I’ve written and photographed the California-born, Upstate New York-based singer/songwriter and guitarist and JOVM mainstay Shana Falana quite a bit over the past few years — and as you may recall Falana can trace the origins of her music career to being a member of San Francisco‘s D.I.Y. scene that included a stint in a local Bulgarian women’s choir. By 2006, she had been in New York for some time, and was struggling through drug addiction and financial woes, when she lost part of an index finger in a work-related accident.
Under most normal circumstances, the accident for most people would be considered extremely unlucky and tragic; however, the settlement money Falana received provided a much-needed period of financial stability and a desperately needed period in which she could get sober and find a new focus in her life and music. Her sophomore album, Here Comes the Wave was conceptualized and written during two different parts of Falana’s life — one part while she was struggling with drug addition and desperately trying to get sober and the subsequent years of sobriety. Naturally, the album’s material was rewritten and revised with the growing sense of perspective and awareness that comes when you’ve gotten older and perhaps even a bit wiser than what you once were before. Along with that, the album thematically touches upon transformation as a result of emotional and spiritual turmoil; the necessary inner strength, resolve and perseverance to overcome difficulties; the eventual acceptance of aging, time passing and of one’s own impending mortality.
A couple of years have passed since I’ve last written about the California-born, Upstate New York-based JOVM mainstay and as it turns out, Falana and her longtime collaborator and drummer Mike Amari have been busy working on the highly-anticipated follow-up to her critically applauded sophomore album — and it included a lovingly straightforward yet subtly atmospheric cover of Depeche Mode‘s “Stripped,” which retains the original’s plaintive and swooning romanticism. Directed by longtime collaborator Bon Jane, the accompanying video is centered around an extremely stripped down concept — the viewer sees Falana in a wardrobe and makeup by Anna Hafner signing the song in front of a projection screen with superimposed images of herself, which further emphasizes the song’s plaintive need.
Falana has an upcoming New York area date — April 17, 2019 at Rough Trade, opening for Yeasayer.