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Seattle, Washington, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | INDIE

Seattle, Washington, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2014
Solo Rock EDM




"Magnet Magazine Mp3 at 3pm"

It’s not quite the “Seattle sound” that some people may be expecting, but Pacific Northwestern artist Barbara Trentalange doesn’t seem to have any trouble crafting her own brand of sonic assault. - Magnet Magazine

"Delusions of Adequacy Review"

Trentalange captures this violent bursting of pure emotion with trippy, hypnotizing rhythms and one painfully gorgeous voice. Each note stabs and comforts, aching for desire and fulfillment. It is as devastating as it is romantic, polarizing and deeply yearning for any sort of an out from relationships that will ultimately destroy all involved. Trentalange’s voice simmers and murks through tracks like "Boxer’s Wife" and "Rabbit," charged with delicate and deliberately contained fits of passionate brutality. Trentalange has a lot of power in her voice that she intentionally holds back, teasing her most primal instincts, a technique echoed in the airy, restrained cello and piano. It is a marvelous musical choice - it intensifies each track, anxiously building to abrupt, stubborn (yet ultimately satisfying) anti-climaxes. The whole album feels like slowly twisting the cap off a shaken-up bottle of soda, setting a creeping, almost ominous, mood, similar to Massive Attack's Mezzanine and Fiona Apple's Extraordinary Machine.

Kudos to Trentalange for not only making such a real and human album, but also presenting it as vulnerable as it really is. Photo Album Of Complex Relationships is a raw and carnal album, and it would be contradictory to the spirit of it to dress it up any other way. Thankfully, there is no silky sheen to protect it or make it look nice and easy. The tell-tale signs of over-production are nowhere to be found on the record, and so it remains a visceral listen, shivering and naked inside my CD player. It’s a disturbing piece of art, and that's what makes it sexy. As an album, it comes highly recommended. -Matt Cohen - Delusions of Adequacy

"Skratch Review"

The debut solo album from Barbara Trentalange (well, she’s dropped the Barbara), former member of Seattle bands Spyglass and Crooked Fingers, is a shockingly sophisticated effort that places her at the front of a very moody genre. Her tight blend of silky harmonies and disturbing background music echoes the dark themes of the songs on this album. From abusive partners to stormy, failed relationships, this album reeks of raw emotion. Trentalange’s haunting vocals gingerly pick their way through this landscape of jagged feelings. With musical backing that includes cellos, a theremin, and wine glasses, Trentalange has created a musical landscape that is uniquely her own. There are a lot of dark torch singers in this shabby world, but none more velvety and atmospheric than Trentalange. –Dug - Skratch Magazine

"Daily Tar Heel Review"

Former Crooked Fingers member Barbara Trentalange takes listeners for a ride on an emotional roller coaster in her first solo album Photo Album of Complex Relationships. The creative efforts of singer/songwriter Trentalange - she's dropped the Barbara from her moniker - result in a moving and interesting album.

Photo Album of Complex Relationships is a triple threat of strong instrumentation, lyrics and vocals. The album's 12 tracks incorporate Trentalange's unique and oftentimes haunting voice woven into diverse instrumentation of strings, piano and strong percussion lines.

Trentalange offers the listener thoughtful, dark lyrics without crossing the line over to melodrama. The song "Rabbit" has eerie, broken sounds coupled with the description of a hunt, "the ground vibrates underfoot/ nothing but a skittish rabbit/ it was the last breath that it took." "Rabbit" and other tracks can be unsettling experiences but are nonetheless intriguing and will hold the listener's attention.

Though Trentalange's sound is different and engaging, some of the tracks run together and the moody feel becomes repetitive. But mostly the songs are stimulating. Tracks such as "Take Me Home" use a simple phrasing and build musically and vocally into a beautiful and abrupt climax.

This solid first album will leave listeners hoping for another.
-Rachel Brody - Daily Tar Heel

"Venus Zine Review"

The first solo album by Crooked Fingers alum Barbara Trentalange bridges the gap between Portishead's Dummy in 1995 and a post-meltdown sound of the future. The Seattle-based singer and multi-instrumentalist, who wrote and recorded all of the disc's songs, takes the moody, hypnotic quality of mid-90's trip-hop and adds an art-rockish urgency that pays a bigger debt to Kraftwerk than to Roxy Music. The result is twelve magnetic songs in minor keys that are a far cry from your older sister's goth records.

Layers of cello, piano, flute, organ, and a slithery theremin flesh out the down-tempo compositions and prevent the listener from slipping into the land of Nod. Trentalange's voice is like warm caramel spiked with bourbon on these dark vignettes - a mix of Annie Lennox's most sinister growl and PJ Harvey's vocal anguish.

No one could ever accuse Trentalange of being blithe. The first track, "Boxer's Wife," grabs one by the throat with a tribal drumbeat and propulsive chorus of grief and desperation, while "Lonely Land" speaks of seduction by a handsome devil with its mellow piano chords and sultry tempo. In "Monster," the album's most daring song, the singer places herself in the role of an abusive lover. Over a deceptively sexy rhythm she threatens, "Cover up your bruises babe / No one believes they're from my hands." The heaviness is then alleviated by "Take Me Home," a lilting love song that counteracts the album's chill.

