. I loved it. There were people from all walks of life and all nations in the carnival. I was exposed to many cultures.”
She is mostly self-taught. “I took some lessons in piano, guitar and voice but, for my poetry, I read a lot. I read classics. I read lots of Russian literature.… You can’t really ‘teach’ writing poetry. There is no formula. I facilitate poetry workshops in high school; have been doing it for the last few years. I’m trying to show teenagers how to express themselves poetically. Of course, there is some structure, some poetic devices, but there are so many ways to write poetry. I help students to access those ways.”
She also leads poetry seminars for young offenders. “A teacher who knew me from my high school poetry workshops asked me to do the same at a correctional facility for teenagers, ages 13 to 17. It’s the same process, and the kids are like any other kids, they just lacked some love in their lives. During the workshops, I try to let them know that they’re valuable, that their thoughts and ideas are interesting.”
Not surprisingly, her poetry often slants towards social themes. A few years ago, she participated in a B.C. poetry competition about the importance of voting – and won it. “I think it’s important to vote,” she said, “especially for us, women. We have only been allowed to vote for the past hundred years or so. We should exercise that right.”
Going from writing and reciting poetry to writing and performing songs was a small and logical leap. While the activity itself is highly rewarding, however, it’s not a lucrative career. “I make money by waitressing,” Perala said with a laugh. “With my songs and poetry, I’m lucky if I break even.”
Lately, she has been touring, and that has helped financially. “I’ve had several tours recently, after I released my album Exactly Nowhere. I performed in Toronto, New York and on the West Coast. Touring is very reassuring for me. When I tour, I’m usually the feature of a concert. I sell out my discs. I connect with people. My songs resonate with them. They come to me after the shows and we talk. Once, I met a group of surfers, young guys, in California. They loved my songs. But, in Vancouver, it’s hard to get exposure. It’s a tough town to get shows here. It’s probably the hardest challenge.”
Perala keeps trying, and she is constantly learning new skills. One of the most fascinating projects for her was the making of her first music video, Living Proof. She expounded on its creation: “I hired a bunch of professionals to help me, but the vision was mine. I wanted to be floating, but to film that would be terribly expensive. The director, Blake Farber, suggested we use a fan and some scarves and ribbons. It came out very well. And I have tons of other ideas. As soon as I scrounge some money….” She smiled. “Fortunately, my fan base is growing.”
Locals might see her this summer playing piano around Vancouver as part of the Keys to the Streets project. “I first learned about a similar project, Street Piano, when I lived in New York,” she said. “They installed 60 pianos in the streets during the summer, and anyone who wanted to play could. It was one of the best experiences of my life. I was walking down a street and, suddenly, there was a piano and a guy was playing it. I stopped and listened. Later, we talked. He was a professional pianist in the past but hadn’t played for awhile; he didn’t have an instrument at home. I didn’t either, so I played it, too.
“Vancouver started a similar project – put 10 pianos in the streets during July and August. I played one last year. I have a keyboard at home now, but that was a real piano. I’m going to do it this year, too. You always meet people there. Some listen, others play. I love people.”
Perala’s next performance will be at the Harmony Arts Festival on Aug. 3, 3 p.m., at Millennium Park in West Vancouver (harmonyarts.ca/gena-perala). To learn more about Perala and her work, visit genaperala.com.
Heart Rate Target Zone is the electronic music project of singer songwriter Gena Perala
Gena Perala – Exactly Nowhere
Lyrics – 3.75 || Music – 3.75 || Vocals – 3.75
Location: British Columbia
Genre: Alternative / Indie Pop-Rock
Gena Perala’s latest release, Exactly Nowhere, is like drinking ice water after eating a peppermint; refreshingly cool. She’s not the Katy Perry type; rather Gena is more of a cross between Pink, Alanis Morrisette, Cyndi Lauper, and a hint of Sheryl Crow…very quirky, crafty and theatrical. Exactly Nowhere is a 15 track soap opera that not only showcases Gena’s creative writing skills, it also tests the boundaries of what it means to be an artist in a music industry full of redundancies. Listening to Gena Perala, you feel as though you’re hearing an audio feed from a stage play. Perala’s voice-over acting skills are on display as she delivers each line like a seasoned thespian, keeping you dialed into the drama that unfolds on each song.
