After being hailed by Vanity Fair as a "chortling, cussing, room-dominating force of nature” trying to describe Angela McCluskey in words is not the easiest thing to do; if you’ve met her or been lucky enough to see her perform you—will understand.
Born in Glasgow, Scotland, Angela first achieved recognition as the singer of the much-adored LA band Wild Colonials—with whom she released three albums: Fruit of Life (1993), This Can't Be Life (1996) and Reel Life in 2000. In that same year, Angela also released Curio, an album of torch songs she recorded with husband Paul Cantelon, Lili Haydn, and cellist Martin Tillman.
In 2004, after touring the U.S. with renowned artists REM, she wrote the #1 best selling GRAMMY nominated song Breathe, with French electronic trio, Telepopmusik. In between Genetic World and Angel Milk, the two albums she recorded with them, Angela was signed by Arif Mardin to the celebrated Blue Note label who released Angela’s critically acclaimed album The Things We Do— which Paste Magazine described as an album that “will break your heart and gently put it back together again”.
In 2010, her second solo album You Could Start a Fight in An Empty House, brought recognition from Alan Magee at The Guardian, who heralded her voice and style as “an incredible juxtaposition of the greats: Beth Gibbons, Billie Holiday and Nina Simone.”
During the next couple of years, Angela collaborated as both co-writer and singer with Morgan Page and BT on the smash hit #1 dance single ’In the Air’ and was featured heavily on Robbie Robertson’s ‘How to be Clairvoyant’ as well as working with Paul Oakenfold, Parov Stellar, Kendrick Lamar and others—and her re-imagining of George Harrison’s Here Comes The Sun for the Sweet Relief Musicians Fund made us all wonder if we could ever hear the original song again.
In New York City 2014 , Angela wrote and performed Catch a Falling Star, a one woman play focusing on her Scottish upbringing as well as a brief, but magical encounter with Nina Simone.
In the fall of 2015, Angela was cast for a special guest appearance in The Knick, directed by Steven Soderbergh and starring Clive Owen. She recently worked with Soderbergh again on The Girlfriend Experience.
Also, in 2015, renowned photographer and filmmaker Bruce Weber screened his
short film, Wine and Cupcakes at The Sundance Film Festival. The film features
Angela and her husband, composer Paul Cantelon, in what could be described as
Weber’s love letter to New York City. This was followed by Angela performing alongside Elvis Costello, Meshell N’Degeocello, as well as Louden, Martha and Rufus Wainwright for 5 nights at TED Talks Live: Six nights of talks on Broadway, broadcast on PBS in New York City. It was a fitting end to a great year.
In 2016, Angela was featured as co-writer and singer on Big Gigantic’s latest single, The Little Things, which exploded to #3 on the Global Spotify chart and was featured in Nike’s new campaign and on Season 2 of FOX TV’s hit show, Empire.
Okay, so there is a little back story on Angela McCluskey—and now to bring you up to date.
On July 29th, 2016, Angela will be releasing her new single You and Me from her upcoming album The Roxy Sessions to be released through Bernadette Records.
The idea for the album was born on a wonderful night at The Roxy Hotel in New York City. The hotel has a beautiful room downstairs called The Django that is reminiscent of Paris in the 1960’s…think Brigitte Bardot dancing on the table or Serge Gainsbourg leaning against the wall with a cigarette dangling from his lip.
Even before Angela started working with Parov Stellar, her band had been messing around with Electro Swing— she had just completed a track with the Vince Giordano Orchestra for HBO’s Boardwalk Empire. Inspired by the confluence of events, Angela called producer/songwriter Kiran Shahani (Supreme Beings of Leisure/Bitter:sweet) and asked if he would like to collaborate on ‘a 1920’s inspired ’60’s album’.
As soon as Kiran signed on, they discussed the concept with The Roxy Hotel, who offered the chance for them to record the album at the hotel, as well as begin a weekly artist residency. From that point on, everything else fell into place.
In many ways, the theme of the album was inspired by the events surrounding it. It is a record that celebrates coming through it all—the success, the failure, the heartache and despair— and finding yourself being a little less dramatic about love and intent on just enjoying your life and being thankful for what you’ve got— and that’s something worth celebrating.
“Angela has the voice of an angel…completely commands the room and draws you in…mesmerizing. She once sat me down and sang Leonard Cohen’s ’Famous Blue Raincoat’ to me. I was instantly in love.” ~ Norman Reedus
“ANGELA McCLUSKEY !!! She knows her light that glows from within. She is a singer/songwriter of pathos, beauty, sadness, tempest, magic, love of life and joy, … she is the voice of all things.” — Michael Stipe