Advanced Search
Nenad Bach - Editor in Chief

Sponsored Ads
 »  Home  »  Music  »  Lana Is presents her Solo Debut Album "In Your Head" on Feb 16th, 2014 in New York City
 »  Home  »  People  »  Lana Is presents her Solo Debut Album "In Your Head" on Feb 16th, 2014 in New York City
 »  Home  »  Events  »  Lana Is presents her Solo Debut Album "In Your Head" on Feb 16th, 2014 in New York City
 »  Home  »  Culture And Arts  »  Lana Is presents her Solo Debut Album "In Your Head" on Feb 16th, 2014 in New York City
Lana Is presents her Solo Debut Album "In Your Head" on Feb 16th, 2014 in New York City
By Nenad N. Bach and Darko Žubrinić | Published  02/4/2014 | Music , People , Events , Culture And Arts | Unrated
A new music star on a horizon. Lana Is CD Release Party @ Rockwood Music Hall (Stage 2) 196 Allen Street, New York, NY, Sunday Feb 16, 7pm

Lana Cenčić, Croatian singer, composer, dancer and actress living in New York

Lana Cenčić 

Singer-songwriter Lana Is grew up in a richly creative home and went on to become a highly appraised actress, musician and dancer in Europe. Underneath it all, however, something was missing. She made the brave decision to follow her inner directive, packing up her life to move to New York City to pursue her own artistic identity.  “In Your Head”, her boldly vulnerable debut Album, is the result of Lana’s journey within herself as she has made her way over the past three years in New York.

The artist, born in Zagreb, Croatia, was born into a musical family. Her father, Maksimilijan Cenčić works as a conductor at the “Vienna State Opera” and her mother, Silvija Purcar is a former opera singer in Croatia, later the vocal coach of the famous “Vienna Boys Choir.” 

Lana started performing at the age of three at the Zagreb State Opera House.
She spent her childhood moving from one country to the next, living in Croatia, Austria, England, Germany, and now New York City. She studied acting, dance and classical, jazz and Indian classical music and has released a number of albums, starred in numerous films, television shows and theatrical productions. Lana has just released her highly praised Debut Solo Album “In Your Head” by Session Work Records and continues to build
her name in the New York music scene.

Rolling Stone Germany perceives “In Your Head” to be “... Music free of regimentation and fixed format: very exciting and enthralling!"

Lana Cenčić 


I spent my childhood and most of my life in theatres and always felt at home on stage, embracing every aspect of it; the sets, wardobes, spot lights, costumes, make-up.... All these things could transfix a whole audience when combined.

Early on i recognized the subtle distinctions between this world of illusions, which i loved, and the "real world". This world of theatre seduces me, and i willingly let myself be drawn in by the temptation of mythical, fantastical storytelling.
However, the concepts of truth and reality capture me, and thus strongly compel me to study my own surroundings and the people therein carefully, so as to create my art as honestly as possible.

My music and writing are the tools i use for the experiment called "Life"; they let me observe it and reflect upon it and help me understand other people as well as myself a little better,...and improvisation for me is one of the most important aspects in music because it teaches me the awareness and freedom to live in the moment.



Lana Cenčić (born in Zagreb, Croatia) was born into a musically rich family. Father Maksimiljan Cenčić works as a conductor at the Vienna State Opera, mother Silvija V. Purcar was a professional opera singer...

Due to this fruitful musical environment Lana found her vocation in music early in life.

At three, her musical debut as a vocalist took place at the Zagreb State Operahouse, followed by various and numerous performances, both musical and theatrical; a few of the highlights performing at the „Zagreb State Opera House“ in Puccini`s „Madame Butterfly“ at the age of three and at „Volksoper Wien“ in Kálmán`s „Gräfin Mariza“ at the age of eight.

At six, she started her piano education, and later that year recorded her first CD as a solo vocalist with the croatian girls`choir „Zvijezdice“. Various appearances in Film, T.V. and stage accompanied Lana throughout her childhood.

At ten she was accepted into the „Arts Educational School`s of London“ where she completed a rigorous degree in Dance. During her time in London, she was introduced to the world of Jazz by a music teacher; with recordings of such legends as Nat King Cole, Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, Diane Shuure, and many more.

In 1999 Lana was drawn to Vienna, where she was accepted into the Musical Theatre Programm at „Konservatorium der Stadt Wien“, which she graduated from with distinction in 2003. Already during her studies, she attained many professional jobs both in Austria and Germany within Theatre and Music.

In 2001 she started a second degree in classical singing at the „Prayner Konservatorium, Wien“. In 2003, Lana was introduced to the Indian Percussion Instrument, Tabla, and studies this with great dedication, learning from Jatinder Thakur and as of September 2010 with Pandit Samir Chatterjee in New York.