My favorite song on the album, Supernova Superstar, because it’s just awesome! I
listened to it like 7x before I went to the next track. This is her music video song because it’s the one that I think would go over very well with the general public. It’s a unique record that gives off a Sheryl Crow vibe, and I really love the way Gena sings this song. There’s tons of great music on Exactly Nowhere, each song offers it’s own candid peephole for us to look into Gena Perala’s world of emotional rollercoasters, heartbreaks, and self reflection.
Similar to Eminem’s “Slim Shady” album, Exactly Nowhere has several moments of shock and awe that, if you’re not ready for them, will hit your ears like a ton of bricks. For example: in her song “Hip Hop and Cartoons,” Perala drops the “f bomb” a couple of times, catching me completely off-guard because I don’t swear/curse/cuss. But, I still thought the song was insightful. As part of the “hip hop generation,” I know and understand the influences that hip hop and cartoons each have had on the minds of young Americans; so this song is a reality check that will make any parent think twice about letting cartoons and music babysit their kids. This is truly what creative art is all about; making people aware, and sometimes uncomfortable with what’s really going on in the world.
The bottom line is, Gena Perala ROCKS!! She’s a very talented musician and songwriter who could do extremely well. If you’re looking to discover awesome new music, Exactly Nowhere is worth it’s weight in musical gold. Connect with Gena online at: https://www.facebook.com/GenaPeralaMusic | https://twitter.com/genaperala
Gena Perala’s new single “Living Proof” is our new anthem of hope. With lyrics like:
Gena Perala – Exactly Nowhere
Gena Perala is a modern renaissance woman. Raised on the carnival circuit, she developed a keen insight into the human condition, and the artful storytelling style of a life-long performer. Perala broke into music by way of her award winning poetry. She has published three books to date and released two albums of original music. Her debut album, This Ain’t Pretty, won Perala rave reviews. Her follow-up,Exactly Nowhere, finds Perala taking things to the next level.
Perala opens with “Living Proof”, bringing elements of classic 1960’s girl pop. There’s a rock-a-bye feel to this tune, and while Perala is a bit verbose, the vocals are exceedingly easy on the ear. “Fine” is an interesting take on a relationship where her partner makes her feel good about herself while spiraling downward himself. There’s a sort of helpless fatalism here that’s palpable, and the song is gorgeous in its sadness. “Hip Hop Cartoons” is rife irony. The seeming anthem of living life on one’s own terms has a distinctive slacker element that’s more about simple existence than living or learning.
“La Fin” is a dark waltz that is sung primarily in French with English interjections. Perala is in her element here with a compelling mix of raw animus and madness. It’s a moment that will haunt you into listening again and again. “Exactly Nowhere” is theatrical in approach, sung seemingly in post-relationship shock. Perala’s composition is masterful, right down to the string accents. The lyrical caricature is as artful as the music, and in case you didn’t know it already, Perala is showing off some serious songwriting chops here. “Superstar Nova” finds Perala in a more straight-forward pop approach, completed with elemental synth and a dance beat. This is too busy as a relationship song and a bit too self-focused. “Fat World” is a catchy garage/punk number that may be stuck in your noggin for days for its musical proclivities and for Perala’s enthralling voice.
“Hoopla” finds Perala lampooning women who fulfill themselves by digging for gold and living off the success if others. The campy atmosphere of the song, which alternates between reverb soaked simplicity and alt-rock excess, is reminiscent of Meryn Cadell. “On Second Thought” is a memorable piece of musical theater that tracks the internal ups and downs of a fickle minded suitor. Her writing is brilliant, incisive and funny yet somehow utterly mortal. The transitions from navel gazing pastiche to manic hope are perfectly conceived and executed. “My Match” focuses on a repeat hookup offender who laments not finding permanence. It’s a humorous and sad caricature that will likely remind you of someone.
“Life Is Hard” is a gorgeous, string-laced monologue from a character who is her own worst enemy. This worldview is dark and full of pessimism and yet utterly familiar from someone you know. Perala’s light touch makes this more accessible and believable. “Tell It To The Stars” is an upbeat dialectic on seeking external guidance from the stars. Perala is eminently likeable here as she speaks from the heart in an upbeat, country flavored arrangement that will have you tapping your toes.
“See Myself” is a gently rolling piano ballad that’s deftly orchestrated to build the emotive strength of the song while keeping Perala’s superb vocals front and center. There’s something of a secular sermon feel to this at times, with a distinctly inward focus built of insecurity as the concomitant strength it breeds. “Every Man” starts out in Perala’s signature confessional style, but struggles to escape its own weight. She recovers nicely, closing with the brief, yet hopeful “Neverland”.
