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Alice BrightSky

My household thrives on music. From mini dance parties, to listening to funk while we clean the house, to even making up our own songs, we just enjoy music. Oh, and we can't forget how Adrienne brings out all her instruments. That usually means it's family band time. Well, subtract me. I'm not that musically inclined. Unless I can play the tambourine? I'm pretty sure I would be a beast at the tambourine. 

Anyfamilythatjamstogetherstaystogether, Alice BrightSky is guest posting for me today! She is a mom who rocks. No, figuratively and literally rocks. Her music brings me back to being twelve and idolizing Alanis Morrisette. 

Alice's sound weaves through the musical spectrum of funk, soul, rock, and folk, yet she has a raspy voice that gives her music a womanly grunge feel. Like, I just want to bust out my old Doc Martins, leggings, and over-sized flannels! 

Oh wait. I'm already wearing that today.

5 Ways Becoming a Mother Has Influenced My Art:
By Alice BrightSky

To be clear, I'm a new mother... my son, born this past May, is just approaching the 3 month mark so I am sure I am not in possession yet of all the ways this new journey will influence my music.  But a few things have become immediately apparent, which I thought I'd share:

1.  I'm now writing about being on the winning side of love.

My last album, "Box of Me", is all about love gone wrong and is replete with metaphors of longing and waiting for real love to arrive.  It's a sad album in that respect but there is definitely hope in those songs interspersed with the reality that I was trying to detangle myself and my life from all the wrong lovers.  My songwriting to date has been along this theme and, luckily for my art (while less luckily for my heart) I've had plenty of material to draw from...  When I finally met Mr. Right, got married and settled down, my songwriting kind of came to a grinding halt.  I had nothing bad to write about, quelle horreur!  With the birth my son, something amazing started happening, I started feeling inspired again. I'm not sure what's so different about the love I hold for my son vs. my husband but perhaps because it is so new and something I've really never experienced before.. the utter unconditionality.. that he doesn't have to earn my affections, nor I his.  I'd throw myself in front of a bus to keep him safe.  I would do that for my husband too but.. there was a bit of courtship to get there!  So, the first thing that has changed, are the themes.  I now find myself writing about being on the winning side of love, it's a nice place to be.

2.  I'm inspired to finish what I start.

I almost didn't finish my album.  I started recording it in 2006 and formally walked away from it in 2009 after hitting some artistic and logistical roadblocks.  But I decided to return to it soon after I got pregnant.  Even while the son I was to have remained an obscure concept to me, despite my growing belly, I felt this obligation to him to finish my album.  I thought about the example I wanted to make for him.  I believed in my music but the album process had just got too overwhelming for me.  I could have easily let the upcoming birth, and then the raising, of my baby be an even better excuse for not executing on my vision.  Who could blame me, right?  But, I didn't want to use my son as an excuse and I didn't want him to stumble across the recordings one day and have to tell him that, I just kind of gave up.  So while pregnancy might have been the perfect opportunity to let the album go.. I decided to embrace and finish it.

3.  I'm not so focused on me anymore.  

Songwriting has been a very cathartic and self-absorbed process for me.  It's been a way to deal with my emotions usually about something gone wrong with my love or my life.  Having a baby has had the almost immediate effect of breaking the bubble that surrounded me and my little world.   I am much more observant of the "outside" and that will surely lead to new directions in my writing that I welcome.  Frankly, I'm sick of me.

4.  I want to do everything myself 

I've always been DIY out of necessity but now, I see the greater learning I can pass on to my son if I really keep going down this path.  I never had a real interest in production, for example, but now I find myself eager to become an adept producer.  My husband and I have started planning a home studio where we'll advance our skills together and, if he's interested.. teach them to our son.  

5.  Children's songwriting is coming very naturally

So much so that it seems inevitable that I'll be writing a children's album.  And, now that I've started animating on my ipad (see my first attempt, the video for "I Am"), I can make homemade cartoons set to my music.  Maybe that's the next Art endeavor for 2014.

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