Vanessa Peters and Idol Records are proud to present Modern Age available globally on vinyl, CD, and all digital / streaming platforms April 23rd, 2021. The album may be pre-ordered on Peters's Bandcamp page.
For years it’s been too easy to casually lump Vanessa Peters into a kind of generic Americana category, when in reality her records have run the gamut from indie-pop to alt-country to experimental folk to 70s-era throwback singer/songwriter rock. But in Modern Age, Peters has stripped away all songwriterly pretense to build a modern/classic rock album that reveals a steely defiance. From the opening power chords of the title track, it’s obvious that this is a brand new direction for Vanessa Peters - a fresh, raucous energy that has rarely surfaced before outside of Peters’s live shows. Featuring 11 tracks of energetic, guitar-driven pop/rock influenced by artists like Liz Phair, Spoon, Foo Fighters, LCD Soundsystem, and 90's era Smashing Pumpkins.
Peters released the album's first single, Crazymaker on February 26 (Bandcamp / Spotify / Apple Music). Glide Magazine calls the song "a major breakout... timelessly catchy... one of the strongest releases of 2021."
In Crazymaker we find Peters writing about being trapped in a manipulative relationship -- but whether the abuser is a lover, or some other sort of authority figure (an employer, a preacher, a politician) is up for the listener to decide:
I do you the favor, forget your bad behavior
we'll just chalk it up to my failure to see
you were a crazymaker, a bomb about to crater
I was looking for a savior,
Shame on me, shame on me, shame on me, shame on me
The song is propelled by an insistent rhythm section which drew on early-80s AC/DC to deliver a timeless 4-on-the-floor dance/rock feel, and is buoyed by hooky, hypnotic guitars and Peters's smooth voice which sounds immediately at home in this format. The video was shot in Italy while Peters and her producer / husband were stranded there when COVID unexpectedly struck the region, cancelling their European tour just days before it was to have kicked off.
The follow-up single is the album's title track, "Modern Age" which was released March 26 (Bandcamp / Spotify / Apple Music). "Modern Age" is an indie-rock/folk-rock/country-pop mashup which finds Peters singing about her frustration with today's disposable culture:
it was originally written as a kind of protest song. I'm a big baseball fan, and when the Texas Rangers announced several years ago that they were going to be "retiring" our stadium and building a new one with a retractable roof so that there would be air-conditioning, it really rubbed me the wrong way. Like yes, I get it, it's hot as hell in Texas in the summer, but our current stadium was only 25 years old. It just felt like such a wasteful expenditure of time/energy/money/everything. I'm sure the new stadium is glorious, but the whole thing just really got me thinking about our throwaway culture.
Despite the shimmery pop-rock packaging these songs are wrapped in, Peters doesn’t shy away from pulling the lyrical punches she is known for. She’s downright angry on “Yes,” unleashing a tidal wave of frustration at being written off as a “chick singer.” On “Make Up My Mind,” she wrestles with indecision and self doubt, channeling 90s-era Smashing Pumpkins grunge, while “Never Really Gone” is a luminous, Fleetwood Mac-esque take on the joy of discovering that you can, in fact, go home again.
In Modern Age, we find Peters once again writing and delivering songs of exceptional lyrical and musical power, further cementing her reputation among the new generation of American songwriters.