Former Sleeper Agent songstress Alex Kandel brings new project, Hen, to Bowling Green Aug. 5 at Tidballs. Nashville band Moseley and local act Dan Luke and The Raid will also perform.
Check out a Q&A with Kandel below. Kandel discusses her path since Sleeper Agent parted ways (including a stint on NBC’S “The Voice”) and finding her voice in country music’s capital.
When did Hen form?
Hen formed a few months ago when Brian Zaremba and I decided to take all the songs I had stored away since Sleeper Agent ended and make something of them.
How have your experiences post-Sleeper Agent influenced you as an artist?
I think Sleeper Agent ending forced me to grow as an artist. Tony was primarily the writer in Sleeper Agent, so from the age of 16 on I always had him around. I was suddenly alone in an apartment in Louisville with no upcoming tours, no interviews, no internet. So I started writing. ‘The Voice’ was a weird detour on my road to discovering my voice away from Sleeper Agent. It was a strange, surreal experience that more than anything made me realize a lot of things I didn’t want as an artist, and that I wasn’t emotionally ready to just jump into some sort of solo career.
Can you describe Hen’s sound and what you are aiming for lyrically?
It’s always difficult to talk about your own sound, but I think it’s hooky. I think writing my own music has really given me the chance to push my vocals. Lyrically, I’ve been writing a lot about sexuality and a particular break up that left me in Nashville broke and starting all over again. But more than anything I want my lyrics to express my version of femininity.
Would you say you are drawing from different influences for this project?
I think Brian brings a whole new set of influences and and instincts that it would be crazy for me to worry that Hen is too similar to Sleeper Agent. But at the same time of course the influences I have as a vocalist are tied to me, not just Sleeper Agent.
What kind of energy can fans expect from the live show?
It’s still me so there is a lot of hair moving around. There will always be sweating and dancing.
Can we expect a proper release from Hen in 2016?
I have no idea. We’ve been recording at a proper studio, and have some ducks beginning to get into rows, but no definite timeline. I’ll probably put out a video for a song or two soon.