Released On: Oct 20, 2009
Released By: Blue Note Records
Raised by a single mother, Kristina Train took music and ballet lessons, sang in church and school choirs, and soaked up the southern soul, blues, and gospel music that have had such a profound effect on her work. As a teenager, she unearthed her mom's tucked-away stash of Janis Joplin, Joni Mitchell and Aretha Franklin albums and tried to make her voice sound raspier. Train, born in New York City and raised in Savannah, GA, has created an urbane, soulful, and lush debut album which showcases her stunning voice, titled Spilt Milk. As a vocalist, Train alternates between gentle balladeering and powerful belting, her bluesy vibrato revealing the breadth and elegance of a young Dusty Springfield — a little bit London, a little bit Memphis.
Spilt Milk was recorded in London with Jimmy Hogarth, the sought-after British producer whose recent credits include Duffy, Corinne Bailey Rae, and James Blunt. "Kristina possesses a true classic voice — an effortless delivery with complete commitment to the emotion of the song," Hogarth says. "It was a real pleasure and an honor to have worked on this very special recording." Powerhouse songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and arranger Eg White (a Grammy Awards Record of the Year nominee earlier this year for Adele's "Chasing Pavements") co-wrote most of the songs with Train, who delivers them so convincingly that the words could be pages torn from her diary. The title track unfolds with an almost cinematic grandeur, its string-laden chorus swelling with widescreen melancholy. Balancing the sultry with the strong, Train excels on bittersweet breakup/makeup numbers like "Don't Remember" and "It's Over Now." As the aphorism of the album title suggests, Train knows how, over the course of a song, to walk away from a relationship with tremendous style.
"I wanted my album to offer glimpses of my influences, but not sound like them," Train says. "Jimmy, Eg, and I are of similar background, we appreciate the same music and we have similar tastes. The arrangements are just what we felt the songs needed. They give the songs flavor, but don't try to steal anybody else's style. My hope was for the album to nod to the music I love, while still sounding modern."