Early last year, Katy Davidson’s Dear Nora project experienced something of a resurgence after the reissue of their 2004 album, Mountain Rock. A tour on both coasts followed, and Davidson felt inspired to make a new album under the name, the first proper Dear Nora album in over a decade. It’s called Skulls Example, and it’ll be out on 5/25. In a statement accompanying the album, Davidson explains why now felt like the right time to revive the project:
One of the reasons I “retired” Dear Nora ten years ago was because I couldn’t figure out how to navigate financial stability as a full-time songwriter and touring musician. And for the last three years, I’ve worked as a commercial music producer. I enjoy my work, but I constantly think about how I’m contributing to the Massive Capitalistic Garbage Dump of Life. When Trump got elected, I knew it was time to make a new album.
I derived a ton of lyrical inspiration from several recent visits to Oaxaca and Mexico City. I’m fairly obsessed with Mexico’s culture, music, and attitude towards death. I also derived inspiration from the Mojave desert and Oregon’s high desert, places where there are creosote or juniper trees, and fields of ancient lava rock. To me there’s nothing like letting go of my thoughts and being in the dusty, sensual wilderness. Living on Earth feels like pure magic to me and I tried to bring that feeling to this album.
The album’s lead single is “Sunset On Humanity,” a gorgeous sepia-toned song about the breakdown between virtual reality and real life and what that means for all of us. Davidson’s voice lilts and and breezes throughout, reflecting an apocalypse of isolation spurred by oversaturation. “Sunset in the video game/ And I’m walking on the beach/ The colors are radiant, orange, blue, purple, red, yellow/ I’m reaching/ It’s all within reach,” they begin. “I believe what I see and I believe what I feel,” the music suggesting that maybe not everything is as it appears. Listen below.
01 “White Fur”
02 “Morning Glories”
03 “New To Me”
04 “Simulation Feels”
05 “Sunset On Humanity”
07 “Skulls Example”
08 “Worship The Cactus”
09 “Antidote For Mindlessness”
10 “Black Truck”
11 “Creature Of Habit”
12 “Ancient Plain”
13 “Long Distance”
14 “Walking In The Hills”
03/23-25 Boise, ID @ Treefort Music Fest
05/25 Portland, OR @ Turn Turn Turn, Early Show (All Ages) / Late Show (21+) *
05/26 Seattle, WA @ Timbre Room *
05/29 Oakland, CA @ Starline Social Club * ^
05/30 Los Angeles, CA @ Bootleg Theater * ~
05/31 Phoenix, AZ @ Trunk Space *
06/01 Palm Springs, CA @ Ace Hotel (Amigo Room) *
06/02 San Francisco, CA @ Make Out Room (early show) *
* w/ Nicholas Krgovich
^ w/ Stephen Steinbrink
~ w/ Hand Habits
Skulls Example is out 5/25 via Orindal Records. Pre-order it here.