Vanessa Peters
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Vanessa Peters

Dallas, Texas, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2003 | INDIE

Dallas, Texas, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2003
Band Americana Singer/Songwriter


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"The Best Kind of Singer-Songwriter"

Born in Dallas but now an Austin resident, Vanessa Peters is the best kind of singer-songwriter: astute enough to explore the deeper recesses of relationships but tough enough to avoid the pitfalls of sentimentality. Little Films, produced by Peters along with Salim Nourallah, is folk-pop of a rare quality. Encompassing a pleasing assortment of styles ('60s retro jangle, confessional '70s soft rock and modern alt-country), Films features a baker's dozen of well-thought-out songs played with just the right amount of grit. - The Dallas Observer

"Heartache with Hardwork"

Little Films is the newest record from Vanessa Peters and Ice Cream on Mondays, and if I had gotten my hands on it a month ago, it would have easily made my "best of 2006" list. And while I'll need a little more time to really absorb it, I don't think it's a stretch to say it would have made the top 10. This is the record I've been waiting for Aimee Mann to make for years. Which isn't any kind of knock on Aimee Mann, who I love, but a statement of just how good I think Little Films is. The voice is one place where the comparison of the two is clear, but the real similarity, I think, is in the songwriting. Peters shares the strange and wonderful talent of taking abstract stories and making them feel incredibly personal, of exhuming the passion, the glory, the sadness from the most mundane places. It makes for an emotional album, but one that never feels overdone or too precious. - Charles Olney

"Vanessa Peters gets better and better"

"This record is a significant achievement by Vanessa with the Sentimentals. It is highly recommended."

Full text:
Originating from Dallas, but equally at home in Italy, Vanessa Peters is an experienced singer songwriter. She has toured throughout Europe and the States and this is her seventh full length album. It features six all-new songs, three covers of songs from her back catalogue, and an excellent cover of Hem’s “Pacific Street.” Vanessa has been compared to Sarah Harmer and Beth Orton. But, she is distinctively different from such artistes. In fact, her sometimes hesitating, always confiding voice has an original and appealing quality. Her personal and reflective lyrics catch the listener unawares.

In alluding to the stories of personal, everyday life there are the references to places: London and Berlin; and private descriptions, for instance, of a persona as a speck of dust, unable to be touched this time. And then, extending the metaphor, explaining, “I walked away/ Like I always do / Sweeping the path behind me as I went.” It is that depth of understanding that enlightens the personal narrative, and coupled with Vanessa’s voice, marks this as a stand out record. Here is a blossoming artist, distinctively different.

On this album, Peters’ backing band is the Sentimentals (with whom she has played on tours of the States), a Danish band consisting of M.C. Hansen (guitars), Nikolaj Wolf (upright bass) and Jacob Chano (drums, percussion). The record is produced by Rip Rowan (band mate, keyboards on this album, and husband). The band's elegant, restrained style is ideal, the result of being used to playing together. This is a collection that those interested in Americana music must explore in detail. Listen, for instance to “Afford to Pretend,” where the personal implication of the details and their imagery is where Vanessa’s song writing works. In this song there are roads, two, four, and now eight lane motorways, “obliterating” the familiar fields you drive through, made more startling by the context of the driver: “Right now I’m so poor that / I can’t even afford to pretend I’m fine.” Here is a writer dealing, in an original way, with being trapped.

Vanessa’s stance and stand-out voice address the heat and hardship of life and relationships, peppering the narrative with references to being stoned like a martyr, battling against the Gold Rush and commenting on “What’s done cannot be undone.” So the lyric concludes with these words: “So, I’ll keep this red curtain/ Pulled round my face./And when this song is done,/ I’ll quietly close the lid of the case, / Pack up my guitar and run.” What an ending! Vanessa is a writer who knows her Shakespeare as well as her Baz Luhrmann perhaps. This record is a significant achievement by Vanessa with the Sentimentals. It is highly recommended. - Americana UK

"8 out of 10 stars"

In a box marked ‘sounds like Sarah Harmer’ I store away records like this for rainy days and those chosen moments when I feel the need of female serenading. An Austin native yet now more accustomed to a life on the road, Vanessa Peters serves up a lovely dollop of mainstream roots with a side order of twang and just a dash of jangle that has at its core a witty and observant songwriter whose imagination is allowed to roam free.

Hooks a-plenty 'Sweetheart, Keep Your Chin Up' is essentially a pop record that would brighten up any of those utterly dull daytime shows on Radio 2. Take 'Austin, I’ve Made A Mess’ for example, a record that screams out ‘PLAY ME’, was written to warm the cockles of Wogan’s heart, ah be jeezus it would. 'Drowning In Amsterdam' is one of those infuriating songs (but in a good way, if you know what I mean) that you can’t get out of your head, all layered and lithe. Whilst 'The Next Big Bang' sounds like a song Aimee Mann would be delighted to perform let alone write. Any band called Ice Cream On Mondays had better be bleeding good. Thankfully they are – crisp, responsive, and unobtrusive. Just how I like ‘em.