Gena Perala’s musical and lyrical brilliance shines through on Exactly Nowhere. There’s a theme of disaffection based on a mistrust of human intentions that runs through the album, but Perala also has a sense of humor. In essence, Exactly Nowhere is something of a catalog of musical defense mechanisms that lead to the album’s title. Perala deconstructs, perhaps, her own defenses with humor and grace and a fantastic sense of musical theater. She takes tremendous risks and even when things don’t quite work out they’re certainly interesting. Exactly Nowhere finds Gena Perala distinctly somewhere wonderful.
Check out my interview with Media Snobs! In celebration of the “Living Proof” video they sat me down and asked me about life, the universe and Leonard Cohen.. Annnnnnnnd it gets pretty real ; )
Interview with Gena Perala + New “Living Proof” Video
Gena Perala isn’t your typical Vancouver songstress. Born into a traveling carnival, she’s spent her whole life with a very unique frame of mind. Whether it’s in one of her three published books of poetry, on the slam circuit, or in her refreshing, honest songwriting, Perala brings a fantastical, hilarious, and heartfelt voice to her listeners. Her full-length album,Exactly Nowhere, was released late last year, and we at Media Snobs are thrilled to feature her first music video for “Living Proof” as an exclusive, right here on our site. In celebration of the video, we sat her down and asked her a few questions about life, the universe, and Leonard Cohen.
What was it like growing up in the carnival circuit? How do you feel that has influenced your songwriting?
Growing up on the carnival was a really unique experience. It was a colorful and raw lifestyle full of interesting people and characters. We were family. I think “The Road” as we call it, influenced my view of people and society, in turn influencing me as a writer.
What’s the best story you have from that time?
I had a lot of fun as a kid on the carnival, but one of my fondest memories was watching the little monkey that would drive a car around a track. I would just sit and watch this little monkey drive for hours.
You’ve been described as “Jewel meets Peaches”; can you elaborate a little more on that comparison? What role do you fill by walking that fine line between the demure and the assertive?
Well, I was sitting outside my friend’s house waiting for him to get home, and I was listening to the track “My Match” off the album (Exactly Nowhere). It was the first time I was hearing the mix and this woman was walking by and she says, “Hey, that’s really good… who is that?” and I said, “It’s me actually,” and she said, “You’re like Jewel meets Peaches,” and I’ve been using that comparison ever since. Wholesome and maybe virtuous meets the uncensored, unapologetic misfit. It’s a really interesting comparison for sure. I have a line in the song “See Myself” (Exactly Nowhere) that goes “Beauty and disgrace, it’s such a fine line, I’ve got bruises on my feet because I walk it all the time.” And it is such a fine line, especially for women, so I don’t know what role I fill other than writing about my experience and perhaps challenging whatever ideas people have that might confine me to who and what they think I am or should be.
I’ve found that the Vancouver/Victoria music scene is pretty unique in terms of how its artists interact with one another and their fans. What’s your experience been like in this regard?
I’m not really part of any one scene here in Vancouver. I know a bunch of bands and musicians. Really talented ones so my interactions are often just as a friend or as a fan like everyone else. I’d like to start doing more collaborations so I’d like to start interacting more with other musicians in the future. As for interacting with my fans, I mean it’s great. Fans are great! I’m always just so happy to be a contribution to anyone’s life.
What was the origin and/or meaning of the name “Exactly Nowhere” for your album?
The origin was a line an ex-boyfriend had said to me. I can still see it clear as day. He was proving a point to me about how our relationship would never be what it was. Basically that it would never be a loving, caring relationship again. It was brutal. He said, “It’s exactly different” in this harsh point proving way, and I thought “No s**t.” I should have left right then and there but… I didn’t. Anyway, I really liked the juxtaposition of the two words ”Exactly” and ”Different” so I wrote them down, and a couple months later when I finally did leave the guy, I was writing the song “Exactly Nowhere” about how lost and devastated I was feeling and this line just came so perfectly: “I’m 5’3”, I’ve got brown hair and I’m exactly, exactly nowhere.” I’ve since thought a lot about the name “Exactly Nowhere” and what those two words together can represent, and they still resonate so strongly. No matter where you think you’re going or where you’ve gotten, philosophically I mean, we’re all just exactly… Nowhere.
What’s the songwriting process like for you? Where’s the weirdest place you’ve ever written (or had the idea for) a song?
