Always reaching, always expanding, Becca Stevens reinvents herself once again with Regina. In the years since the release of her critically acclaimed third album, Perfect Animal, Stevens has undertaken a journey that began with a study of Queen Elizabeth I as inspiration for a commission to write a concert of new music, which expanded into tributes to various queens from history, literature, folklore, and her own imagination, songs inspired by the regal and divine, and finally Regina as a voice, like a trusted friend or an alter ego.
As for her muse for the album, Stevens explains, “Regina is like an alter ego, or an imaginary friend. Like a dream, she exists separate from me but is reliant upon my consciousness to exist. I carry her with me in everything now. So I guess you could say that neither ends; in Becca, there is always Regina, and in Regina, there is always Becca.”
Produced by Troy Miller, Regina features creative and performance collaborations with Snarky Puppy’s Michael League, Jacob Collier, Laura Mvula, and the legendary David Crosby. The album was recorded in several phases – in London with Miller, a second London session with Collier (a co-producer on the album along with Stevens and League), a session with Miller in Brooklyn, NY, a session with League in Brooklyn and a final session with League and Stevens’ bandmates in Brooklyn as well. Additional collaborators include Alan Hampton, Jo Lawry and the award-winning Attacca String Quartet as well as Stevens’ trusted band members Liam Robinson, Chris Tordini, and Jordan Perlson (performing here).
The New York Times, describes Stevens as ‘a best-kept secret’ and ‘impressively absorbing’. She has recently featured on Snarky Puppy’s new Family Dinner Volume 2 as well as collaborating with various artists such as Esperanza Spalding, Brad Mehldau, Jose James, and recently on David Crosby’s new tour Lighthouse.
Stevens style has always evaded categorization, and with Regina, even more so. One hears pop, rock, R&B and funk side-by-side with traditional Appalachian and British folk, classical, world music, and jazz. Intricate instrumentation and rhythms seamlessly intertwine with vocals and melodies that work their way into your brain. Stevens has been compared to Bjork, St Vincent, Tori Amos and Joni Mitchell and is certainly making her mark on the international music scene in a big way, establishing herself as a long term and important artist for the future.