It’s a cliché to say there isn’t a bad track on the record but, well, there isn’t a bad track on the record. Five albums in and Peters has surely cracked it this time. I defy anyone with a ear for a catchy melody sung in a beautiful, rich and completely engaging voice not to be enamoured with this baby. Fans of Sheryl Crow will love it I am sure. Lets hope they buy it in their droves

Date review added: Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Reviewer: Del Day
Reviewers Rating: 8 out of 10 - Americana UK

"Probably Her Best Yet"

"Well, rest-assured, it is yet another gem of an album, probably her best yet."

Full text:
It is hard to believe that Vanessa Peters is on album number seven, and after the much-acclaimed Christmas album released last year, many have been waiting on tenterhooks to see what Peters has got up her sleeve next. Well, rest-assured, it is yet another gem of an album, probably her best yet.

After the split from her band three years ago, it has clearly been a long, painful road back to the studio. A lot of the songs on The Burn, The Truth, The Lies are unashamedly honest and at times, quite dark. Even though the lyrics are probably the deepest we’ve seen from Vanessa, there is still the trademark light-hearted musicality which makes this album so easy to listen to and connect with. Peters proves that you don’t need to depress your listener in order to get your thoughts and experiences across. Many of the songs on this record will appear on people’s summer playlists, especially the delightful ‘Bright Red’ and the wonderfully sincere single, ‘The State I’m In’.

Vanessa’s choice of musicians for this album is again testament to how far she has come since her debut in 2002. Recruiting the likes of Rip Rowan and Polyphonic Spree’s Jason Garner and allowing them musical freedom during the recording process has resulted in a fresh spontaneous sound which further enhances the stunning lyrics Peters has brought to the table.

Every song on this album leads us in deeper into the world of Vanessa and because of her knack to create infectiously catchy pop songs, it only takes a couple of listens before they are embedded in your memory. ‘Copilot’ and ‘Grateful’ are two of many songs that are perfect examples of Peter’s pop song-writing credentials.

Quirky, sweet, sincere, memorable – the list of adjectives go on for this album. Vanessa Peters has shared good and bad memories with us on The Burn, The Truth, The Lies and I can’t wait for her to share some more stories with us on album number eight! - For Folk's Sake

"A Brilliant Future"

“…Se è vero, come si dice, che “il buongiorno si vede dal mattino,” non è un’utopia prevedere per i “Vanessa Peters and Ice Cream on Mondays” un brillante futuro.” - La Nazione, Arezzo, 1 Marzo 2005

["If it is true what they say, that a great day you can see from the morning, then it isn't farfetched to say that already a brilliant future can be seen for Vanessa Peters and Ice Cream on Mondays."]
- La Nazione, Arezzo

"The Austin Chronicle"

Vanessa Peters & Ice Cream on Mondays' Thin Thread follows up 2003's Sparkler with a giant step forward. "The Maybe Love Song," "A Few Nights' Confusion," and "You're Losing Me" skew indie rock more than roots rock, balancing folk and pop deftly. Peters' grasp of her craft matched her confidence. - Margaret Moser

"summertime college-radio jangle with intriguing, enigmatic lyrics...Peters is a true poet."

"Literary folk-pop delivered with coffeehouse warmth and sundae sweetness, "Little Films" is an album of subtle charms. So subtle, in fact, that you'll be win over by it without realizing it. Vanessa Peters has a voice like Beth Orton or Dido; it has an understated beauty that colors the lyrics with feeling and personality but doesn't jump in your face.

The title track offers summertime college-radio jangle with intriguing, enigmatic lyrics. Peters' words are like splintered pieces of a puzzle; put them together and you start to see stories unfolding in your brain. The song seems to address emotional distance from a parent and the pain which comes from remembering better days. The "Little Films" are childhood memories ("playing catch with you at a stoplight") uncovered, vague recollections of long ago that continue to haunt an adult mind in sharp, obscure fragments. "No Sense" seems like a continuation of the tale as the narrator attempts to describe a lost loved one, possibly a father. They're both wounded, heartfelt confessions.

Peters is a true poet. These are not pointless, angst-ridden diary chapters. They're revealing, wonderfully written tunes that move and delight the ears." - Whisperin' and Hollerin' (UK)

"literate, haunted gem"

"Easily distinguishing itself from the glut of female singer/songwriters is this literate, haunted gem….the title track [Little Films] is pop perfection, a jangly jewel that camouflages its melancholy lyrics with wind-swept harmonies and ringing guitar riffs." - Michael Sutton, CD - Michael Sutton


"I have listened to the album twice now and I am still unable to adequately word my thoughts...the album title is genius. The more I listen to the songs, the more I am amazed at the simple brilliance of that single word....Funny that I didn't realize these events, moments, and memories even had a soundtrack until I listened to the lyrics she had assigned them. She and her collaborators have really created a wonderful collection of songs..." - Matt Magruder

