Gemma may be singing the blues after last night’s devastating “Sons of Anarchy” season-six finale, but Katey Sagal isn’t.
The actress behind one of television’s fiercest matriarchs returns to the music game with Covered, her third full-length album and first new release in nearly a decade. The record, featuring a lineup described by Sagal as “eclectic,” includes covers of songs written by Joni Mitchell, Tom Petty, Ryan Adams and more, as well as a duet with Jackson Browne.
“It was an interesting process because usually I write what I record and I just felt like I wasn’t coming up with things that I liked well enough to record them,” Sagal tells MTV News. “So I thought, ‘OK, I’m going to interpret.'”
When selecting tracks for the album, Sagal looked for songs that affected her with their lyrics, fit appropriately with her voice and could be arranged in a fresh new way.
“I didn’t want to do just a nostalgia record of music I’d listened to when I was coming up,” says Sagal, who began her career singing backup for Bette Midler, Etta James and Bob Dylan, among others. “I listened to a lot of contemporary songwriters as well and I feel like we came up with a really nice mix of both.”
The 10-track LP is an easy-listening experience, with Sagal’s voice rising and falling in mesmerizing waves throughout. The album begs to be heard by candlelight — or, given its late November release, in front of the fireplace — as its listener swills a glass of their favorite poison.
Among the standout tracks is the Browne-penned “For a Dancer,” which “Sons” fans will remember from the opening montage of Episode 610, which show creator (and Sagal’s hubby) Kurt Sutter described as “sweet, sad and prophetic.”
Sagal’s powerful voice (and by default, also Gemma’s) may be easily recognized among viewers, but the singer says that her larger-than-life character disappears entirely once she enters the recording booth.
“The characters I’ve played, and the ones I’m best known for, I never think would be singers,” Sagal says. “It’s a big separation. It’s definitely Katey singing [on ‘Sons’].”
You can preview and purchase Covered on iTunes now.