Christine Hoberg has always performed under her own name, but these days she is truly a solo act.
The Greenpoint-based singer-songwriter has released several collections of fine-tuned pop recorded with a traditional three-piece group. But in 2012, Hoberg decided to let go of her backing band and make music almost entirely on her own. It was not a move to make her songs simpler, she said, but rather to make them stranger.
“I wasn’t being challenged,” Hoberg said. “I was getting into stuff that was weird and out there but wasn’t able to play it live with a backing band.”
On her new album, “World Within,” this translates into moody songs that contrast stark instrumentation — with typically only a touch of piano or guitar — against dense vocal harmonies.
Bringing these compositions to life in the studio was relatively easy, thanks to modern recording software, said Hoberg. But when it comes to live performance, pulling it off can be a little trickier.
In concert, she records small vocal or instrumental loops, layering them atop each other until it sounds like she has a gang of backup singers and musicians with her on stage. And while she is comfortable with the process now, Hoberg said her early experiments with this type of performing were a little messy.
“It was absolutely awful at first,” Hoberg said. “Totally horrifying and so incredible at the same time. I wanted that challenge though, and wanted that intensity and those early mistakes.”
Technology has also been pushing Hoberg’s career forward in another way. Her biggest success to date has been “Clair De Lune,” a track she recorded with dance music duo Flight Facilities, which went platinum in the group’s native Australia.
Amazingly, Hoberg has still never met her collaborators in person. She received the instrumental tracks via email, and recorded her parts in her bedroom in Brooklyn.
“I tromped in one night, turned the lights off, and came up with something really personal and honest,” she said.
The song is also connecting Hoberg with an entirely new fan base on the other side of the planet, a fact that both delights and astounds her.
“It’s hard for me to comprehend that that many people are moved by something that was just a song that I wrote,” she said. “It’s intense, but very special to me.”
Christine Hoberg performs at Friends & Lovers, (641 Classon Ave. between Pacific & Dean Streets in Crown Heights, www.facebo
©2014 Community News Group
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