New York City singer/songwriter Tora Fisher found her voice -and salvation- through heartache and loss. After all, it’s not many people who like Tora, walk away as the sole survivor of a tragic plane crash. In her debut CD, SPILLING OVER, a passionate ode to these very themes, Tora explores these feelings track by track and word by word, having written or co-written all the songs on the album, and delivering something that is nothing short of highly personal and intensely moving, a passionate song cycle that explores the emotions which emanate from the very depths of the human soul.
Produced by Tora and Michael Mugrage, who also co-wrote several tracks on the CD, SPILLING OVER is set for release July 10th, 2012, via LML Music/Allegro.
“This entire album is about men,” says Tora. “I guess I find that somewhat ironic because I’m such a strong independent woman who can provide for herself and in the process act like a father figure to many of my friends and family. But that’s probably why it dominates my art. In life I am all of the things a strong woman should be. In music, I’m just a fragile girl who’s had her heart broken by the men I’ve lost both in life and in love.”
With a powerful voice and edgy, eclectic style (not to mention those wordsmith prowesses) that bring to mind a combination of Tori Amos, Adele, Ann Wilson and Chrissie Hynde, twenty-two year old Tora Fisher is a musical force to be reckoned with. From songs such as “Dirty Secret” and “Summer Eyes” that explore a somewhat forbidden love to classic break-up/heartache songs such as “Nothing” and “For Dead”; from the soaring, anthemic qualities of “Finally Free” to dealing with post traumatic stress in “Own The Skies” to the emotions of seeing her father’s grave for the first time on “And I Won’t Cry” and “Second Tree From The Corner” (written when Tora was just thirteen), every track on Tora’s remarkable CD SPILLING OVER causes the listener to pause and think, contemplating the parallels between the songs they are hearing and their very own life experiences.
Accompanying Tora on SPILLING OVER are stellar musicians Michael Mugrage (who also co-wrote several of the tracks on the album with Tora and produced the CD as well),
Seth Glassman on Bass and Frank Vilardi on Drums. SPILLING OVER was written in New York City and recorded at Carriage House Studios and was a project a year in the making. Said Tora, “I called the album Spilling Over because I finally wrote about all the experiences I was trying to keep inside. Once I gave in to exposing myself on the record, all of the songs nearly exploded out of me. It can be scary to dig that deep but I knew it was the only way the music would be honest and meaningful...and hopefully, touch somebody.”
As the daughter of Broadway producers, Fisher spent her early years surrounded by music and the arts, her days filled with singing and dance lessons. Tora’s hard work landed her a coveted spot at the internationally renowned Interlochen Academy for the Arts’ summer session, several years in a row. She thrived in the creative environment and a young artist was blooming.
Life took an unexpected and cruel turn when Tora was in an accident at thirteen years of age. A plane carrying Tora, her father, stepmother and four others crashed into the back of a sheet metal factory building Tora was the only survivor. Miraculously she walked herself out of the plane, and when Rescue arrived they found her standing in the snow nearly unscratched.
“So many people expected me to crumble,” Tora admits. “I never once, in that plane, thought ‘How can I get through this?’ I simply pushed through that horrific day on raw instinct. But when the dust had settled, then I felt scared because the aches I felt were no longer from my body, but from the bottom of my soul. It was at that moment that I realized my real survival was dependent on music. With music, nothing ever dies. You just keep playing it and it lives again – that’s the magic of it. And so I needed to write music. It brought me joy and that’s all I knew and all I wanted to know,” says Tora. Shortly out of the hospital, she sat down at the piano and began to write songs to cope with the overwhelming loss, realizing that this would be the key to expressing herself and moving forward.
To avoid being surrounded by the life she once shared with those she had lost, Tora left New York for Connecticut, where she began studying at the illustrious Choate Rosemary Hall college-preparatory school. Despite feeling isolated at first from her classmates, she continued working hard, practicing piano and writing music to get her through. She would come to serve as lead in the school musical production, start her very own dance troupe, and even graduate with Cum Laude Society Honors.
After graduation from Choate, Tora enrolled in Columbia University. Feeling artistically constricted, she took a leave from studies to focus on her music career. Within two short years she was signed with Chris Keaton Presents and began working on her new album. She has since performed aboard the USS Intrepid, had shows in New York and released her first single, “Man of Steel,” proceeds of which benefit veterans and their families (philanthropy being another of Tora’s passions).