Sweet Soul Light
The songwriting and singing of Cheryl Bliss have been described by critics as 'stimulating, refreshingly different, and completely cool' and feature an eclectic mix of her ethereal, emotive vocals, solid songwriting, and lush, earthy arrangements. Her new album "The Sweet Soul Light" was released June 14, 2005. "This album was an amazing journey," says Cheryl. "I began by recording some tracks with Mark Howard (U2, Tom Waits, Peter Gabriel) and Daryl Johnson (Emmylou Harris, Neville Brothers), and while what we had sounded pretty good, it was missing that magic. So I called on my friend Phil Keaggy, and that's when everything fell into place." Cheryl started from scratch, recording all her initial tracks for a new collection of songs in her own studio, playing keyboards, piano, and Wurlitzer, and adding drum programming and vocals. She brought these tracks to Keaggy's Kegsworth Studio in Nashville. "What happened next was one of those experiences you just can't plan or pre-arrange," enthuses Cheryl. "Phil was having trouble with his new recording system, so when I arrived he had a group of friends there, helping out. One thing led to another, and soon an entire band was creating this sound that was so amazing ... it was bigger than any of us alone. It was one of those serendipitous moments you always hope for. " The remainder of the album was recorded in short spurts over the period of a few months, using the same small group of musicians. It was mixed by John Paterno (Robbie Williams, Badly Drawn Boy, Elvis Costello) and mastered by Richard Dodd (Tom Petty, Green Day, Sheryl Crow, Johnny Cash). "The Sweet Soul Light" represents a melding of Cheryl's influences, with glimpses of U2, Radiohead, Peter Gabriel, Bjork, and Daniel Lanois. From the pounding drums of "Fast as I Can" to the gorgeous, knotted layers of "Last Chance" to the huge, soaring sound of "Wild Wild World," the album ties together a universal theme''not being afraid to leave behind what's "safe" to reach for what you were born to find. "Obviously, we write out of where we are," Cheryl explains. "I would hope this album is as cathartic for the listener to hear as it was for me to write." The lovely "Sleep Well Tonight" was penned after uber-producer Daniel Lanois compared Cheryl's voice to Julee Cruise, whom he says has "one of the most beautiful ethereal voices ever." "I decided to try to write a song that Julee might sing," says Cheryl. "She is so serene and uniquely rich; it was a challenge."