Claudia Koreck: Holodeck

Out of This World and Home for Dinner

Listening Post 134. As consistently as she releases sparkling albums, Claudia Koreck reaches new heights. Her 2007 debut ignited a revival of Bavarian-dialect song, a movement that now counts her as its Grande Dame. In short order one of her compositions became a major film title track and she toured Germany with the Eagles. Her success rests less on strategic choices than in simply not letting herself be forced into either/or boxes—she’s a small town girl and a cosmopolitan woman from Munich and a barefoot-globe trotting singer-songwriter threading folk, blues, rock and pop through her expressive voice and guitar. While other European artists cross over to English and ditch native languages, Koreck wrote nine songs for Holodeck, providing separate English and Bavarian-German tracks for each. The album is named after the Star Trek virtual reality chamber that allows astronauts to experience diverse worlds and is inspired by global and personal concerns—growing xenophobia and a double-booked life, both demanding a safe space where an artist or astronaut can float dreamily and nurture hope without drifting too far from family and civic engagement. The collection, recorded mostly in Los Angeles (the real, not virtual, L.A.), has a distinct American flavor, with occasional country touches. It opens with Hallabrooklyn, a bluesy leap from Koreck’s home town of Hallabruck to New York, but the true escape is the jaunty California, where “I’m gonna leave my grief behind… and let the sunshine in.” Defining images appear in Paper Aeroplane—“I’m not flying anywhere/The wind decides/Where I’m turning to” (video 1); and in Wall (Wand), where she reveals, “I want to change, but remain who I am/Find my peace and be free/That’s my aim.” In her career arc, Koreck has a flawless sense of direction—each album takes her farther than ever and still brings her home. (Honu Lani Records)

Note 1: The Making of Holodeck (video 2) includes brief excerpts from several album tracks, including California, Paper Aeroplane, I’m Over It (Neuer Mensch), I Got Hope, Another Beautiful Day (Himmel so nah) and Wall (Wand).

Note 2: For the review of Claudia Koreck’s previous album, Stadt-Land-Fluss, see Listening Post 51, June 13, 2016.

 

Paper Aeroplane: Hey paper aeroplane
/I wanna see the world like you
Hey paper aeroplane
/Fade into the blue

I’m not flying anywhere/The wind decides

Where I’m turning to

I don’t feel no pain at all/What bothers me

Gets swallowed by the moon

 

California: I’m going to California
/I’m gonna leave my grief behind

I’m gonna join the place where the sunshine reigns through the night

I’m gonna put all my broken pieces
/Into bottles of delicate fun

I’m gonna be a cruising queen in a convertible

Just open the world in my head

And let the sunshine in, let the sunshine in
The waves make a beautiful bed

And I lay down within

And let the sunshine in

See I don’t wanna be too far

From California

 

Wall: Oh this wall is my life, and I raise my eyes

In the past I would have used my wings to fly

But now I’ve grown roots to feel safe and sound

No more chasing the clouds, I am bound to the ground…

And when I close my eyes, I can see so much more
Deep down inside there’s a permanent war

I know I want to change, but remain who I am
Find my peace and be free, that’s my aim

 

 


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