Becca Mancari is rewriting the rules.
Born in Staten Island, New York, to an Italian-Irish preacher and a Puerto Rican mother, Mancari has lived a life of transition – from working as a janitor in South Florida, to writing songs with train hoppers in the Blue Ridge Mountains and seeking spirituality in India. But it was her time in Virginia and Nashville where she found roots where she could evolve personally and musically to a seasoned artist beyond her years.
Her anticipated debut album, Good Woman, is hauntingly lonesome, with dust- cloud swells of electric guitar and don’t-look-back lyrics revealing scenes from Mancari’s well-travelled story. Since her music is the landscape of all she’s seen, Good Woman evokes the sound of city grit and the mountain music of her youth, swirling into a fresh, nostalgic sound.
In reference to her evolving sound, Mancari explains that on Good Woman, “We played with atmospheric tones and textures, with a lot of space-like reverb, to create a sort of soundscape.” It’s these planetary frontiers, along with the powerful fragility in her voice, that make Mancari’s music stand beyond easy categorizations.
Perhaps more striking than Mancari’s sound is the tender honesty and vulnerability present in each of her songs. Ann Powers describes Mancari’s writing as “lyrical and raw,” commenting on the “great personality in her songs.” Her strong sense of self enables her to be a spokeswoman to the outcast and the misfit, helping her redefine the categories that so often divide people.
As a gay woman in the south, she has had to face her own set of divisions and has fought hard to reconcile her spiritual beliefs with her sexuality. Though she’s faced her own struggles, she has only emerged stronger: When Mancari sings, she shines with charisma and compassion. She walks the line between the masculine and the feminine, and it is this spirit that is paving a new path in music today.