Here’s the latest single from Nashville-base Nora Jane Struthers. ‘I Can Hear the Birds’ is a beautifully-written song, full of absorbing layers. In particular, Joe Pemberton’s atmospheric pedal steel winds its way through the song while the Struthers vocal delivery is refreshingly melodic, taking unexpected turns and delivering powerful words – pandemic experiences that we can all relate to: “Ain’t it strange to think everyone’s doing the same thing for the first time and we’ve never felt so alone.” The visuals are equally effective – wide open spaces, sunsets and subtle colours, all adding to the song’s mood.
Struthers says of the song: “It’s the first song I wrote after being grounded by the pandemic. I had the misfortune of releasing my new album, independently, in February of 2020. When the lockdown happened, I was on tour in Albany, NY. We drove 15 hours straight home with our 15-month-old daughter in the back. The shift from being surrounded by community whilst engaging in the audience-performer energy exchange nightly to being home with my young toddler daughter full-time without playgroups, grandparents, library story times, etc…was staggeringly challenging. The second verse is about my struggle to relate to my father, whose political beliefs are so very different from my own.” That a song so beautiful could emerge from such challenging times is a sign that Struthers is a gifted song-writer.
The single is taken from ‘Back to Cast Iron’, the new album, produced by Neilson Hubbard, due out on 27th October. Back in early 2020, Struthers was touring her last album, when the pandemic changed everything overnight. Although she had to contend with the loss of income, the situation also offered new perspectives on life and a new direction for her songwriting. Struthers explains: “Letting go of something that I loved so much and trying to come to terms with what I was going to put in its place – that’s the story of the album. And the story of my life right now. I’m navigating what it looks like to be a full-time caregiver to two children, and trying to figure out how to balance that while finding new ways of seeking joy.” Seek joy – take a listen to this.