The songwriting process for me is either I get a lyric or I get a melody first and then I build from there. A lot of times it’s a lyric first but not always. I’m currently writing a 60s style doo-wop type song, a la Ronettes, and I got the melody first for that one. I get ideas for songs all over the place. I write about my observations and thoughts so I could be at a party, at work, a show, on a walk. More circumstantial than actual physical places.
We’re featuring your music video debut for “Living Proof”. What was the filming process like? Can you give a little background on the inspiration for the video and how it relates to the song?
YES! The video! The filming process was an inspiration and an education. I had a great creative team behind me, who were instrumental in making this visual, happen. It was directed by Blake Farber and a Vancouver based film company, Insider Films, produced it. I had never done anything like this before, never worked inside this medium so naturally, I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into. Thankfully this team was there to fill in all the stuff I didn’t know, which was a decent amount! We all worked really hard and I got to see how the wonderful world of film operates. I had this abstract idea of falling and floating to accompany the song and I loved the idea of being suspended because of some of the lyrics in the song, and so this is what we came up with to get that feeling with the budget we had. I loved working in this visual medium and can’t wait to do it again!
Many of your songs focus on stuff that isn’t usually brought up in [mainstream] music—anxiety, self-esteem, and feelings of inadequacy, social awkwardness. Do you set out with the intention of bringing this sort of honesty to the music scene, or is it more of an organic extension of who you are?
Haha! Oh man. That stuff probably isn’t brought up in mainstream music, I’m not too sure about music in general though, maybe you’re right. There’s that quote from Plato, “Rulers should be careful about what songs are allowed to be sung,” so I think it’s safe to say musicians have been dropping truth bombs for ages. I don’t set out with any intention when I’m writing a song except to write a song. But I write about what I’m contemplating, what I’m dealing with, what amuses me and affects me. I guess my cards are on the table.
You’ve got a background in slam poetry and have won some pretty impressive competitions with your work. Do you think all musicians are poets by nature?
This depends on how we define poetry. Simply put, if poetry has to be language, then no. If poetry is an expression of some form, then yes.
What’s your favorite set of lyrics by another artist, and why?
This is such a tough question. I love words and poetry, so I don’t have a favorite. I mean, I could quote so many different artists from folk to hip-hop to pop and everything in between. I will chose one for the sake of this interview. I think the why is obvious with this song… But it’s a great reminder.
“Everybody Knows” by Leonard Cohen
Everybody knows that the dice are loaded
Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed
Everybody knows that the war is over
Everybody knows the good guys lost
Everybody knows the fight was fixed
The poor stay poor, the rich get rich
That’s how it goes
What’s next for you?
Good question. I have a bunch of goals for this year so we’ll see what happens. The visual for “Living Proof” is out now so I’ll use that to hopefully get some new attention and new opportunities from radio airplay to licensing deals and so on. I’ve been applying for touring and video grants so here’s hoping! I plan on doing another short tour from Vancouver to California in May, and I will be facilitating poetry workshops with 11th graders throughout the month of April.
Check out this Live Session I did with Fresh Independence:
I’m in Japan! Well my upcoming music video for Living Proof (coming Feb ’14) is being featured in this Japanese Film Magazine: Shutter Magazine. Pictured below:
Pretty cool! Pretty cool indeed. http://www.shutter-mag.com/
MY INTERVIEW on WBSDFM.COM will be re-airing this SUNDAY & MONDAY Jan 19/20
***OH AND… MY SONG “LA FIN” is #9 on their CHARTS!!! Whaaaaaaa?!
GENA PERALA INTERVIEW ON WBSD <WBSDFM.COM> THIS SUNDAY @ 12:00 P.M., MONDAY @ 7:00 P.M. PACIFIC TIME…ONE FULL HOUR OF THE ALBUM “EXACTLY NOWHERE.” “LA FIN” #9 ON OUR CHARTS!!!!!!
Listen to LA FIN here: http://genaperala.bandcamp.com/track/la-fin
<WBSDFM.COM> ANYWHERE, LIVERPOOL, LEEDS, OR LONDON!
Making the BEST NEW BANDS LIST in “Thank Folk for That” YUP! Check it out:
Gena Perala http://thankfolkforthat.com/?p=9679
From the off it is obvious that Gena Perala has a certain thing about her, an eccentric poetic mind, a tinge of something strange, and a great uncontrollable creative streak. Having grown up traveling the carnival circuit, there’s no shortage of explanation for this character, but, as I didn’t know this previously, it was the sheer frank sincerity of her lyricism that made her stand out to me. She is obviously unafraid to share her feelings, and unlike many musicians, she does it believably. With songs like Hip Hop and Cartoons, Superstar Supernova and Life Is Hard, ***she is like the bridge between anti-folk and pop, like a Canadian Emmy The Great, or Rae Morris with a bit of punk spirit in her. Basically, Gena is someone you want to be your friend, but you’ll have to settle for her great music.
