Stephanie Schneiderman has been on a trip with trip-hop music producer/musician Keith Schreiner, but as per her latest 2012 release, Live at the Old Church, the singer-songwriter has come full circle and then some. The unlikely duo, she — rootsy, acoustic, earthy — and he — synth-happy, modern, experimental — completed two albums together: Dangerous Fruit (2008) and Rubber Teardrop (2011). “He talked me into going into a new direction,” Schneiderman, who traded her acoustic guitar and piano for synth beats and a harmonizer, tells EW. “I was writing differently. The textures were really different.”
For Live at the Old Church, Schneiderman reinvents both Schreiner-produced albums by stripping away the technology and bringing in Portland’s 45th Parallel String Quartet and the Roxy Consort Choir to record live at the Old Church venue in downtown Portland. “I wrote Rubber Teardrop with this in mind,” she says of going back to basics. “It’s simply about the songs and my own voice.” She wanted to see if the songs could live and survive with nothing but the elements. The answer is yes, they can.
Although both of her tech-heavy albums are catchy, dreamy and worth the listen (like a mellowed-out version of Santigold), Schneiderman has an incredible voice, and it’s nice to hear it again without all the bells and whistles, because the truth is, she doesn’t need them. On the track “Hush,” originally from Rubber Teardrop, her hauntingly crisp voice dances with piano chords that match those of Regina Spektor, an all-together different aural experience then the dance-ready original. “Wide Open,” an effervescent, ethereal pop song (with a recently released music video choreographed by Lindsey Matheis of the NW Dance Project) becomes that much richer accompanied by strings, a choir and the “beautiful acoustics” of the cathedral.
And for you fans of Dirty Martini, the indie-pop trio that Schneiderman plays with, the band will be reuniting for a Feb. 2 show at Jimmy Mak’s in Portland with hopes of releasing a new album together in 2013 — the first in over six years. “Things happen fast when we put our heads together,” says Schneiderman. “And I definitely could see us coming back to Eugene.”
Stephanie Shneiderman plays with her hubby’s band, the Tony Furtado Band, 8 pm Saturday, Nov. 24, at Cozmic; $12.50 adv., $14 door.