Andrea Wittgens Biography

“This imaginative pop maestro's delivery and message are so delightfully refreshing that it's hard to remember she's working from the pop music playbook.” SHAWN TELFORD, Seattle Sound Magazine
 
Forget all that compared to this and that stuff, Wittgens is her own voice and it’s one you’ll be glad to hear. Hot stuff from a newcomer that’s sure to be around for a while. – CHRIS SPECTOR, Midwest Record
 
Common wisdom in the entertainment business dictates if you can't describe it in two sentences, go back to the boards and refine your pitch. However, those experienced and well traveled in the business know that in truth, it's the ones that you can't describe easily that are the true and lasting artists (think Nellie McKay, Rufus Wainwright, Jeff Buckley).
 
New York City-based singer/songwriter Andrea Wittgens is surely one of those artists.  Armed with witty yet disarmingly honest lyrics and a voice that simply soars, Wittgens creates songs that are both hypnotic and exuberant.  In the words of Shawn Telford from Seattle Sound Magazine  “a silver tongue rides a voice that flitters with the wonderful unpredictability of a butterfly and the laser precision of, well, a laser.”
 
Originally from the small town of Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Andrea's earliest stage training was in classical piano and modern dance. She followed her studies all the way to a Music degree at Queen's University but always felt a wistful pull away from the classical path and towards the pop-rock scenes. Eventually moving to Seattle, WA in the mid-90's, she cut her teeth as front woman and songwriter for pop band Sugartown.  Their debut EP  "Blue Eyed Fool" and follow up LP “How Do You Love, Aquamarine” stirred up a wave of notice despite being an earnest fun-pop outfit pushing against the considerable tide of flannel-shirted grunge. 
 
By the new millennium, Andrea was ready to step out on her own.  She had also caught the attention of Grammy producer Bob Power (Erykah Badu, Tribe Called Quest, Citizen Cope) and in 2006 he produced her first solo album “Alibi”.  The EP and Andrea's instantly arresting voice garnered excited reviews both in the Northwest and in her new home of New York City where she performed to packed houses on the lower east side.  Shortly after, in 2008, she followed up with “In The Skyline”, a 12-song ode to escapism in a more viscerally emotional live band setting thanks to rock producer-mixer Johnny Sangster (Young Fresh Fellows, Mudhoney, The Briefs). The critically acclaimed LP also included collaborations with former Sugartown band-mate Vincent Gates and a reunion with Bob Power.
 
“In The Skyline” brought many opportunities to perform and tour and Andrea jumped in with both feet, touring throughout the country to promote the record.  By 2010, just when she was starting to yearn for the more insular life of writing, she attended for the first time the songwriting festival Steel Bridge Songfest in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin.  The only of its kind in the world, the annual festival as well as its sister festivals Dark Songs and Love On Holiday introduced Andrea to the power of collaborative writing. 
 
Her latest recording project, a set of two 5-song EPs released in late 2016, is the result of five years of songwriting collaborations.  The first EP “Girl In A Box” produced by Geoff Stanfield (Sun Kill Moon, Leah Siegel) weaves her darker lyrical material into beautifully strange and cinematic soundscapes while its sister EP “Grace” produced by longtime band-mate and collaborator Vincent Gates, explores the realm of the spirit with more acoustic and gospel-infused instrumentation.  Both EP’s are out now and available for purchase at www.andreawittgens.com
 
VINTAGE GUITAR MAGAZINE
ANDREA WITTGENS / In The Skyline:  Andrea Wittgens' guileless vocals and cheeky lyrics make her latest effort as effervescent as a bottle of Dr. Pepper opened at 9,000 feet.  With musical compositions that combine the energy of early punk with the slickness of modern pop, she creates music that is perfect for now.  All 12 original songs here feature a relaxed, natural approach coupled with a theatrical edge.  The overall mood is quirky, yet polished in a way alien from a typical singer/songwriter album.  Wittgens' sensibility is closer to Tori Amos than Nancy Griffith.  Songs such as "Creature Feature" have a pop sparkle as well as a level of musical sophistication that mixes various genres in a uniquely cohesive manner.  Multiple time signatures, key changes, and occasionally dense orchestration make each song an aural journey rather than merely another pop ditty.  Co-produced by Bob Power, guitarist Vincent Gates, and Wittgens, the album was recorded in several studios, but all the tunes share a rich aural palette.  Liberal use of mellotrons, farfisas, and string quartets add a sonic depth that makes every tune special.  If you're expecting a singer's showcase or song-driven album, In The Skyline will come as a surprise.  It accomplishes something few contemporary albums achieve: a cohesive and unique musical statement that defies labels and simple descriptions. - Steven Stone