Based – Vancouver, Canada
Find her at – genaperala.com
Listen to – Tell It To The Stars
XXQs: with Gena Perala by PensEyeView.com
I’m pretty happy that I get it when our latest feature, Gena Perala, describes herself as “Jewel meets Peaches.” Why do I feel this way? No idea. All I can say is that it’s accurate, and I feel better inside knowing I understand.
Anyway, Perala, a “carny kid” turned fantastic pianist and musician, first hit the scene in 2008 with her debut album, and blesses us once again today with an all new collection titled Exactly Nowhere. We asked the up and coming singer/songwriter to tell us all about it: “There’s some really nice sounds, great musicians and I’m pretty lyrical. It’s also a real diverse collection, from soft lullabies, to lo-fi pop punk to carnival to country etc. As for process…I usually get an idea or a lyric and then build a melody as I write the lyrics – so the lyrics and the melody come cohesively. I often have ideas of how I want the song to sound as far as production goes, so I brought those ideas to the table during the recording process and my producers Chris Gestrin and Russell Marsland were amazing in helping those ideas be realized.”
Click to http://genaperala.com to prepare for Exactly Nowhere – check out her schedule while you’re at it and if you’re in the NYC area, watch these new songs come to life at a live performance. There’s still much to get into, so keep reading for all the answers to the XXQs below.
XXQs: Gena Perala
PensEyeView.com (PEV): How would you describe your sound and what makes you stand out from others in your genre?
Gena Perela (GP): Eclec·tic: including things taken from many different sources. I think that answers both questions.
PEV: What kind of music were you into growing up? Do you remember your first concert?
GP: I loved all kinds of music growing up. My parents were, and still are, really into music so I spent a lot of time with their record collection. Sam Cooke to Cyndi Lauper to Paul Simon…the list goes on…I remember sitting on the floor and admiring all the album covers. The first concert I remember going to was Janet Jackson: Rhythm Nation. It was pretty awesome. I still have the t-shirt!!!
PEV: What is the first thing that comes to mind when you step on stage to perform?
GP: Yikes! and Yay!
PEV: What is the best part about being on stage in front of an audience?
GP: It’s almost like the songs aren’t fully realized or complete until I play them for others.
PEV: What’s one thing we’d be surprised to hear about you?
GP: People are usually surprised to hear I grew up on the Carnival. I’m what you call a ”Carny Kid.”
PEV: What happens when you hit a brick wall when writing? What are your methods to get over it?
GP: I just wait
PEV: How do you think the industry has changed since you first started out?
GP: I don’t know that it’s changed much since I released my first album in 2008. Mediocrity still rules the mainstream so there’s little money in independent art and artists unfortunately. Technology and the Internet make it possible for almost anyone to record and release an album, to connect with other artist all over the world, but again, it was like that in 2008 as well. So, I guess it hasn’t changed much.. But I’m no expert.
PEV: What can fans expect from your latest release, Exactly Nowhere? What was the writing process like for this album?
GP: It was a real labor of love for myself and my two producers Chris Gestrin and Russell Marsland. There’s great production and instrumentation from violin and cello, pedal steel and trumpets, organ, glock and so on. There’s some really nice sounds, great musicians and I’m pretty lyrical. It’s also a real diverse collection, from soft lullabies, to lo-fi pop punk to carnival to country etc. As for process…I usually get an idea or a lyric and then build a melody as I write the lyrics – so the lyrics and the melody come cohesively. I often have ideas of how I want the song to sound as far as production goes, so I brought those ideas to the table during the recording process and CG and RM were amazing in helping those ideas be realized.
PEV: With all your traveling, is there one area you wish you could travel around and play that you have not yet?
PEV: How have all your friends and family reacted to your career?
GP: What career? Ha! Just kidding. Seriously though, I mean I’m still waitressing and doing music on the side so they’re super proud of me for sticking with it. Working hard. And they love the album. Well, most of them…I think.
PEV: What can we find you doing in your spare time, aside from playing/writing music?
GP: I love riding bikes. I play bicycle polo (yeah it’s a sport). I love to read and hang out with my friends. In the summer, I’m all about the beach. And dancing is fun.
PEV: Name one present and past artist or group that would be your dream collaboration. Why?