"Stylus Magazine"

Review of Blackout EP

You know the formula - Vanessa Peters sings and plays acoustic guitar. But that doesn't mean you know the record. You don't know why a seemingly inside-joke reference to her absent band, Ice Cream on Mondays, turns out to be a lyrical meme on simple joy in darkness, or how band-as-food reverses the life-as-performance meme that matches it, or that sort of removal of emotional meaning itself gets upended when it turns out the hero and the heroine laugh because they can, or whether that laughter is itself only a performance limited to the acting a couple does to get by. Vanessa Peters sounds exactly like you'd expect, except she expresses the unexpected expertly.
[Justin Cober-Lake]
- Justin Cober-Lake

"The Austin Chronicle"

Sparkler, the first full-length CD from Vanessa Peters, is another notable... her lyrical strength (Hooked, July, Nothing I Should Cry About) is likely to improve with every recording. - Margaret Moser


Foxhole Prayers - Oct 5 2018 - out on Idol Records
The Burden of Unshakeable Proof - 2016
With The Sentimentals - 2015
The Burn The Truth The Lies - 2012
The Christmas We Hoped For - 2011
Sweetheart, Keep Your Chin Up - 2009
Little Films - 2006
Blackout EP - 2006
Thin Thread - 2004
Sparkler - 2003
Mirabilandia EP - 2002



2018: Played 30A Songwriter Festival. Opened for John Oates, 10000 Maniacs, Dan Bern, and Horse Feathers.
2016: "The Burden of Unshakeable Proof" released March 2016
2015: 60 dates in 90 days across Europe supporting indie-folk album "With The Sentimentals"
2012: Dallas Observer Award Nominee: Best Folk Artist
2011: Amazon Top 20 (Christmas) "The Christmas We Hoped For"
2008: Runner-up, Aimee Mann "Freeway" music video contest

Opener for: 10000 Maniacs, John Oates, Sarah Harmer, Rhett Miller, Griffin House, The Roosevelts, Gregory Alan Isakov, Strand of Oaks, Elliot Brood, Salim Nourallah, Charlie Mars, Cas Haley.

Since 2003, Vanessa Peters has played over 1100 shows in 11 countries and has independently released 10 full-length albums. For years, she toured the US and Europe with her band, Ice Cream on Mondays. But years of independent touring took their toll: the band dissolved in 2010, and Peters moved back to her home state of Texas and started over.

In 2011 Peters released "The Christmas We Hoped For" which charted on Amazon during the holiday season and received rave reviews from PopMatters, Rhapsody, and No Depression.

2012 saw the release of the album "The Burn The Truth The Lies," her first album of original material in three years. Engineered by Jim Vollentine (Spoon, Patty Griffin), the record featured standout performances by some of Texas's best indie rock musicians, including John Dufilho (Apples in Stereo), Jason Garner (Polyphonic Spree), Joe Reyes (Buttercup), and producer/engineer Rip Rowan (Old '97s, Rhett Miller).

Vanessa continues to tour Europe and the US, both solo and with a band.  Her latest album, "Foxhole Prayers," was signed to Idol Records and will be released in October 2018. A covers album is also in the works.

Whether solo or with her band, Vanessa has performed at some of the best venues and festivals in the US and Europe: Folk Club (Italy), Roots on the Road Festival (Netherlands), Toogenblik (Belgium), Mono (Norway), Paard van Troje (Netherlands), The Green Note (UK) - and in Texas at the Mucky Duck and The Heights Theatre (Houston), the Saxon Pub (Austin), and at Dallas' premier venues The Kessler and the Sons of Hermann Hall.

Vanessa is endorsed by Norman Guitars, a specialty guitar maker out of Montreal, Canada.

Here are some of the things the press has had to say:

"Peters's metaphor-rich songs remind me more of Josh Ritter, perhaps not in sound or style, but in the depth and substance of her skillfully crafted lyrics."  - No Depression

“the best kind of singer-songwriter” – The Dallas Observer

" is yet another gem of an album, probably her best yet" - For Folk's Sake

"I was struck by how smart a lyricist she was. Couple that with a great sense of delivery, and you have something." - Justin Cober-Lake, PopMatters 

"It's a cliche to say there isn't a bad track on the record but, well, there isn't a bad track on the record... I defy anyone with a ear for a catchy melody sung in a beautiful, rich and completely engaging voice not to be enamored with this baby." - Americana UK 

"Easily distinguishing itself from the glut of female singer/songwriters is this literate, haunted gem...the title track [Little Films] is pop perfection, a jangly jewel that camouflages its melancholy lyrics with wind-swept harmonies and ringing guitar riffs." - Michael Sutton, CD

"Vanessa Peters has a voice like Beth Orton or Dido; it has an understated beauty that colors the lyrics with feeling and personality but doesn't jump in your face....Peters is a true poet." - Whisperin' and Hollerin' (UK)

Band Members