 MIDWEST RECORD
ANDREA WITTGENS / In the Skyline: You want to know what it is you dig about Wittgens and her music but can’t put your finger on it? Suppose Lisa Loeb had something to back it up beside the glasses and the short dress. Got it? Witty and engaging singer/songwriter brings to bear on the weighty things that weigh today’s young people down, but she veers toward how to escape from it as opposed to just kvetching about it. Certainly one of those low key affairs that sneak up on you out of the box and keep you on board. Forget all that compared to this and that stuff, Wittgens is her own voice and it’s one you’ll be glad to hear. Hot stuff from a newcomer that’s sure to be around for a while. – Chris Spector

CHARLESTON GAZETTE
Andrea Wittgens In The Skyline (Trapdoor) - This Canadian-born, Seattle-based singer/songwriter/keyboardist has a fresh, beguiling voice that adds depth and personality to her tunes while her musical approach will keep your interest from beginning to end. Born in Nova Scotia and schooled in Ontario, Wittgens moved to Seattle in the mid-‘90s where she joined Sugartown. After five years, she struck out on her own with the 2006 EP “Alibi.” From the opening of the clever “Punchline,” the full-length follow up is chock full of songs based around her voice and piano - and, with wonderfully creative arrangements and instrumentation paint one vivid picture after another. “Empires of Straw” adds a string quartet while, in the middle of the quirky “Marching Orders,” she adds a gorgeous choral interlude. With a tip of the hat to Brecht, Jellyfish and maybe even XTC, Wittgens’ music is a soundtrack for a waiting room in a bordello or perhaps a carnival. Throughout the dozen tracks, the ideas and creativity seem to flow effortlessly, from the rock edge to “Blue-Eyed Fool” and the meticulously orchestrated “Everything Is Relative to You.” The Beatlesque “Beautiful You” sounds precisely like its title: With a flanged, almost liquid guitar line, the songs ebbs and swells from nothing but Wittgens voice to a beautiful ensemble. – Michael Lipton

SEATTLE SOUND MAGAZINE
Strength can be commanding, but so can eloquence. Especially when a silver tongue rides a voice that flitters with the wonderful unpredictability of a butterfly and the laser precision of, well, a laser. Such is the case for Seattle's Andrea Wittgens, whose two greatest assets (her voice and her pen) both underline and elevate each other. Her poetry is thoughtful, genuine and, on many occasions, as playful as a cabaret. Meanwhile, her pop ambitions are never too obvious; in fact, they're often obfuscated by chamber-sized orchestrations that oscillate between classically minded, grand strategies and flashy accoutrements. Beneath her penchant for torch songs and love songs is a tendency toward writing about unreal realms as diverse as Oz, Mordor and B-movies. This imaginative pop maestro's delivery and message are so delightfully refreshing that it's hard to remember she's working from the pop music playbook. SHAWN TELFORD.
Standout Tracks: "Cardboard Cutouts," "Blue-Eyed Fool" ★★★★1/2

"
Incredible! Her songwriting sensibilities are the ilk of Edie Brickell, Carol Bayer Sager, and Joni Mitchell. And her voice just soars! You've got to invest your time to hear this." - Q-tip (A Tribe Called Quest and solo Artist)

"Magnetic, compelling. People are just drawn to the sound of her voice. She's the real thing." -- Bob Power, multi-platinum and Grammy-winning record mixer/producer

"Exquisitely evocative of the finest popmeisters of the past three decades. Music that is very new and fresh, unlike anything I've ever heard before." -- Bill Fisher, Victory Review