Norah Jones Announces New Album
Multiple Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter Norah Jones will release her fourth studio album on Parlophone / Blue Note Records this November. Jones wrote nearly all of the songs in the past two years since completing tours in support of her 2007 global chart-topping, U.S. double-platinum album Not Too Late.
Beloved by fans for her sultry vocals and jazz-informed, piano-driven pop songwriting, Jones has taken a new direction on the as-yet-untitled album, seeing it as a chance to experiment with different sounds and an opportunity to work with a new set of collaborators, including Jacquire King, a noted producer and engineer who has worked with Kings of Leon, Tom Waits, and Modest Mouse among others. Jones also enlisted several songwriting collaborators, including Ryan Adams and Okkervil River’s Will Sheff, as well as her frequent partner Jesse Harris.
“I knew I wanted to try some different things on this album,” Jones says. “I’d been playing with the same musicians for a long time. We’re all still friendly and I hope we play together again, but it felt like a good time to work with new people and experiment with different sounds. As far as a producer, I wanted someone who could take me out of my comfort zone and find the right musicians to capture what I wanted to do with this collection of songs. I got in touch with Jacquire initially because he engineered one of my favourite records of all time, Tom Waits’ Mule Variations. He was really eager to do it and we got along really well, which was important.”
King helped Jones put together a new group of musicians to perform on the album, including drummers Joey Waronker (Beck, R.E.M.) and James Gadson (Bill Withers), keyboardist James Poyser (Erykah Badu, Al Green), and guitarists Marc Ribot (Tom Waits, Elvis Costello) and Smokey Hormel (Johnny Cash, Joe Strummer). Jones and King tailored the songs to the musicians’ strengths. “I think the record sounds different due to the variety of musicians we used,” Jones says, “I knew I wanted to play with grooves more than I have on previous albums. Some of these new songs lent themselves to having driving rhythms underneath.”
Another noticeable change on Jones’ upcoming album is that she plays mostly guitar. “I actually write more on guitar than I do on piano,” she says. “It just felt more natural for me to play it on these songs.”