Singer Becca Stevens Had To 'Pull The Trigger' On Her New Album Stevens says it was hard to let go of her quest for perfection. But after a long creative process, Perfect Animal ended up "exactly how it was meant to be."
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Singer Becca Stevens Had To 'Pull The Trigger' On Her New Album

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Singer Becca Stevens Had To 'Pull The Trigger' On Her New Album

Singer Becca Stevens Had To 'Pull The Trigger' On Her New Album

Singer Becca Stevens Had To 'Pull The Trigger' On Her New Album

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/400368822/400573724" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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Becca Stevens says her new album, Perfect Animal, ended up "exactly how it was meant to be." Shervin Lainez/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Shervin Lainez/Courtesy of the artist

Becca Stevens says her new album, Perfect Animal, ended up "exactly how it was meant to be."

Shervin Lainez/Courtesy of the artist

Last year, singer Becca Stevens caught the attention of critics with a striking song she'd written for jazz trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire, called "Our Basement." The angular melody and dark harmonies intrigued and enchanted listeners, and the song turned up on several 2014 year-end lists, including NPR Music's.

Now, the Becca Stevens Band has its own album, Perfect Animal. The title is a spin on the name of one of the record's songs, "Imperfect Animals," which Stevens says is about "striving for perfection in art and relationships."

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Making the album, she says, exemplified that experience.

"In the end, even with all of its twists and turns — and blood, sweat and tears and hard work — I think [the album] ended up being exactly how it was meant to be," she says. "So in the end, it was my perfect animal."

In a video trailer for Perfect Animal, Stevens can be seen scribbling on Post-It notes that read, "Pull the trigger (on your mixes)." That video was captured on the day she resigned herself to sending her final notes on the album's mixes to engineer Matt Pence.

"It was hard for me to let go of that process, because it went on for so long," she says. "At the very end, I had to make those notes and put them on my wall as if it was a to-do list."

Becca Stevens recently spoke with NPR's Linda Wertheimer about making Perfect Animal and her approach to the cover songs on the album, such as Steve Winwood's "Higher Love." Hear that conversation at the audio link.