With Photo Album of Complex Relationships, Trentalange boldly voices a beautiful anxiety that seems unusually prescient. This is disturbing music for disturbing times. - venus magazine

"West Coast Performer Review"

Trentalange is the performing name of Barbara Trentalange, a moody noir chanteuse from Seattle. Previously in the bands Spyglass and Crooked Fingers, Trentalange sets out solo with her new work, entitled Photo Album of Complex Relationships. Multitalented, Trentalange not only wrote all of the music, she also played everything from keyboards to wineglasses and co-produced the collection.

The results are a stew of mixed emotions and surprise endings. Trentalange waxes lyrically on topics from the more sinister side of life, with slender symbolic threads connecting several of the subjects from song to song. "Rabbit" draws parallels between a hunted animal and the female victim of a killer. The murder theme surfaces again in "Stand Alone," whose streetwalker victim wears flowers as for her own funeral, an icon echoed elsewhere in the rose petals of "Sweetheart."

"Boxer's Wife" uses melancholy words to express the fears of a woman who loves a fighting man. This song has the distinct resonance of Joy Division in its use of a thumping drum and droning sound. Other moments on the album bring to mind both Sarah McLachlan with their soaring harmonies, and Lisa Gerrard of Dead Can Dance with their more primal vocalizing. There is a smoky cabaret influence here as well, most notably on "Lonely Land," which has some of the album's best lines: "He was perched upon the barstool / Looking casual and cool / Looking for submission / From some sweet little fool." A neon sign could not state that sentiment more clearly.

A visual artist as well as a musician, Trentalange also designed the CD sleeve imagery; it's dark but with a subtext of self-empowerment that depicts her slipping out of the bonds of emotional entrapment - a far more positive fate than some of her own self-made heroines. This final vision rings true: a lady this smart wouldn't stay in a bad relationship for long; she'd mine it for exactly this kind of creative material and move on.
-Susan Brooks - West Coast Performer

"Named one of the top 10 up-and-coming Seattle acts with the potential to blow your mind."

Trentalange (first name Barbara) is a multi-instrumentalist and former member of Crooked Fingers who takes a darker path in her first solo record, "Photo Album of Complex Relationships." The record is moody and sprawling, tempered by Trentalange's softly dry voice. Descriptions of gothish piano tracks layered with deep cello may call Evanescence to mind, but this is a far cry from girly angry goth rock. "Photo Album..." is subtle and complex, while boasting solid songwriting and stand-out musicianship from Trentalange and guest musicians including Mark Pickerel and Head Like a Kite's Dave Einmo.
-Rob E. Miller - Sound Magazine


Still working on that hot first release.



Influential, now legendary, female-focused zine Venus (RIP) referred to the 2006 debut Trentalange album Photo Album of Complex Relationships as disturbing music for disturbing times, and while the times might still be disturbing, Barbara Trentalangeis writing from a more joyous place than before.  Her mix of Annie Lennoxs most sinister growl and PJ Harveys vocal anguish (also noted by Venus) remains, but becoming a mother since the release of her most recent album Awakening, Level One in 2009, has changed Trentalanges mood.

Fans of the artists work will not miss Trentalanges sensitivity to the human soul, as her deft hand at drawing character studies continues throughout Same Illusion, her upcoming third album, scheduled for release on January 28th, 2014. And whileTrentalanges songs are still dark in timbre on the new record, they now shine with glimmers of brightness that revolve around themes of love, longing, and spirit. Sonically, the tunes reflect this new light, as well.

I wanted to draw on my love of soul music and singer-songwriters for this record, Trentalange says of Same Illusion, listing Dusty SpringfieldStevie WonderDolly PartonLou ReedNina Simone, and Bruce Springsteen as artists that influenced the tightly focused album that draws much of its precision fromTrentalanges disciplined work ethic.

After five years as frontwoman for the darkly sophisticated Seattle-based band SpyglassTrentalange already knew what it was like to work around other peoples schedules, but the creation of Same Illusion put these skills to an even greater test.

I needed to wait until my daughter was in pre-school before I could concentrate on writing again, she says of her new life as both artist and mother.  And once she was in school, I treated making this record like a day job. Every morning after dropping her off, I would have four hours to work on writing and recording simultaneously. When the time was up, I had to walk away.

The new process gave Trentalange a fresh perspective on her work, which turned editing her rough batch of songs into a cutthroat experience. I threw most of it out, she explains of how 30 songs were whittled down to the final eight that made the record. I didnt try to salvage something if it wasnt working. Ultimately, these brutal decisions for her make for an easy and seamless experience for the listener.

As with all previous Trentalange records, Same Illusion was produced by Martin Feveyear (Brandi CarlileMark Lannegan,Jessie Sykes), who Trentalange met during her time as a touring member of Crooked Fingers.  The first single from the album isReconnected, a very personal tune that speaks directly to what makes Same Illusion a bright light in Trentalanges growing catalog.

By exploring my emotions and being honest with myself, Ive been going through a long process of healing, she says candidly of her recovery from clinical depression. Reconnected is about this journey towards forgiving myself for all of the self-destructive beliefs I have been holding onto, and learning to love my spirit again.

Of the albums intriguing title, Trentalange explains that Same Illusion is an acknowledgment that reality is just a distortion, a frank but true acceptance of life being what we make it.  As heard on this latest album of songs, it seems that Trentalange is making it well.

Same Illusion, the latest album by Seattle-based songwriter and musician Barbara Trentalange is scheduled for release onJanuary 28th, 2014.  The albums first single Reconnected is streaming now.

Band Members