For over a decade, Vanessa Peters has been enchanting fans with her thoughtful, melodic songs and warm, textural voice. An opener for acts like John Oates, Suzanne Vega, 10000 Maniacs, Matthew Sweet, and Josh Rouse, Peters has toured extensively throughout the US and Europe, building her legion of loyal fans. Vanessa is a true international artist who has played thousands of shows in a dozen countries from coffeehouses to festivals and has been a featured artist at 30A, NPR's Mountain Stage, Americanafest, and Ramblin' Roots Festival in Utrecht. Peters's 2021 single, "Crazymaker," gained significant radio airplay, charting for four weeks on Germany's indie radio charts. Her newest album, “Flying on Instruments,” will be released in 2024.
“Her pounding, melodic tracks have the intensity of short stories.... Bolshy, blazing letters from the new front line. (4 stars)”
In spring of 2022 Vanessa and her European band traveled to Texas to begin recording her new album, "Flying on Instruments." Co-produced by Grammy-winning producer Joe Reyes, "Flying on Instruments" finds Vanessa returning to her folk-pop/rock roots. Standout singles include "Halfway Through (AAA/Country)," "Better (AAA/Soft Rock)," and "Pinball Heart (Pop/Rock)".
"When we were putting together Modern Age, several of my favorite tracks got held back because we didn't think they fit thematically in that album, which was more of a collection of rock songs," explained Peters. “So several of those songs, like "Halfway Through” and “Better,” got reworked when we had the band together in Dallas, and are now the backbone of this new album."
The album takes its name from the deeply touching "How Long" which deals with the unpredictability of everyday life: "we're all flying on instruments / no one's got a crystal ball." Vanessa explained, "in the context of the song, 'flying on instruments,' refers to having to keep going forward even though you can't see ahead, which is a common theme on this album. But we loved the double entendre. In many ways, 'flying on instruments' is what it felt like to be in the studio playing these songs with my band."
The album is at turns introspective, political, and hopeful. In the single "Halfway Through," Peters notes "I'm still trying to figure out what to carry, what to leave behind, and what I can do without." Still, she remains optimistic in "Better":
I've spent nearly all my life worrying about what others think of me
and even though it's better now, I can't say that I'm free
but it's better, it's a whole lot better
"Flying on Instruments" represents a return to a more pure folk-pop/rock form; the production is stripped-down and centers largely around the piano. "For this record we wanted to really hear the band playing together, especially our amazing pianist Matteo, who kinda got lost in all the guitars on the last album," explained Peters. “We're really happy with the way everything turned out. Everything feels very direct and honest.”
“Vanessa Peters is a great songwriter from Dallas, Texas, who shifts her laconic short stories here from the usual Americana sound into a brilliant power pop rock like Aimee Mann used to do. Like Juliana Hatfield or Sheryl Crow did. And suddenly you just want to hear this voice.” - Andreas Borcholte
“Her rich, seductive vocals remind me of Lucy Kaplansky and Canada’s under-appreciated Lynn Miles, and her instantly accessible songs—a mix of gorgeous ballads and well-hooked rockers—come loaded with pensive, clever lyrics.” - Jeff Burger