lifeblood: songs: backgrounds: cold shoulder

2008-10-03: amy ray finds inspiration in lonely nights, the toledo blade:

a committed environmentalist and outspoken advocate for gay rights, ray's music is infused with a strong political sensibility often delivered from a personal perspective. "cold shoulder" is a bouncy pop song that tackles a seduction, the south's checkered racial history, and sexual identity, all in less than three minutes.

after a long, interesting, and somewhat tangled description of the song and the various angles from which it addresses these issues, ray laughed.

"i'm trying to cover all this ground in one song that's supposed to be like an old everly brothers song," she said.


2008-11-14: amy ray: the new gay interview, the new gay:

tng: okay, so your new album. your first solo album was stag, then came prom, and now didn't it feel kinder, with the two horses together on the cover-am i reading too much into this as symbolic of some sort of happy ending?

ar: [laughs] um . . . that's funny. it's definitely a more relational record than the other ones. relationships, uh, well not just being love relationships, because i'm talking about compassion and taking the high road, and how to have dialog with people that are coming from a completely different place than you are, and how to love the parts of yourself that are hard to love. those are the themes that the record deals with. so, i don't know why a picture of two horses makes sense to me, but it does. because there's something about the relationship with horses, especially, because they're such emotional beings, where you don't really know what's going on between those two horses, but there's something connecting them. it just made sense to me for some reason.

tng: the songs "bus bus" "she's got to be", and "cold shoulder" were kinda standouts to me, as far as that relationship / two horses in the pasture together theme goes. especially "cold shoulder" has a sort of replacements "i will dare" feel to it.

ar: ah, "i will dare"-i love that song-it's a great song.

tng: generally, this album seems to have a range of influences-would you say more so than the previous two?

ar: it's definitely more rangey and diverse. i think some of it is working with a producer and challenging myself in that way, different musical input. and i was writing the songs in a lot of different locations, with different influences in what i was listening to or whatever bands were playing on the stage before us. there's a lot of stuff leaking into the songs, musically. and then working with the producer to push the musical arrangements and musicality up to a different level, and really stretch vocally and rhythmically to bring in some other ideas. it's definitely a step in a different direction than stag and prom, but i guess the thing that ties the records together is i just try to focus on songwriting, and that's the core. my solo records have a certain way that i write, topics i hit on, ways of telling stories.

tng: and this album was mostly written on the road?

ar: a lot of it yeah, mostly. i probably finished a few things at home, but yeah, i was on tour a lot, when i was writing for that record.

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