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November 9, 2008
Sacramento SIngle: Park Avenue Music's "Tufts"


Sometimes, Jeanette Faith admits, it gets a little confusing. She and husband Wes Steed had a band called Park Avenue Music and then that evolved into the side project Hearts+Horses. But now Park Avenue music has an album out that's called - you guessed it -"by hearts+horses".

The differences, Faith explains, aren't just about words.

"Park Avenue Music was very structured: Song, song, song," she says. "But then we started Hearts+Horses, it was just improvising, even when we were recording.

"I don't really like writing songs or lyrics - they usually sound forced," she says. "I wanted to break away from that and create a soundscape, a mood."

Now, Faith says, the focus is on of-the-moment sound and emotion.

And, yes, that spontaneity also happens on stage.

"The shows can be really great - or sometimes just a lot of noise," Faith says. "It's kind of scary but it's also kind of exciting."

Faith taught herself to play piano as a child and is also an accomplished cellist and singer. Now, as she plays the keyboard or piano and Steed turns the dials on a modular synthesizer, their music reflects a deep love for everything from jazz and classical to pop and new wave.

"I'd like it to have more of a modern, classical sound but it doesn't always turn out that way," she says. "It usually ends up sounding like a soundtrack."

But that's OK, too.

"I always wanted to be a score composer - that's where my songs come from, I'm always seeing movies in my head and just telling that story."

Park Avenue Music

Song: "Tufts"

Style: Dreamy, delicate and exquisite

Behind the song: "I just sat down at the piano and started playing and the mics were there and Wes just happened to record it," Faith says. "(Later), I added melodica and Wes added drums and effects on the vocals."

The piece grew out of an image playing in Faith's head.

"It's a story about this girl, driving around the block. She's dropped this guy off and the (relationship) that isn't turning out the way she wants it to and she's thinking it's going to change, that's it's going to get better," Faith says.

"Finally, she realizes, 'this is stupid - I'm just driving around in circles'."

Musically, that translates to something ethereal and sad but also uplifting.

And, Faith says, because it was recorded live on a whim it's also imperfect - but she wouldn't have it any other way.

"It's not the ideal recording but I'd rather keep the (song's) original feeling. When you try to rerecord it never turns out as good as the demo," she says.

"There are some mistakes in it but I don't care. It gives it a freer sound, It's real, it's raw."

On the Web: or

Park Avenue Music will release another record later this year. Until then, listen to"Tufts" here:

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