Ånei, tenker du kanskje – ikke enda en av disse «er ikke datteren min flink?» utgivelsene som finnes kun fordi pappa er kjent musiker. Kan hende du også føler en viss frykt for naive ungpiketekster med høy dagbokfaktor. Men de tankene kan du parkere først som sist, for Una Walkenhorst (jepp, pappa heter Bob og fronter The Rainmakers) har talent som står solid på egne ben.
Jenta har en stemme med særpreg som er befriende fri for Idol-fakter og det er en nedstrippet folkvibe over skiva. Når du så legger til at skivedebutanten viser seg å ha arvet en solid dose låtskrivergener fra sin far er «Scars» et meget hyggelig bekjentskap selv for oss som begynner å dra på årene. De tolv sangene på skiva omhandler livets opp- og nedturer, og det er intet mindre enn imponerende at en låt som «Traveler» ble skrevet da Una var 15 år!
Livshistorien i «What You Left Behind» er også av typen man skulle tro man måtte ha litt flere år på baken for å skrive. Men hun formidler historien med pondus både tekstmessig og i fremføring. Et lite stykke hverdag i stemningsfull innpakning.
«Wooden Man» – en kvitte seg med det meste som minner om eksen låt, er min favoritt på skiva. Det er noe med sounden og vokalen her som iallefall får meg til å trykke på repeat knappen. Åpenbar radiohit om det fantes noe slikt lenger.
«Scars» er en mer enn godkjent debut som absolutt fortjener en plass i mange CD hyller eller filbibliotek, og du kan kjøpe den på følgende steder:
Vi runder av med et knippe spørsmål og svar med unge frøken Walkenhorst som har vært på veien i nesten et år – hun tok gitaren, satte seg i bilen og har kjørt på tvers av USA med enkelte avstikkere hist og pist på leting etter steder å spille – respekt sier vi bare!
DoD: When did you start writing songs?
UW: Growing up in a very creative household, I started writing when I was pretty young. The earliest I remember doing any songwriting was probably 2nd grade. But the first time I wrote a song using an instrument was when I was in 8th grade. It was a really weird song about turning into a moth. I wrote it on autoharp, which was the first instrument I ever really got into playing.
DoD: Any particular artists or writers that you’re influenced by?
UW: My parents listened to a lot of early folk when I was growing up, so I was definitely influenced by the classics like Bob Dylan and Mimi and Richard Farina. As I started branching off into my own musical interests, I listened to a lot of more contemporary folk like Conor Oberst, Rilo Kiley, and Neko Case. I’ve been listening to Conor Oberst since I was eleven and I finally got the chance to see him live in San Francisco, which was very special for me.
DoD: What made you (finally) decide to record an album?
UW: I always knew I wanted to record an album, but music had also always been a very personal thing for me. I didn’t really share it with people. I had sang live with my dad and played a few little cafe gigs, but playing my own music for people was kind of terrifying. It felt like I would be opening my diary to the world. I decided I was going to go on my current tour at the end of January, which is when my dad and I really got things going with recording.
DoD: What was the recording process like?
UW: Recording was pretty simple. My dad has a music studio in the top floor of my parents’ house. We set up some microphones, and I just played all of my songs until I got them the way I wanted them. I went back and added electric guitar to a couple songs, recorded harmonies, and my dad and I went through each track and decided what needed to be added or tweaked. We did a few songs a day. There was so much going on, I can’t even remember how long it took. Maybe a month. Maybe two. It’s all kind of a blur.
DoD: Plans, hopes and dreams for the future regarding your music?
UW: The trip that I’ve been on for the past 10 months has definitely made this all more of a reality for me. Playing music for a living always seemed like some abstract idea. I knew that’s what I wanted to do, but I had no idea how to go about it. Right now, I just hope that the people I’ve played for have enjoyed my music and that I get to take more of these trips. I have had so many incredible experiences on the road. Driving around, playing music is probably the happiest I’ve ever been. I’ve been asked what my expectations for this trip were, but I went into it having no idea what to expect. Everything has gone so much better than I ever imagined. As for dreams, I feel like I’m kind of already living them. I am very, very lucky.