My album is out out out today today today!!!
I wanted to share a bit about what this album is about. But I think I’ll start with what it isn’t about.
This album is not a breakup album. I thought maybe it was at first because I was going through a rough breakup (I know no breakup is fun, but this one really took the cake) when I recorded it. I felt chaotic and worn down, but leaving LA and going to Nashville, going to hot yoga every morning, and working on these songs with Alex every day was the best way to get back to feeling like myself again. But while this is what was going on in my life at the time and important to acknowledge, this album is not about a breakup.
I also thought that maybe this album is about the ‘doing’ of music. That in recording this third album, I am choosing music again. As any musician knows, music is such an emotionally up and down career. I see the lives that other people are building around me and wonder if I am crazy to be doing this completely unpredictable, unstable, and 401Kless work in an industry that everyone loves to tell me is crumbling. But any doubts or fears I have disappear when I write a song or play a show and that’s enough for me to keep doing this. Because there is a value in these two things that I haven’t been able to find in anything else. I think it would be crazier to turn away. So this album does represent my choosing music again, but it’s not what these songs are about.
I think this album is about an afternoon I spent with my friend Jon Levine. I was playing him a few of the songs I was planning to record for the album, singing and playing them at a keyboard. He told me, ‘You know, your singing voice and your speaking voice are different. I don’t think you’re doing this on purpose, but you’re singing with a fake voice.’ I handled this in the usual mature way I respond to things that are true that I don’t like to hear - I got defensive and denied it. But he was right. I was sweetening up my voice, smoothing it out, changing the pronunciation of words, trying to make it sound more feminine and cutesy.
I didn’t even realize I was doing this. I think the habit crept in and grew over the past few years as I unconsciously imitated the singer/songwriters I admired. I didn’t think my voice was pleasing enough to listen to if I didn’t do this smoothing and sweetening. Once I stopped being defensive, I went through each of the nine songs I was about to record, syllable by syllable, and I started relearning how to sing. Singing is so emotional and when I put this affectation between me and the words I’m singing, it feels disingenuous - to me, the person singing the words, and, I think, to the listener too. After this stripping away, I found my actual voice underneath- lower, rougher, and less polished - but directly connected to my emotions. If I was angry or in love or hurt or feeling silly, that was finally coming through in my voice since I was singing the way I would speak to a close friend.
So I think this album is about my learning to sing with zero filters for the first time - without pretense or a need to come across in any certain way. And I think the same is true of these songs. When I wrote these nine songs, I decided I would sit at my piano and write as though no one would hear them - not at a show, not on an album. So I could write freely about the things that caused me joy, the things that caused me pain, the things that I didn’t want to admit to anyone - without censoring myself. But these songs did end up on an album - this one - and I really hope you like it.