The return of Philly’s Lili Añel and her re-released and remastered album, “Better Days”.
Born in New York’s El Barrio, and living in Philadelphia since 2004, Lili Añel has forever been that perfect jazzy singer-songwriter with a twist – emotional, literary, funky, folky, an urban flower, that tall rose that grew from Spanish Harlem, and blossomed out everywhere. At the dawn of the 21st Century, you could find her showing off her chops and wares at clubs such as Dobbs and Tin Angel, and on albums such as 1994’s Laughed Last, 2007’s Dream Again, 2017’s Another Place, Another Time, and 2018’s In Spirit.
A woman who believes in the steady outpouring of product – not unlike keeping an annual diary – a new album, Better Days, dropped in October 2019, only to get lost in the rush of the holidays, the push of the pandemic, a spring and summer filled with social justice issues, and more.
“I am sure I’m not the only musician who had music released the last quarter of 2019 and subsequently barely got going before the pandemic hit,” wrote Añel. “I have a couple of friends who also had releases October 2019 and are wondering “This recording is barely out there, what do I do now”. I had a number of gigs scheduled between January 2020 and June 2020, in support of this recording and like the rest of the world, they got cancelled.”
What you do now, or what Lili Añel did, was re-release the tender 2019 work, now, as “Better Days (remastered)”, with a handful of fresh songs, and a small slew of live dates booked for the Fall, “that I am hoping they will take place.”
“There are two additional songs on Better Days (remastered) that make it different from its first incarnation,” says Añel. “All of the songs were remastered and sonically have a different crispness and tone. ‘Climb The Wall’ which originally appeared on my 2013 CD ‘I Can See Bliss From Here’ was added as this song talks about getting over adversities in current times. Interestingly, the song still holds up. Many of us are working towards getting past the stresses and challenges in our current day. This song, along with the title song Better Days and the songs on the CD combine to be a snapshot of life, love, friendship, family, strength. I co-wrote the title song with my sister, Barbara. We were remembering how our grandfather during difficult times would say to us ‘better days will come…’ He gave us hope, no matter what was going on…”
“The second added song, ‘Got Me Thinking’ was recorded live at WRTI Studios in Philadelphia. We were recording a video to be included in their NPR Livesessions. We recorded one song audio only, and it’s never been played or released. They graciously gave me permission to put this live version of the song on this release. It is also, another version of an already recorded song. Different feel in how it comes across. I’m really happy to put it out. Three of the songs are different arrangements of songs I have previously recorded. I wanted to present them in the way I had initially heard in my head. Often, working with producers, one gets swayed into changing your intention in a song. I co-produced this CD with Dale Melton who totally understands where I am coming from. A good example is ‘Supposed To Be’ from my 2009 CD ‘Every Second In Between’. I had written a final verse in Spanish and was talked out of recording it initially. When I’d perform it live, I’d perform it with the missing verse, in Spanish. I was surprised at the number of people when purchasing the CD asking if the “Spanish verse” was on the CD. When I’d reply ‘no’ many passed on buying it. My intended way of recording the song initially was right. In the end, right or wrong, I am creating and releasing music how I want it to be, on my own terms.”
Start your purchases at www.lilianel.org.