Video Premiere: Heather Lynne Horton 'After All This Time' From Her Third Studio Album
By Stevie Connor. Photo Credit: Ron Horne.
Heather Lynne Horton has released an official music video for her single "All This Time", which is premiered here at The Sound Cafe, ahead of her new album release on September 22nd.
Heather says of the track,"I found myself feeling awkward and out of place after being invited into a private zoom group of New York literary writers for an open-shared writing exercise. Being the only songwriter it forced me to dig from different recesses of my psyche. In an attempt to shield my most vulnerable space, I was trying to write in fiction… It backfired though and somehow I ended up exposing myself completely, writing one of the most personal songs I’ve written to date."
There are moments in music when your sensibilities are arrested by the sweeping beauty of instruments, voices, and songs. You find yourself caught up in a certain sonic rapture that leads to deep catharsis. It’s as if you’ve been bathed by healing waters and emerged enlightened.
That is the experience of Heather Lynne Horton’s third studio album, Get Me to a Nunnery, released on Pauper Sky Records. In 10 self-penned songs, Horton has created a melodic utopia that conjures up scenes of Kate Bush sipping tea with Joni Mitchell in a lush, muted garden with its beguiling scents and breathtaking imagery. Then, as if almost unexpectedly, Sinead O’Connor joins the soiree as the warm sun begins to set.
Horton’s hypnotic voice, here recorded and produced to maximize its alluring appeal, rides the velvety elements of the tracks. There is a forlorn tinge to her singing and to the songs, but this is by no means a wallowing record. In fact, Horton’s message is of strength and empowerment.
“I want to bring uncomfortable ideas into conversation through the medium of music,” Horton says. “This record is about spotlighting systemic oppression. How we’ve come this far but seemingly nowhere at all. ‘The more things change, the more they stay the same.’ We continue to burn people at the stake for being different, for being their true selves. Our strength in nurturing and preserving empathy are weakening day by day.”
However, Get Me to a Nunnery makes its points with elegant musicianship. The album, recorded in Chicago from mid-2022 to early 2023, features Horton on guitar and haunting violin; her husband Michael McDermott on guitar, keyboards, piano, and bass; Will Kimbrough on baritone guitar; John Deaderick on piano, keyboards, and organ; Matt Thompson on electric bass and upright bass; and Steven Gillis, who also mixed four of the album’s songs, on drums.
Produced by Horton with co-production and engineering by McDermott, Get Me to a Nunnery is chockfull of ethereal gems. There’s the gorgeous, folk-influenced opening track, “After All This Time,” also the album’s first video, with its wall of voices and gauzy instrumentation. There’s the pulsating, potent “I Don’t Like Your Children,” a biting manifesto on kids’ untarnished knack for seeing the truth in people. There’s “Beatrix,” a lilting ballad that plays like a dream complete with cloudy scenes and washed-out colors. And there’s “Ten Times,” a lightly galloping number tackling the difficulties women face to be heard in today’s male-driven society.
Get Me to a Nunnery elevates the artistic promises Horton delivered on her debut, 2012’s Postcard Saturdays, and her critically acclaimed follow-up, 2018’s Don’t Mess with Mrs. Murphy. Murphy enjoyed praise in No Depression, Paste, and Three Chords & the Truth. It received an unprecedented 10 out of 10 score on Americana UK and ended up being the Critic’s Choice Album of the Year.
Horton still marvels at the reaction to Murphy, saying that “what was intended as more of a self-reflective mosaic ended up spouting such a shocking positive reaction from critics and reviewers.”
With Get Me to a Nunnery, Horton is ready to continue building on that groundwork. “At the end of the day, anyone making a record is trying to say something, be heard, and be understood,” she says. “I didn't necessarily expect the layers to be pulled back so much. It encouraged me to go deeper. If even one more person finds the desire to dig deeper into themselves over any subject of this record, my mission is complete.”
FOLLOW HEATHER LYNNE HORTON