Nashville-based singer-songwriter Jess Nolan has released “Windowpanes,” the latest single and its hypnotic, accompanying video from her forthcoming LP, ‘93. The 10-track treasure is due on September 8th via Ani DiFranco’s label, Righteous Babe Records.
“Back in the summer of 2021, I picked up an old beater guitar that had been collecting dust on my wall. I’ve been a piano player my whole life but something about strumming in open tuning helped me tap into a childlike state to channel ‘Windowpanes,’” Nolan recalls. “It came through after a heated phone call with a friend about a political topic that we vehemently disagreed on. Talking to them felt like hitting a brick wall.”
“This song is meant to be a meditation for finding common ground. It’s become a white flag for the difficult conversations we find ourselves in with people close to us. Empathy can be a window to understanding,” she adds. “To record it, I brought in my dear friends, Katie Pruitt and Kyshona, and we stood around one mic to sing the chorus – a call for unity in the face of so much divisiveness.” The video was created by fellow artist Grouch Bucket, who animated Nolan’s visual art.
Nolan is an old soul and a skilled creator who continuously channels a palate of creative endeavors. A member of Jenny Lewis’ all-female touring band, she is an in-demand collaborator, lending her writing, vocal, and instrumentalist talents to projects by artists like Joy Oladokun, Katie Pruitt, Lydia Luce, and more.
The seeds of her new LP, ’93, sprouted in the height of 2020. In the midst of the initial involuntary stillness, she planted a backyard vegetable garden, moved her involvement in mentoring young female songwriters online, and traveled back to her New Jersey hometown to stay with family for weeks at a time. In the face of uncertainty, strong, deeply-rooted feelings came pouring out, resulting in 10 poignant reflections on rebirth, reconnection, and mindfulness.
With an intention for listeners to feel grounded from its first moment, ‘93 is meant to be a meditation, bringing a sense of rootedness in its execution. “The process of recording this was relaxed,” Nolan recalls. “It’s the safest I’ve ever felt while creating something.”
In a world of overdubs and click tracks, Nolan and her co-producers, Will Honaker and Ross McReynolds, pursued a much more collaborative, organic approach. The atmosphere of the album came from an open and spiritually full place. “Writing this album was a declaration that I will not give up on myself. Only from that place can I fully show up for those around me. I have so much gratitude for this process of making songs and sharing them. It mimics the natural cycle of things… life, death, life,” she says. “I see this record as a true reimagining of myself musically and personally. My hope is that it can provide love and comfort to those who need it.” Click HERE to pre-save/pre-order ‘93.
Photo Courtesy: Taylor Ann Bogner