From 2007 to 2010 she completed the Jazz Vocal Program at the „Anton Bruckner Privatuniversitaet“ which she graduated from with distinction. Being a recipient of the „Start Stipendium 2010“, a grant for young promising artists from the austrian cultural ministry and a grant from the cultural association „UNISONO“.

Lana decided to move to New York to pursue her dream as jazz vocalist/composer and to continue her Tabla studies.


MUSIC REVIEWS - English translation

MUSIC MICA AUSTRIA/ Michael Ternai (15.11.2013)

Lana Is – In Your Head

Lana Cenčić’s past musical projects (Lana & Flip) have generally been jazz-oriented. Lana Is, the solo debut (Session Work Records) by the Croatian singer, pianist and composer, has little in common with jazz in its fundamental sense. The sound she has discovered for herself may best be described as pop – not the superficial and shallow sort, but still a version of this genre. Far from the mainstream, she expresses her originality and creativity with skill and artistry. Her songs are diverse, multifaceted and – perhaps the clearest association with jazz – not subject to the conventional one-size-fits-all approach of pop music. If it can be given a label at all, it is probably best described as art-pop in a stylistically colourful tonal attire. The versatile and talented singer can be heard live on 15 November in the Summerstage Pavilion in Vienna.

Lana Is clearly endeavours to liberate pop music from the confines of current fashions and trends. The singer and her band develop their own timeless and highly creative sound. Singing in a diverse range of styles, Lana, whose voice is sometimes like a softer version of Anneke van Giersbergen, former lead singer of the Dutch avant-garde band The Gathering, is also notable for her sophisticated and varied songwriting, which occasionally includes spontaneous breaks and twists.

With numbers that range from rock (“Will Persist”) to sensitively restrained (“Something’s Coming”, “So Long”) and laid-back smooth jazz (“Towards Myself”, “I Don’t Need To Be Saved”), the singer avoids repetition and gives each of her songs a distinctive note. Now and again, similarities with the legendary pop icon Kate Bush can be heard, without in anyway spoiling the overall impression. Fortunately, Lana Is has enough originality to stand up on its own.

“In Your Head” certainly passes the test. Lana Is is full of songs that stick in the mind and become more and more fascinating with time – a really strong and convincing debut.
Michael Ternai

Eclipsed 01/2014/ML

Jazz pop / Heavy pop
“In Your Head”
(Harmonia Mundi)
Related: Björk; Kate Bush; Karen Mantler

You really need to fall in love with a singer like Lana – otherwise her music doesn’t work. Fortunately, the Croatian singer, dancer and actress doesn’t make it difficult to be drawn into her musical world. Now living in New York, she has recorded this debut album with guitarist Brandon Seabrook, bass player Elvind Opsvik and drummer Dan Weiss. She manages consciously to stay a hair’s breadth from the mainstream. There is jazz and swing, as well as intricate numbers reminiscent of Björk or Kate Bush, although Lana’s voice is not dreamy but brittle. She can sound as naďve and whimsical as Karen Mantler, the daughter of Carla Bley and Michael Mantler, on “Her Cat Arnold Get the Flu” album, albeit without anything of Mantler’s heavy jazz overtones. The poetic lyrics, often in contrast to the simple naďve music, are a further unsuspected quality. “In Your Head” is quite simply foot-tapping music for the head.
Top track: Something’s Coming

Musikreviews/ Andreas  Schiffmann (20.10.2013)

Lana Is: In Your Head

Artist: Lana Is
Album: In Your Head
Medium: CD
Style: singer songwriter
Label: Session Work / Harmonia Mundi
Length: 54:07
Release: 11 October 2013

The Zagreb-born New Yorker fronting this band (!) is part-diva, part-brat, but the speech songs and elegant melodies (“In Your Head”) on this album ultimately offer much more and promise a fascinating sound experience.

The fairy-like “I Want To” and the almost onomatopoeic “Biti” (Lana should sing more often in her mother tongue) are more experimental, but in general the album is agreeably difficult to categorise, particularly within the female singer songwriter genre. It is notable for the warm and sometimes lush arrangements (choirs, layered electric guitars) and spirited playfulness on the part of the instrumentalists and rhythm section in particular, typically in the stumbling “Will Persist”. This song is reminiscent of The Gatherings’ “How To Measure A Planet?” phase, while the epic “Lord of the Universe” has an appropriately progressive arrangement.