GP: There are so many but ok, one present artist would be Jack White. I dream of him producing an album of mine. I’d also be over the moon to do a track with Frank Ocean. I spent all summer listening to him. Past artist? That’s really tough. Again so many great artists who are no longer with us. So many died too soon. I would of loved to sing back up on a Jeff Buckley track. Maybe write a song with him? RIP.
PEV: Is there an up and coming band or artist you think we should all be looking out for now?
GP: The Zolas are a really great Vancouver band if you haven’t heard of them.
PEV: So, what is next for Gena Perala?
GP: Looks like I’m shooting a music video for the song “Living Proof” with a director named Blake Farber so keep your eyes peeled for that. I’m also heading to NYC to play some shows there and in the surrounding area. Yup!
Sneak peak from my upcoming Music Video!
Yup I said Music Vide-OH Snap!
Gena Perala, Exactly Nowhere Review by Roots Music Report – 5 Stars
The all-too-familiar insecurities and vulnerabilities attendant to the pursuit of romance are the stuff of clever, ironic and relentlessly heart-pinching pop brilliance in the lyrical hands of Ms. Perala. Coupled with a tuneful sense that pivots seamlessly between naivete and sophistication, the Canadian singer/songwriter/guitarist offers up a track-after-track stream of fresh sounding, enchanting fare. From-the-gut emotional tugs, as well as stick-with-you choruses spring forth from the candy-sweet torcher “Living Proof” and from the urgently heartsick title track. The harmonically smart arrangement of “Superstar Supernova” displays a savvy worthy of Joni Mitchell and the appealing quirkiness of “Hoopla” might bring a smile to Laurie Anderson’s face. One of this year’s standouts, hands down.
Reviewed By: Duane Verh
Gena Perala, Exactly Nowhere Review by Neufutur Magazine
New Review and a New word! Huzah!
in·im·i·ta·ble: Defying imitation; matchless
Living Proof is the first introduction that listeners will likely have for Perala’s music, and it allows listeners to be entranced by her inimitable style. The track soars on plinking pianos and a vocal style that takes on hints of Sheryl Crow and Stevie Nicks. While Perala’s vocals are front and center, the instrumental arrangements present here provide a very thoughtful backdrop. Fine uses an interesting differentiation between the vocal and instrumental elements of the track; the disparate pacing of the two makes for a wholly unique track. Hip Hop and Cartoons ties together a sixties organ with a free-form set of vocals. The inclusion of a snap/clap track showcases Perala’s interest in the titular genre. Fat World is the perfect example of a late-album track that bolsters the album’s momentum. Hoopla spins listeners into an entirely new direction, all while keeping the same high quality that was presented during the opening strains of the album. The track takes on a Bif Naked meets Letters To Cleo feel that will keep listeners firmly tied to their seats until the conclusion of Exactly Nowhere’s final track, Neverland.
Neverland is a microcosm of the various styles and approaches that Perala took through the entirety of Exactly Nowhere. However nicely the track ties up the loose ends, Neverland still adheres to the adventurous spirit of the rest of the album and will keep listeners second guessing until the last note.
Interested readers can pick up a copy of Exactly Nowhere at Perala’s CDBaby (www.cdbaby.com/Artist/GenaPerala ). Check out her website for more information about live shows, samples of her music, and methods to contact her.
Top Tracks: Fine, Hip Hop and Cartoons
New Review of “Exactly Nowhere” by Skope Magazine
Transition from poet to artist? Sure, there’s no leap there. Many would claim that their favorite song lyrics constitute “poetry” and you can see how poems could eventually become lyrical matter. For poet/songwriter Gena Perala, they certainly seem to be one and the same. The published poet has released her new album, Exactly Nowhere, 15-tracks of cathartic lyrical matter and demure backing musicality, all wrapped up in an emotive package.
“Living Proof” opens the album in Doo Wop fashion with tinkling piano notes, slight backing percussion and Perala’s stout vocal delivery. Backing keys and vocals bolster the sound but the musicality stays in the background allowing the star of the outfit to shine in the lyrics. The down tempo “Fine” opens with picked acoustic and weepy keys in the background before again, the vocal delivery stands at the foreground. The near spoken word lyrics tell the story of relationship analysis, which I can’t help but think is autobiographical. The contemplation continues through the body of the track as the “narrator” assures herself that “everything’s fine.” The mood changes with the quirky “Hip Hop and Cartoons.” Perala claims she sees her generation as “able to learn more from Hip Hop and cartoons than from any church or religion.” Again, the musicality is slight propelling the vocal delivery to the foreground. The lyrical matter is slightly jarring on this one but it speaks to self-awareness and validation. “La Fin” has an ethnic folk feel in the instrumentation of strings and plucked acoustic and alternating French and English in the lyrical matter. “Fat World” implements a Pop Punk feel with distorted electric guitar, staccato backing percussion and a social awareness in the message of the lyrical matter, speaking to the unrealistic expectations on women in today’s culture. The universal truths continue on “Life is Hard.” This track is more anecdotal lyrical matter that speaks beyond the containment of the track with simple piano melody bolstered by more weepy strings just underneath the surface of the track.
