ACL Fest Sunday Interviews
5:30pm, AT&T Blue Room stage
Regina Spektor is a study in contrasts. The Moscow-born, Jewish singer-songwriter filters classical sensibilities through a refreshingly modern perspective, with a voice like Billie Holiday and an attention to detail that’s at times both profoundly poetic and utterly prosaic.
“Everything is all flipped for me,” Spektor says. “I tend to find really big things kind of mundane and little things really exciting. I’m also one of those people that won’t take the photograph when the cool thing is happening in fear of missing out in the moment. I’m not much of a documenter, but things tend to linger with me.”
Her breakthrough third LP, Begin to Hope (Sire), sounds like a collection of short stories, alternating between delicate piano odes and comical two-chord punk rock tales, with brief tangents into burlesque pop and electronica. “I don’t value consistency,” Spektor explains. “I don’t value cohesiveness, any of the things that supposedly make good records. I find those things tremendously boring. To me, a record is a way to show as many sides of yourself as possible. I love doing whatever I want and compiling it all together.”
Due largely to her status as a VH1 “You Oughta Know” artist, Begin to Hope has achieved unexpected commercial success, both here and afar, but what happens when your average consumer, who buys the album for the sweet, staccato-stringed lead single “Fidelity” encounters “That Time” (“remember that other time when you OD’ed for the second time”)?
“I guess if someone can’t handle it, there’s a lot of other stuff to choose from,” the Brooklyn-bred songstress laughs. “Really I don’t give a fuck, but I do appreciate when people can relate to any one thing though. I know it sounds like a paradox, but it’s exactly how I feel.”