KCSN 88.5 FM’s Jim Nelson is back, with another installment of his Turn Me On column … showcasing singer/songwriter Cory Sipper.
If the only requisite for scoring hit after hit was to simply write and record a slew of smart, hopelessly hooky songs, then there’d be no need to turn you on to Santa Barbara, California, native Cory Sipper here—you’d have known about her long ago.
Sipper released a trio of albums before the turn of the century, beginning with 1995’s Swimology (which featured Nervous, a Top-10 hit in Japan) and there was a near-miss with a CD she was making with Rumours co-producer Richard Dashut; with several songs in the can he brought Fleetwood Mac’s Lindsey Buckingham and Mick Fleetwood into the sessions. Just then her label went belly-up and there went that.
Jump to 2002’s Sincerely and Cory Sipper really hit her mark as Mermaid, Living out Loud, and the title track measured up musically, stylistically, lyrically, and melodically with everything on the adult album alternative radio charts at the time. Now four CDs deep into a 12-year career Sipper had delivered several songs worthy of hanging out with the Melissa Etheridges, Sheryl Crows, Natalie Merchants, and Sarah McLachlans that dominated the pre- and post-Y2K female singer/songwriter landscape.
And then she stopped.
For eleven years Cory Sipper turned off the recording career and nested. She baked and sewed and embroidered and gardened, and raised chickens and ducks, and taught yoga, but mostly she vigorously poured herself into motherhood. And she wrote.
“I didn’t write for myself,” she told The Santa Barbara Independent in 2015, “and I didn’t know if I ever would again.” Her songs got used around the world in countless TV shows, films, and commercials, including American Idol, Dancing with the Stars, True Life, and Ridiculousness. And years after their initial meeting, Lindsey Buckingham reworked her early tune After All and renamed it Shut us Down for his 2006 album Under the Skin.
Muses can show up whenever the hell they feel like it, and all that writing for other uses was probably a clue that Sipper’s was lurking, waiting to pounce the instant her daughters were safely away at school. “One day I realized I had to release another album. I felt it swelling up inside me like a big balloon. And I started writing songs like crazy!” So in 2013 she got back to making her music, and in 2015 Make Your Magic became her first CD since 2002.
Make Your Magic features previous collaborators Glen Phillips and Dean Dinning of Toad the Wet Sprocket, and serves notice that the years away from releasing and performing Sipper was growing as a writer and arranger, while doubling down on her commitment to hooks and more hooks. Four songs—Petals, Campfire, Black or White, and Holding Strong—are smash hits in every way save for perhaps, you know, enough folks being aware of them to actually make them hits.
In the spring of 2016, Cory Sipper launched a PledgeMusic campaign with the Dinning-produced single Indestructible, officially heralding her next album of smart, hopelessly hooky songs.
Official site: http://www.corysippermusic.com/