My Heart officially comes out October 7th via Pravda Records
After spending much of the last two decades touring and recording with such acts as Neko Case and The Decemberists, Chicago’s Nora O’Connor returns to the solo realm with an excellent new album, My Heart.
The album was recorded in a trio of Chicagoland studios in Reliable Records, Kernal Studio, and Susu Studio as well as Sonic Piranha I Phoenix, AZ with O’Connor and Alex Hall producing, aided by veteran Chicago singer/songwriter Steve Dawson on two tunes. Keeping true to her fair city, My Heart will be released by Chicago’s venerable indie label, Pravda Records on CD, digital download and streaming services October 7.
After the COVID-19 pandemic limited her to touring solo in the backyards of her hometown, Nora began recording a series of new home demos that slowly became her third solo album. My Heart features ten songs of pure Nora, a stunning reflection of her eclectic taste and spectacular talent. Songs range from Linda Rondstadt-esque 70’s country-rock to heartbreakingly sweet folk reminiscent of her heroes The Roches, Norma Tanega and Margo Guryan (one of whose composition O’Connor humbly covers on this new release) to classic Bacharach-inspired piano pop. My Heart is sonically driven by her smooth acoustic guitar playing and impossibly rich vocals, with lush harmonies that push the performances right over the top.
She was joined in the studio by three of her bandmates from Chicago vocal supergroup, the Flat Five: Casey McDonough supplying vocals, bass and acoustic guitar; Scott Ligon on organ, Wurlitzer and guitars (Casey and Scott are also current members of NRBQ); Alex Hall providing drums, percussion, piano, Wurlitzer, mellotron, vibes, and vocals. Steve Dawson also pitched in on guitars, Wurlizter, harmonium, along with Robbie Djersoe on dobro, electric guitar and Jon Rouhouse who contributed pedal steel.
“Around mid-summer 2020, I started booking little yard shows around my town,” she explains. “That was when nothing else was happening and it felt very nourishing to be with a few people for a couple of hours and play music. I wrote a couple songs for those gigs and it felt pretty good to see what was ‘in there’ (me). Having a break from touring with other bands, I wanted to fill my solo set with more original material. I liked what was coming out and wanted the experience of recording my own music. It was an exercise of trusting myself and getting over myself.”
Rock & Roll Globe is proud to premiere the full album stream of My Heart ahead of its release this Friday. Give it a listen.