Perala certainly has the songwriting part down. Add her approachable vocal delivery and what you have is more than poet or artist or combination of the two. The songs aren’t simply written for the sake of writing songs but belie the fact that Perala is a socially aware dynamo of a woman. She isn’t afraid to take on taboo topics such as self-awareness, a woman’s self image and healthy and tumultuous relationships alike. If thought-provoking and emotive matter is your bag, go out and find that place called Exactly Nowhere.
by Christopher West – email@example.com
Interview on Rockwired.com
Listen to me try my best to answer questions about my new album in my latest interview..
‘ECLECTIC’ SOUND ON NEW LP – The Peace Arch News
Written by Sarah Massah http://www.peacearchnews.com/entertainment/218746861.html
A White Rock-born-and-raised musician has put the finishing touches on her sophomore album and is preparing to hit the road to promote her music.
Gena Perala’s Exactly Nowhere was released in June. She began writing and recording the tracks for it – a mix of genres ranging from pop-punk to country – in 2010.
“I just keep hearing that it’s eclectic and diverse and (critics) can’t quite pinpoint a genre, which I think is great. I never set out with a genre in mind. I just write songs and they are just written in such a way that they deserve a particular sound,” the Vancouver resident said. “Just because I’m not punk doesn’t mean I can’t write a song that has a pop-punk feel to it.”
The Earl Marriott graduate (1996) has previously released three books of poetry, and debuted her inaugural album, This Ain’t Pretty, in 2008. She is now gearing up to play a slew of venues from Vancouver to Los Angeles, and hopefully, tour in Europe.
Born to “carny” parents, Perala, her brother and her mother would reside in White Rock while her father travelled with the carnival, eventually meeting up with him when school was done for summer break.
The unique experience helped shape Perala’s perspective, often meeting interesting characters while traveling the carnival circuit.
“It was just life for us. We were what you called ‘carny kids’ and everyone kept an eye out for us. We just went from small town to small town,” she said.
“Because of the people I was exposed to, I think that probably made a difference.”
Perala continues to meet a variety of people – albeit a bit younger – in a different capacity now, as a facilitator for poetry workshops for teenagers. The workshops have included youth from juvenile correctional facilities as well as a handful of Greater Vancouver schools.
“One of my best friends is a teacher and she invited me to participate in a slam-poetry unit,” Perala explained. “I don’t know if I’ve ever been so nervous or frightened. I spent part of the class facilitating poetry with them and the poems were brilliant.”
Perala’s class spread through word of mouth, with more teachers inviting her into their classroom.
“It’s a great opportunity,” she said.
For more information about Perala, visit www.genaperala.com
I’M ON THE RADIO www.wbsdfm.com TONIGHT!
Hey guys! Ima be interviewed by the radio tonight, Wednesday Aug 7th, 7:00PM Pacific time (9pm Central). Tune in if you like.. WBSD 89.1FM Burlington, Wisconsin
NEW RELEASE SHOW!!! Tune in here: http://wbsdfm.com/WBSD/Listen.html
TRIPLE J!!! Whaaaaaaaaaa?!
NBD.. My song was just played on Triple J (Sarah Howells’ program Roots n’ All), only one of the best radio stations in the world!!! Check it out!!!
EXACTLY NOWHERE featured on WFIT 89.5 FM :
Our second set was a featured album entitled, Exactly Nowhere by Gena Perala, it’s pronounced Jenna. www.genaperala.com also on U-tube, Amazon and all the other usual online stores. Why Gena Perala as a feature? Well it was the lyrics, and her tell all style, her voice, and the diversity of her song styles. There is only one song that’s not in English, so this is not your typical world music CD. Yes she is from Canada, but ***IT WAS REALLY, THE SHEER AMOUNT OF QUALITY SONGS ON ONE ALBUM THAT SAID, I HAD TO SHARE IT WITH YOU. ***
Producer of C’est La Vie Acoustic and World Beat
EXACTLY NOWHERE – Album Review
As an artist who had grown up amidst uncertainty, diversity, and character as the child of two parents who worked in the carnival circuit, Gena Perala transfers this experience into her music, whether intentional or not, seamlessly and to a great degree of skills and musicianship. Having previously released three books of poetry and a debut album, This Ain’t Pretty (2008), Perala has now released her second full length and has further established herself as a signified musician and songwriter. Exactly Nowhere plays out exactly as her childhood may have; full of uncertainty, diversity, character, and is also a very honest, no-holds barred record.
