lifeblood: songs: backgrounds: happy in the sorrow key

2015-05-20: spotlight on indigo girls' amy ray, pollstar:

some songs, like on this record, you can definitely hear it, there's layering. we might have gotten the core - bass, drums and vocals, for "happy in the sorrow key" but then we laid in track-by-track the strings, the horns, emily's part ... anything else that went on. but on a song like "the rise of the black messiah" ... emily and the violin, her guitar, were done afterwards, but all the other stuff, the performance, was one take. in fact, i'm even standing in front of the drummer, singing ... playing my mandolin. it's really live.

"southern california," though, emily's song, is layered track-by-track. i went in there and built my guitar part, built my harmonies, didn't even know what i was going to do at first.


2015-06-18: indigo girls bring full band to asheville's orange peel, the asheville citizen-times:

as far as the songwriting on the new album, ray says "there's been no shortage of things to draw on." among them, "the rise of the black messiah" was inspired by the angola three case, one of whose inmates wrote her a letter from prison seven years ago, while the passing of her father in the same 10-day period in which her child was born influenced "happy in the sorrow key" and "fishtails."

"i started those songs years ago and picked them back up with new information from those new events," said ray, who writes separately from saliers. "after playing for so long together and not having a new record, it was good to dig back together and work on arrangements and refamiliarize ourselves."


2016-02-11: indigo girls at golden state, the monterey county weekly:

and one lost day's debut single, "happy in the sorrow key," was inspired by the death of ray's father, who passed two weeks after the birth of her first child.

"a lot of [the album] was influenced by a change in perspective," ray told usa today ahead of its 2015 release.

ray recorded "happy in the sorrow key" with her guitar plugged into a "bad-ass amp" that she picked up in seattle. the result is clean grunge in the vein of r.e.m.'s "what's the frequency kenneth" - minus the feedback.

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