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Canadian Heritage

Wendy Lands


WENDY LANDS (Vocalist)  You may think you've heard Wendy Lands. Maybe it was her vocal interpretations of Wladyslaw Szpilman's classics on the haunting CD companion to the Oscar winning film 'The Pianist'. It could have been on her JUNO nominated confessional hit CD Angels & Ordinary Men. Or maybe you were in the audience for the original Canadian production of 'Les Miserables', where she starred as 'Eponine'. You may just remember Lands as half of the late 80's duo 'Double Dare'. After all that, it would be understandable to believe you'd 'heard' Wendy Lands. But you would be wrong.

All of the above were stops on a journey - one that culminates in the vulnerable ache - the jazzy undertow that is Mumble. Only when you've heard these sparsely yet soulfully arranged songs filled with lyrical depth, a pop - jazz - rootsy sensibility and the kind of vocal stylings that raise goose bumps, will you have truly heard Wendy Lands

With Mumble, Wendy taps into her years of acclaimed songwriting to tell her own stories of tentative exploration, vulnerability, flirtation and desire, fulfilled and unfulfilled. The album is a good night, a sweet morning after, a serenade. Unadorned but unabashed, 'Mumble' is where sentimental meets sensual.

Wendy waited her whole life to find the collaborators who helped create 'Mumble'. Amazingly, they all gravitated to her in unique ways. Songwriter Larry John McNally (Rod Stewart, Bonnie Raitt, Don Henley) had never co-written a song before being mesmerized by a performance by Wendy at L.A.'s The Mint. Emmy winning songwriter/ pianist and longtime Lands fan Don Breithaupt, and JUNO winning producer Greg Kavanagh, relentlessly (and thankfully) pursued Wendy upon her return to Canada after her 5 year writing and recording stint in L.A. And her musical and life partner, Jim Gillard, co-writer on 10 of the 11 tracks, never let Wendy stop dreaming and doing.

Wendy chose to co-produce the disc with Gillard, Breithaupt and Kavanagh who also play drums, piano and guitar respectively, along with Peter Telford on upright bass. To be a part of this project, Lands made each of them take the oath of intimacy. "We sat in my backyard the night before going into the studio and I made them promise that we'd never stray from the original idea of being as intimate as possible," she recalls. And they stayed true to that oath. Each of them is heard in every breath, note, blast and refrain that is Mumble. In an age of Lady Gagas, their collective, restrained genius is like a seductive whisper piercing a world of screams.

Why Mumble? "To me," states Lands, "a Mumble is the first utterance of the naked truth - the subconscious coming to the surface, unfiltered by the conscious. That's what these songs are for me; what I feel and dream but can't always say. So I sing."

So lean in and hear her sing. Close your eyes. Let her wash over and through you - and hear Wendy Lands Mumble.