Sad and beautiful can be an intoxicating sonic combination. Becca Mancari is going for melancholy and pretty with a collection of songs that will grace her forthcoming album.
“I wanted to make a sad pop record like the Beach Boys used to make,” Mancari said by phone from her Nashville home. “I don’t want to bum people out, but that’s what I’m inspired to do. I wanted to make something that sounds like the new Lana Del Rey record, which sounds amazing. I wanted to make something heavy but pretty.”
The laid-back singer/songwriter will preview songs she created with Paramore drummer Zac Farro, during a Mission Creek concert Friday (9/27) at The Mill in Iowa City.
“I’m just two songs from being finished with this album,” Mancari said. “I’m going to play a bunch of the new ones in Iowa City.”
Mancari, 32, also will play songs from her 2017 debut “Good Woman,” which is filled with moving, profound and often spare tracks. Mancari says much in as few words as possible. “Waiting So Long,” a clever coming out anthem, and a nice use of pedal steel guitar are some of the highlights from “Good Woman.”
Mancari deflects praise. She prefers to focus on producer Kyle Ryan.
“I can’t say enough about Kyle,” she said. “I always knew he was a great musician, but when he started working on ‘Good Woman,’ it was evident that he has the most meticulous and best set of ears of anyone I’ve ever been around ... (I) t’s incredible watching Kyle blow up with Kacey Musgraves. He’s great as her bandleader and as a musician. I’ve been fortunate to be able to work with someone of his caliber.”
Mancari also is close with Alabama Shakes’ singer/songwriter Brittany Howard, who is Mancari’s bandmate. With Jesse Lafser, the trio crafted folk music as Bermuda Triangle, which played some live shows in 2017 but has been dormant ever since.
“I don’t know what’s going on (with Bermuda Triangle),” Mancari said. “It’s a mystery. It was always just meant to be a fun band. We had a great time together. Who knows what will happen? Some things don’t last forever and we have to be OK with that.”
Mancari does remain in close contact with Howard.
“We joke that we were brothers in a past life,” Mancari said. “She’s very encouraging. She is just a wonderful person. ”
Mancari, who came of age in the middle of rural Pennsylvania during the ’90s, has come a long way since moving to Nashville five years ago.
“I didn’t grow up in the most progressive part of the country,” she said. “I was glad to explore the country and the world once I was old enough to leave. I’ve seen a lot of places, but there is no place like Nashville. It’s home for me.
“Nashville is where I learned about melody. It’s also cool here, since this city is packed with writers who are very talented. It’s an inspiring place. It’s good to be here since I bounced around and now I’m centered, and everything I’ve experienced here has been good for my music.”
WHAT: Becca Mancari
WHERE: Mission Creek Live at The Mill, 120 E. Burlington St., Iowa City
WHEN: 8 p.m. Friday (9/27)
TICKETS: $12 advance, $15 show day, Englert Box Office, (319) 688-2653 or Englert.org/event/becca-mancari/
ARTIST’S WEBSITE: Beccamancari.com