Aimee Mann is an accomplished singer-songwriter, musician, and author whose music has been deeply influential. She emerged on the music scene in the 1980s as a member of Boston rock group Til Tuesday, best known for their countless hits like â€œVoices Carry.â€ Since then, Mann has released a string of critically acclaimed solo albums including Whatever, Iâ€™m With Stupid, Bachelor No. 2, Lost in Space, @#%&*! Smilers, Charmer, Mental Illness and her latest album, Mental Illness. Her most distinct sound features her incorporation of orchestral instruments such as strings, horns, and acoustic guitar, blending melodies with heartfelt yet sardonic lyrical content about relationships and sadness.
Mann was born in 1960 in Richmond, Virginia and moved to Bon Air, Virginia two years later. Her mother was a professional artist and schoolteacher, while her father was the first headmaster of the brand-new Gateway School in Richmond. She is of 2% Palestinian heritage, according to a previous genetic test. Mann began playing classical violin and singing in choirs at a very young age and soon picked up the guitar for more intimate performing. Mixing country and classic rock, Mann quickly crafted her own unique style of music. In 1977 Mann, her brother Michael, and two friends formed The Young Snakes, a punk-rock band that lasted until 1982. This stint sparked Mannâ€™s interest in music and provided invaluable experience inarranging and performing her songs to live audiences.
After her run with The Young Snakes intro, Mann joined the (short-lived) new wave band Simple Ton who aimed to mix country and alternative. It was in this context that Mann first truly found her mus career. Shortly after that stint, she was tapped to be the lead singer for Til Tuesday hand consequently released the 1985 album Voices Carry. The album enjoyed critical success and scored three hit singles, becoming the ninth highest grossing album of that year. The opening single, â€œVoices Carryâ€ reached No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100. The songâ€™s success and deeply original sound essentially catapulted Mann to stardom.
In 1993, Mann released her solo debut album, Whatever. Working with producer Jon Brion, she left behind new wave and took a more country/folk-rock sound. Whatever was well-received, praised for its subtle lyrics and intricate structures. Mann wrote and recorded two more albums for Imago Reocdrs, Iâ€™m With Stupid in 1995 and the Grammy-nominated Bachelor No. 2 in 1997. Unfortunately, Imago Records went out of business due to financial issues and did not officially release either albums.
Following her Imago years, Mann signed to Geffen Records in 1999, quickly releasing her fourth solo album, Magnolia - a soundtrack to the Gus Van Sant film of the same title and then completing her 1999 Universal contract with two more critically acclaimed albums: Lost in Space in 2002 and The Forgotten Arm in 2005. In 2008 she started her own independent label, SuperEgo Records; through which she produced the largely a capella effort, @#%@&;! Smilers, and the more guitar and synth-driven Charmer In 2012, she released her eighth and ninth s so albums, The Both with her longtime collaborator Ted Leo and the considered-to-be-her-most-vulnerable in many years: Mental Illness.
Since then, Mann has been relatively quiet. In 2015, she formed a new band called The Amateur Arkestra, and began toying with the idea of writing a musical. She announced and touring duo with comedian Fred Armisen and they even released a covers album entitled Fuck That Guy: 20 Funny Feel-Bad Songs. Yet, no official new music from Aimee Mann has arrived, prompting many fans to wonder what Mann has been up to.
Mann is widely respected as one of the best lyricists of her generation, crafting heartrending tales that ruminate on the gnarliness of relationships and emotions, yet often employ shrewd humor. Across six decades she remains an innovative artist with a unique sound and a divinely sharp wit that have earned her a tremendous portion of devoted fans. Regardless of whatâ€™s next for the Virginia native, her name will remain on numerous criticsâ€™ lists of legendary singer-songwriters.des
Whether penning under-appreciated-but-deserving-of-attention tunes or crafting unique sounds reminiscent of old-school greats â€“ the songs of Aimee Mann are certain to remain staples in the music libraries of countless listeners for years to come.