I moved to Nashville for three reasons. Firstly, I wanted a backyard. I’d been living in apartments in Los Angeles for 14 years, and I felt like a backyard would make me feel more accomplished and grown up. Buying a house in or around L.A. was impossible – even after saving up for years, I didn’t have enough to scratch the surface. Secondly, I wanted to be closer to my family in Georgia. I’d been on the other side of the country for so long, I started noticing a disconnect, and that’s not how I wanted things to be. Lastly, I wanted to eventually start a family of my own. My ovaries we’re like, “Uh… Hello?? The clock’s ticking. Get it together already!” …So there’s that.
Madly in love, newly married to my English (Hackney) husband, we finally made the move to our little fixer-upper this past August. We camped out in our backyard for a few weeks while repairs were made on the inside of the house. Friends and family thought we were nuts, but we found it extremely romantic. The crickets, the fresh air, the stars… And there’s something about peeing in your own damn yard that’s like a right of passage!
October came around and it was time to go on tour with the amazing Emerson Hart. He gave me an education on Nashville on the long drives between tour dates since he’s been living here for years now. On tour, we stopped in lots of my favorite places – Chicago, New York, Minneapolis, Atlanta… It was a really special time for me. I knew that I needed to soak it up and really enjoy the ride, because it wouldn’t be long before I’d settle down a bit in Music City.
Once we got back from tour, I was ready to make a plan for the new album. All the songs were there – I just needed to find a great producer. As fate had it, my friends were traveling through, playing shows with Rachael Yamagata, and needed a place to crash for the night. We had an extra bedroom so I offered up some space for them. The next morning, we woke up and they took me to breakfast as a ‘thank you’, inviting their friend, Joshua Grange. Josh showed up, sat down, ordered, then proceeded to dip his toast in coffee, which I thought was a little unusual and kind of grody. He told me about his studio and I was intrigued, since I was fairly new to town and was open to meeting and working with people who seemed legit and non-flaky.
The next day I called him and swung by his studio. There was an immediate vibe. We started playing around with a song called “Pretty Easy” (the demo version from this day is what we ended up putting on the album with a few tweaks, and it’s one of my favorite songs of the bunch). We agreed to record 8 more songs – and I was so excited to finally have a plan!
But wait – there’s more.
Woah Nelly! I’m pregnant.
So many things went through my head like, “Wow, that didn’t take long.” “Is it possible to have a music career and a baby?” “How am I gonna pay for all of this?” “What is life?!?!” After lots of thought and freaking out, I started taking it one day at a time. I was about 2 months in, made a decision to use the crowdfunding tool, PledgeMusic to help cover the costs of recording and chose to have the release date be on my ‘estimated’ due date 🙂
I named the album Moving Day to represent all 9 songs I’d recorded, about moving towns, moving from relationships, moving on to being a big girl, etc. But the real reason I named it Moving Day was that every time I would press the guitar up to my belly to record, I’d feel the baby move. It was exhilarating and new …and THERE was my theme. I confirmed that I was housing a little groover, and it all came together. Life is about to change – like REALLY change. I’m moving on to the exciting and unknown!
So, it’s the day of the album release and I’m due any minute 🙂 Not exactly sure what’s in store for me, but I’m confident that I’ve made a beautiful record (and a beautiful baby) … and as far as the logistics go, I’m in Nashville, a town that seems to embrace family culture and music at the same time, in my house with a backyard and a vegetable garden that I’ve been dreaming of for all these years, and I’m ready for life’s next adventure. Sometimes the biggest leaps are the scariest, but they’re always worth it.
Here we go.