LATITUDE BERA by Britta Pejic

The music Britta Pejic makes as defies classification. Across two full-length albums “Backyards That Weren’t There Before” and “Latitude Bera”, she’s blended indie rock, folk, psychedelism and avant garde music. Britta throughout with an infectious self-assuredness, revels in the power of art freedom, while also extolling the simple pleasure of making a music for herself — experemantal, intentional, and open to everyone.

It is impressive how Britta managed to develop her brand of sound and bring her music on top of the indie genre. Britta Pejic seems to reflect this unique cultural direction by blending various elements within her sound, yet keeping things simple. Her latest studio album “Latitude Bera” is the first release from Britta since 2010’s “Backyards That Weren’t There Before”. Even by looking at the colorful and psychedelic album artwork, it is apparent that it is a unique, vintage and dynamic collection of songs with ties to indie rock, beat folky and a bit of acid art.

“I was living in Hendaye, France with my family and was wondering « how in the world can I polish these songs up to make them more professional sounding? I’ll never find someone to help me out! » Well I did. My neighbor! He goes by the name Lole. Sound engineer and sound designer. Keyboard player. Great credentials (he attended lectures given by Brian Eno. He had visited Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studios in Bath England- plus he and I were born the same week!”

“Latitude Bera” reaches extraordinary new heights; the production throughout is more intricate and refined, and the lyrics are both honest and gripping. Arrangement remains central, but it’s played and recorded in new ways. The length of some songs reaches an average of five or even six minutes.  

The album starts with a pop rock, 70s vibe song “Sebago Lumbago”, which exudes confidence and it continues in “Spring Roll Skin”. “Latitude Bera” from the beginning delights me in every way.  Listening to this album for the first time gave me the distinct feeling of the excitement of discovering an old vinyl record from 1965. Britta Pejic conjures Joni Mitchell, The Doors, and James Taylor.

“I just love music so much,” said Britta, “I don’t know if I’d do any justice writing live songs So I choose things that one might not think to write songs about. Like people hiding in drains. Or scaring people away with your cooking. But I also like to incorporate a lot of dreams into lyrics (Abraham Lincoln’s glowing head at the bottom of a lake in Maine, A panel of judges with clip boards and lab coats watching you while you swim), and I guess some age old sentiments like trying to create your own realm when you’re a foreigner. Is that age old?

“Late and Smart” a booming acoustic guitar,  is built on harmonic basslines and manipulated drums, the song strikes with an almost hyppi vibe to it, with choral sing-alongs and an unconstrained musical chaos pervading the song.
“Between  The Tines” showcases the range of Britta’s vocals and songwriting skills. She has a commanding lower register that fascinates me. I think it’s a lead single and it reminds me of the early 70s folk-pop phase from a production point of view. It’s a lovely track with some beautiful philosophical lyrics, guitar solo, vintage keyboards and vocals beautifully to allow reflection to exist.

Final track “Everytime / Forced Perspective” is the heaviest on the album but comes with an afterglow in second part as if you’ve just exhaled out the last breath you have and you’ve given up to the chaos of Britta’s art. She is not afraid to speak out, gives free rein to her imagination and creates a comfortable space for the listener. But if the song needs to go screaming, Britta screams, if it needs to make a mess and make people feel uncomfortable, then so be it. It is encouraging that the release of the third album is scheduled for 2023.

“New album is in the works.” Britta says “It too has taken a year and a half so far. I started recording it in France with Lole. But I just moved back to the states. I’ll finish recording here, then bounce everything back to Lole to be mixed and mastered (because we can in this day and age and I trust him with my music. He has a lot of patience!) So right now everything will be bouncing between two continents.”

Yes, “Latitude Bera” Is a true jewel  made to sound like vintage  recordings from the 1960s. It is a beautiful blend, held together by a voice personality that has more emotion, force and creativity than most mainstream bands and artists have. Throughout it all the album might be hallucinogenic and sometimes difficult but Britta Pejic keeps it catchy. She isn’t making her music for masses or to play on the radio, it’s more of a comfortable trip back to the past. I really clicked with this album and it deserves a lot more attention so if you like true art, give this a whirl. Britta’s music is like wine, with time it will only get better.

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