It’s the week Linda Draper releases her latest album, Modern Day Decay, and she’s on the roof.
But don’t worry, the Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter is simply enjoying the spring weather.
“I’m not going to the roof to look over the edge,” she laughs. “I’m looking up at the sky.”
She’s in a good place, ready to premiere the album at Rockwood Music Hall on Friday and let the world know what she’s been up to since 2013’s Edgewise. And eight full-lengths into this, the feelings are the same as they’ve always been. But not really.
“The butterflies never go away,” she said. “I guess that’s why I keep on doing it. But it’s always a new experience for me. It’s never like ‘Oh, here we go again.’ It’s exciting. I think I’m more confident in what I’m bringing out this time because I’m fully aware of how much of a collaborative effort it’s been. It’s been a fantastic journey so far, so I’m ready to go again.”
Describing the whole new album process as “kind of like clearing house. You get to clear out and start all over again,” Draper did try something new this time around, recording Modern Day Decay with producer Matt Keating in just two days.
“We did a lot of our homework leading up to those two days and I learned the value of doing pre-production rehearsals,” she said. “I wanted to really record by capturing that live quality of the song that you can only really get when you’re playing together all at once on stage. And the songs called for that. So there were a lot more moving parts in arranging the recording, but the bulk of the CD we did in two days.”
Sounds like a lot of pressure, but Draper and company are pros, and they got it done, with the help of the fans that helped fund the recording.
“That was very humbling for me and it made me very, very grateful,” Draper said. “I’ve been doing this for a little while now, and you never really know who’s out there and listening. And this was a surprise to know that there were still people out there, and people that I hadn’t even met.”
Given the quality of the album, more should be coming around soon. Simply put, on Modern Day Decay, there’s an energy that comes not just from hearing a band playing live, but from Draper’s songwriting approach this time around.
“I’ve been looking outward a lot more,” she said. “I think a lot of my earlier work was more introspective.”
As for the live element of Draper’s work, that will never change. She always wants to be like Yankee great Joe DiMaggio was when tearing after flyballs in a meaningless September ballgame. She wants to give her best because someone may be seeing her for the first time.
“When I’m playing the music for people, I try to make the song like the first time anyone else has heard it,” she said. “It’s actually very easy to do, but to get to that area of being in the moment, that’s why I do it. I get so preoccupied with the rest of my life that music is the most freeing way to stay fresh and keep that expression in the moment.
“It’s sounds so cliché, but that ability to connect with other people through the song is really what it’s all about for me,” Draper concludes. “It’s as simple as that. And I’m grateful to be able to do it.”
Linda Draper plays Stage 2 at Rockwood Music Hall in NYC on Friday, April 29. For more information, click here