[ Blue Note / LP ]
Release Date: Friday 12 June 2020
Nine-time GRAMMY winning singer, songwriter, and pianist Norah Jones introduces her seventh solo studio album Pick Me Up Off The Floor on Blue Note Records.
Jones didn't mean to make another album. After she finished touring 2016's Day Breaks - her beloved return to piano-based jazz - she walked away from the well-worn album cycle grind and into an unfamiliar territory without boundaries: a series of short sessions with an ever-changing array of collaborators resulting in a diverse stream of singles (with Mavis Staples, Rodrigo Amarante, Thomas Bartlett, Tarriona Tank Ball, and more). But then slowly but surely, the session songs Jones hadn't released congealed into that very thing she'd meant to avoid - an album. But Pick Me Up Off The Floor is not some disjointed collage. It holds together beautifully, connected by the sly groove of her piano trios, lyrics that confront loss and portend hope, and a heavy mood that leans into darkness before ultimately finding the light.
"Every session I've done, there've been extra songs I didn't release, and they've sort of been collecting for the last two years," says Jones. "I became really enamored with them, having the rough mixes on my phone, listening while I walk the dog. The songs stayed stuck in my head and I realized that they had this surreal thread running through them. It feels like a fever dream taking place somewhere between God, the Devil, the heart, the Country, the planet, and me."
Sure enough, just as this set of songs blurs sonic colors (blues, soul, Americana, and various shades of jazz) it also swirls the personal and political, specific pain and societal trauma, into one mercurial body. Even the album title's meaning seems to shift. The words "Pick Me Up Off the Floor" at times play as a plea for outside intervention, but in other moments the phrase feels like a bootstraps-style statement of purpose, as on the rootsy "I'm Alive," made in Chicago with Jeff and Spencer Tweedy, where Jones slashes her own silver lining into the haze of the modern news cycle: "She's crushed by thoughts at night of men / Who want her rights and usually win / But she's alive, oh she's alive."
How I Weep
Hurts To Be Alone
Heartbroken, Day After
Say No More
Were You Watching?
Stumble On My Way