The more conventional piano ballads “Something’s Coming” and “So Long” are out of the ordinary without being alienating, while a chamber music sound is achieved with the double bass and strings (“Too Late”). The r&b “I Don’t Need To Be Saved” (great lyrics) is a nice foot-tapper, if one was needed in a collection that already glitters. LANA IS paints a mythically detailed sound in which everything nevertheless has its place without overpowering the listener, who will also gain immense insights by listening carefully to the contents – both lyrical and musical – of “In Your Head”. A welcome direct hit from an unsuspected source.

SUMMARY: LANA IS is the ideal answer to those who believe that they know all about female singer songwriters, departing as it does from the beaten stylistic path trodden by Tori, Kate and the rest – one of the discoveries of the year!

Rocktimes/Wolfgang Giese (31.10.2013)

Lana Is / In Your Head

Today I am writing about a debut album. Lana Is comes from Lana Cenčić from Zagreb, capital of Croatia. She was born into a musical family and came into contact with music at an early age, performing for the first time at the age of just three years. She has appeared previously under her real name, as Lana & Flip, amongst other things with the jazz quintet Flip Philipp.

The album is being publicised by u.k. promotion, so I was naturally expecting something jazzy, but after a few bars I had to rethink. It rocks gently with a voice that takes some getting used to. Lana jumps easily back and forth from high to low notes, yammers, scratches, whimpers, crows and pronounces her lyrics as bold as brass. Independent rock was my first attempt at categorisation. The second number is also cumbersome, with rhythms, breaks and unusual small surprises within the arrangement.

This music is quite complicated in its structure and many elements slip in through the back door. The second song, for example, marches resolutely in the direction of jazz rock, and then a wailing distorted guitar enters on the scene, and above everything is this voice, multi-tracked into a background vocal group. By the end you have the feeling that you are listening to a completely different song – but it’s still the same one.

The cool, laid-back sound reminds me more than once of Kate Bush, whose crazy way of arranging songs occasionally shines through. The acoustic bass on “I Don’t Need To Be Saved” then brings in something of a jazz feeling – albeit as only one of many style elements.

“I Want To” creates yet another mood, the plucked mandolin sounding quite different from the country and folk genre where this instrument usually belongs. In combination with the rhythmic hand-clapping and soft cymbals it creates an original atmosphere most reminiscent of some of Björk’s numbers – an outstanding song and one of the highpoints of an album that is not short of highlights.

There is also a ballad “So Long” on which Lana accompanies herself on the piano. This song is quite special as well, with its emotive, music-of-the-spheres sound. “Biti” features a new instrument, the Hang, developed in the year 2000 in Berne, Switzerland. In the hands of Manu Delago, these two glued sheet-steel half-shells produce a mystical sound to accompany the overlaid singer’s voice – once again a highly unusual effect.

I have heard lots of unusual music and this album belongs there – highly recommended for its individuality and unusualness! This music tugs at and rubs up against our normal listening habits, demands attention and draws the listener into its sea of imaginative ideas. It is fascinatingly infectious, thrusting itself powerfully on the ears and senses, pulling you into a maelstrom that opens up limitless depths.

Rolling Stone/Max Goesche and Joern Schlueter- December 2013 (Edition 230)

Lana Is In Your Head

Daughter of a well-known family of classical musicians from Zagreb with an avant-garde jazz-pop-rock album recorded in New York, among others with guitarist Brandon Seabrook, known for his John-Zorn-like free-spirited playing. Very diverse songs, some like a mild version of Ani DiFranco, some experimental onomatopoeia with atonal multi-layered singing and exciting instrumental ornamentation, some studded with abstract references to Balkan folklore. Music without regimentation and fixed forms: fascinating.


Lana Is – In Your Head

The singer songwriter, actress and dancer born in Zagreb and living in New York enriches the music world with a successful debut album notable above all for its complex song structures and the artist’s expressive voice. The intricacy of the songs is achieved not through pompous instrumentation or bombastic sound but through intelligent rhythms including numerous breaks and surprising twists and effective instrument combinations. Put together, it is not easy to process but has great character that matures and grows on you.

Formated for CROWN by Darko Žubrinić
Distributed by . This message is intended for Croatian Associations/Institutions and their Friends in Croatia and in the World. The opinions/articles expressed on this list do not reflect personal opinions of the moderator. If the reader of this message is not the intended recipient, please delete or destroy all copies of this communication and please, let us know!

How would you rate the quality of this article?

Enter the security code shown below:
imgRegenerate Image

Add comment
Article Options
Croatian Constellation

Popular Articles
  1. Dr. Andrija Puharich: parapsychologist, medical researcher, and inventor
  2. (E) Croatian Book Club-Mike Celizic
  3. Europe 2007: Zagreb the Continent's new star
  4. (E) 100 Years Old Hotel Therapia reopens in Crikvenica
  5. Nenad Bach & Miro Gavran hosted by Branimir Bilic on Croatian TV 2010
No popular articles found.