Gena Perala is not your average songwriter and helps blow away barriers and stereotypes that one may associate with a solo musician who sings and writes about the themes of love, heartbreak, and emotional struggles. Every song is so unique and differs so much in scale (yet none being any more significant that the other), sound, and it can really be hard, if not close to impossible, to properly identify Perala without sounding pretentious and a little ridiculous at the expense of multiple genre-headings and sub-headings. From the French themed and sung ‘La Fin’ to the pop-punk, bass driven ‘My Match’, to the country-inspired, prairie romp ‘Tell It To The Stars’, to ‘On Second Thought’ which could fit perfectly well in any 80’s musical, you never really know where the album will take you or what you are up for next. Perala shows off her musical diversity and fearless exploration and adventurism without exactly ‘showing off’, but instead does so with confidence, charm, and great modesty, never reaching for anything out of step or out of reach and as a result each track, no matter what direction she decides to go in, is just as good as the last.
Despite the immense diversity on the album, Perala is always able to tie it all together with her darling, strong, comforting, Southern-rooted vocals that add to not only each song, but each track, her own touch of personality and character. As well, her songs are intensely honest and Perala never strays away from touchy subjects or beats around the bush, always upfront and concise, her willingness to sing things, thoughts, and ideas that we may at first think of ‘weak’ or ‘desperate’, come off as stronger and more charismatic than ever. Never sugar-coating anything yet always able to sing with a sweetness that is hard to match, Perala has a natural knack for storytelling and opening up about certain subjects that others just cannot pull off or whom would never dare.
Whether you are looking to share a tear, enjoy the sun, hibernate in your bed, or feel some empowerment and outright fun, Exactly Nowhere has something for everyone and for any situation but no matter which that may be, Perala will never fail to bring out a creeping smile on your face.
EXACTLY NOWHERE – Album Available now! Get it on your iTunes
GARAGE CD OF THE WEEK – THE PROVINCE NEWS
Gena Perala’s Exactly Nowhere CD is Announced + Review
I had the chance to get an advanced listen to her upcoming album that really wowed me. She mixes the sounds of folk and pop music to create catchy yet mellow songs. The strong point for me was her intelligent lyrics, clearly from her poetry background, that never hung around for too long as the melody swept you away. This was especially evident in the album’s title song Exactly Nowhere and, perhaps my favourite, Fine. Although I couldn’t understand the words in La Fin (I’m really not much of a Canadian, not knowing French), I loved that song. It’s a great song that sounds positively French and is the first single with a video here. I’m definitely excited for the release of the album, so make sure to check out her music!
21 Questions with Gena Perala May 30, 2013 A&C Interviews
Please explain what just happened.
Alanis Morissette came on the radio playing a hit from 1994, and then a very beautiful song came on. It’s called “All I Want,” by Kodaline. Pretty.
What is your earliest memory?
I think I was in some kind of oxygen tent. I remember the color yellow, and my mom.
If you weren’t a musician, what other profession would you choose.
Describe a typical work day.
Like a lot of my other days.
Is there a time you wish you’d lied?
Can’t think of one.
Read full interview here: http://www.thenervousbreakdown.com/tnbac/2013/05/21-questions-with-gena-perala/
Great mention in The Province News.. Again! Yup!
“Another art- and drama-fuelled album is Gena Perala’s Exactly Nowhere. It moves around from style to style drastically, but is unified by Perala’s light, intimate but imposing voice. She’s at Chapel Arts June 16.” http://blogs.theprovince.com/2013/05/27/tom-harrisons-garage-for-may-28/
Got a nice shout out in THE PROVINCE!!!
The Garage has heard some very good things about Gena Perala, through Russell Marsland. Marsland co-produced her Exactly Nowhere CD with Chris Gestrin. Perala plays Chapel Arts on June 16.”http://blogs.theprovince.com/2013/05/18/tom-harrisons-garage-for-may-19/