New Music Coming Soon in 2024
Alright friends, you heard it here on WPR first.
I have a new song coming out on Friday, January 12, 2024, and I can tell you that this is a long time coming. I am thrilled that the whole world will finally get to hear this richly textured piece of music.
Pictured above is the artwork I designed for the Vampire single. It is reminiscent of my earlier visual work while still embodying something entirely different.
This release is happening in two phases. I wanted to distribute the music first and give it time to stretch and breathe on its own. The music video will arrive separately later on and have a life of its own.
I started writing this song in 2014. It was a departure from anything I had written before, and I thought nothing of it then. It was relegated to a list of songs I would rarely play live, if at all.
What makes it so different from my other songs?
It is, at this point, the most cinematic piece of music I have ever written. Contained within its verses and chorus is an entire mood, a narrative arc, a sweeping sense of despair and longing, and a fiery crescendo. It is not a traditional pop song that bubbles up into your ear for less than 3 minutes. It takes its time to build momentum and has an old-world, classical feel to its sound.
Vampire is as much about reckoning with oneself as it is about transformation—from a subdued presence to something desperate, obsessed, and, dare I say, sinister.
The original intent for this composition was to challenge myself by writing a song whose end sounded and felt completely different from its beginning. I thought of the transformation vampires go through and the moral dilemma that is implicit in their survival. Even though these blood-thirsty creatures have existed in popular culture for a long time now, I felt that I could give them my own spin and sensibility. What you will hear upon its release is the end result of this challenge.
Back in the summer of 2021, the production of this music began in the home studio of my friend, neighbor, and fellow musician Billy Kemp. He would serve as this song’s co-producer and sound engineer (among many other hats he has stylishly worn). We did not know when we started that we would not be done with this song until the fall of 2023. We literally spent two years building this monster of a song from the ground up.
The drums and piano were recorded live in studio, and we captured my vocals not long after. Over long stretches of time, we added layers upon layers of organ, cellos and violins, a horn section, bass, and Spanish guitar. Each instrument was given its own treatment. I had never composed an entire string and horn arrangement until we worked on Vampire. (And I am very happy with what I made.)
Billy and I would mostly work on Wednesdays. After a long morning stretch of production, we would break for a light lunch in Billy’s kitchen before continuing until around 4:00 PM. Over time, he and I developed a rapport that made our workflow smooth and fully collaborative. We also talked a lot about our lives and became fast friends. In my mind, I will think fondly of our time together when I hear this song.
So now, our little hungry child of a song is old enough to venture out into the greater world on his own. Sigh.
Here is a list of all the streaming platforms and online music vendors where you will be able to hear Vampire:
Yandex Music (beta)
For all Spotify users, you can pre-save Vampire here:
Over the next two weeks, I will be heavily promoting this new song on social media leading up to the release.
I hope you can give it a listen and maybe even add it to a playlist or two.
On January 12, I will feed you a feast of a song.
As I have grown older, I have become hyper-aware of the physical spaces that have held great meaning in my life. There was my first apartment that I lived in on my own in my early 20s in Charlotte, NC (a charming, 500-square foot, one bedroom with hardwood floors that I adored, despite the cockroaches). I used to sneak into the sanctuary of a Lutheran Church to play the church piano to my heart’s content at odd hours of the night. That space is where my creative life began. (Do not worry. The church secretary was in on it and made sure I had a key.) Then, there is the palatial house owned by a fabulous French woman in Nashville where I met my future husband during a big party. I love that place for obvious reasons.
This past week, I sat by myself late into the night in my mom’s living room at her house in Nashville. I wanted to soak in all that this space has given me. Decked out with a sparkling Christmas tree and ornate decor, this room has held numerous family gatherings. Lots of conversations and shared laughter with relatives and my mom happened here. I will hold this sweet space and all of the memories it has delivered for as long as I can.
To listen to my music, watch my films, or see my visual art, please visit:
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