When you see an artist listed as something like Americana/soul/alternative, you have to wonder if he or she really lands in all of those categories. On the new album These Are My Whiskey Dreams (produced by Andros Rodriguez), Christina LaRocca shows that an artist can land firmly in a variety of categories – and deliver the goods in all of those categories.
Soul is a big part of this album – due mostly to Larocca’s vocals. She shows that she can really belt out some notes on “Whiskey Dreams” and “Breathe”. You can hear a lot of soul in the instrumentation of “Capsized” particularly in the organ part played by LaRocca and the bass line of Leanne Bowes. Add LaRocca’s vocals on top of that – especially at the points where her vocals are part shouting, part singing – and what you have is a song that drips soul.
You also hear a significant country component on this album. It is evident at the beginning of “Home” when you hear a strummed guitar and some claps to provide the beat. As you get deeper into the song, Gene Micofsky lends some twang to the song by spacing some bent notes on the guitar, while Jake Pinto adds a bit of honky-tonk piano. The way she amplifies some of the lyrics of the song make you think that she could just as easily sing a chart-topping country anthem.
“Hard to Trust in Love” is yet another song that is different than the others. The muted tone of the song makes LaRocca’s soulful vocals even more powerful. You realize on this one that she doesn’t to belt out any notes to have a powerful delivery. Perhaps the most striking thing is how it is made so achingly beautiful by the addition of Simone Vitucci’s cello part.
This album even contains a reggae-influenced song entitled – fittingly – “Smoke Marijuana”. This leans more toward a trippy dub sound – particularly in the reverb on the vocals that makes the sound similar to Nattali Rize. If you need to add a song to your chill-out playlist, this is a good choice.
It’s not easy to categorize this album. Someone could ask you, “What kind of music is it? Country? Soul? Rock?” You can simply answer, “Yes.” Her vocals and the musicians behind her are strong enough to bounce effortlessly between genres. These Are My Whiskey Dreams will be available everywhere on July 12. Order your copy here.