Picks and Pans Review: Talking With...k.d. Lang
BACK IN HER COUNTRY music days, k.d. lang's tearstained twang won her numerous accolades—and comparisons to the great Patsy Cline—but not acceptance from Music Row. "I was there in Nashville, a lesbian, a vegetarian, a Canadian and trying to get in with this white, male, Christian society," says the 34-year-old lang. "They were like, 'What the hell are you doing here, girl?' " Now an established pop singer living in Vancouver, B.C., lang has just released a new album, All You Can Eat (Warner Bros.).
Your sound is hard to pinpoint. Why is that?
I've always been one for melding genres together, but I think that's because I'm really honestly interested in, and have been influenced by, such a broad spectrum of music that it can't help but come out that way. I couldn't see myself just doing something pure because to me that's in a way only regurgitating and recycling, and not evolving.
As a singer and as a contemporary artist, it's difficult because the actual sound of my voice is of a certain ilk. I kind of hear it as more of a '40s-style jazz singer, and yet my mind and my attitude are more alternative. But I can't sing alternative music—well, I could, but I wouldn't sound as interesting as Björk, for example. I've been really into Björk lately. Björk is God. Björk is the total undisputed God. So as a songwriter, I have to write interesting but classic-style songs. The voice is a dictator, and the voice demands a certain thing. I can't find it anywhere, so I have to write it myself.