Not so long ago, being a singer-songwriter was merely a hobby for Vienna Teng, a Stanford computer science grad who was on the fast track to a lucrative career, working as a software engineer in Silicon Valley. But she gave all that up to pursue her musical passions - a risky career move, but one which has paid off. The 27-year-old has already released two critically acclaimed independent albums: 2002's Waking Hour and 2004's Warm Strangers, which landed on three Billboard album charts and reached #2 on Amazon's best-seller list. She's appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman and toured widely, opening for such artists as Shawn Colvin, Joan Osborne, Patty Griffin, Joan Baez and the Indigo Girls. "Musically I really wanted to stretch myself," says Teng. "I figured, I'm taking off a whole year just to write, there's no excuse for coming up with the same old stuff. I listened to a lot of music I hadn't absorbed before, like hip hop, avant-garde chamber music, bluegrass - anything to get out of that familiar headspace. It all filtered way, way down when it came to writing." She added: "But every song on this album has something that I haven't tried previously, whether it's using the piano or my voice in a different way, or changing up the chords and song structure. I wanted to experiment and surprise people, but also keep that emotional truth, not just be clever for cleverness' sake."