Erica Buettner follows the siren song of two muses: New York and Paris. Growing up in Connecticut, just North of New York on the East Coast, this 26 year-old American singer-songwriter has always felt a great affinity for the Greenwich Village scene of the 60s - for a style of songwriting as influenced by traditional folk songs as it is by beat and confessional poetry (Joan Baez, Woody Guthrie, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Karen Dalton…) Like a folksinger born in the wrong decade, Buettner traced her own beginnings through East Coast coffee houses and university campuses, recording her first demos before the age of 20.
As a university student, she decided to study in Paris. This was supposed to be a one-year trip, but the magnetism of the City of Lights proved difficult to resist, and she ended up staying for four years. On hazy summer days of 2007, she began taking her guitar to Parc Montsouris in the 14th arrondissement and carefully crafting the songs that would evolve into her debut album. It was at this juncture that she met with Parisian songwriter Pierre Faa. Originally, they met to have a cup of tea in his home studio. She played True Love and Water for him, and it only took him a few minutes to switch on the recording equipment. They did the song in one take and consequently began a collaboration that evolved into the production of an entire album.
Living in Europe infused Erica’s sound with new colors and influences. She began performing in theaters, clubs, bookshops and Parisian caves. She was a regular at the Spoken Word poetry nights, a haven for ex-patriot writers in Paris, and she quickly developed a reputation for poignant lyrics and a hauntingly beautiful voice that resulted in an enthusiastic following in the capital. The press also took notice, and she got a mention in the Telerama cultural newsletter of Le Monde as a response to the few tracks she had posted on myspace. Her release of a French cover, C’est Julien (originally performed by Marie LaForet) made it on to a Dutch compilation of French female singers called Filles Fragiles. She has performed extensively in France, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Belgium.
The forthcoming release of True Love and Water on April 4th, 2011 is much-anticipated. French critic François Gorin says that the two songs “True Love and Water” and “Time Travelling” alone “suffice to convince us that a real talent in the landscape of female folksingers has just bloomed”. Les Inrocks.com
follows suit: “Paris has its Sibylle Baier: an uprooted American whose enveloping siren song makes us lose all sense of reason.” And the new music panel of the UK folk blog, For Folk’s Sake, who included Erica among their list of best emerging artists of 2010, gave her glowing reviews that speak for themselves:
“She proves that she has the intelligence and wit that audiences delight in the world over”
“A captivating and engaging presence”
“I don’t buy much music, but I will be buying Buettner’s album True Love and Water, due any day now, and so should you.”