Seven years after her debut album The Storm, Sonya Kitchell is back with We Come Apart, her first full-length album since 2008. The time between solo releases has been prolific for Kitchell. She spent a year collaborating with the legendary Herbie Hancock on his Grammy-winning album, River: The Joni Letters. She has performed at Carnegie Hall, Hollywood Bowl, the Montreaux Jazz Festival, Newport Folk Festival, and Central Park Summerstage. Additionally, she appeared on Late Night with David Letterman, Live at Abbey Road, and won two Grammys—for her work on River: The Joni Letters and Tedeschi Trucks Band’s Revelator.
We Come Apart sees the singer stepping into the role of producer for the first time and grow into a new version of herself. Kitchell laid the groundwork for We Come Apart with multi-instrumentalist Shahzad Ismaily, who was a catalyst in the album’s creation. In addition, she worked with cellist Gyda Valtysdottir, of the Icelandic band Mum, members of the Dap-Kings horn section, Nate Walcott of Bright Eyes contributes flugelhorn arrangements, while high school friend Alex Chakour contributed an array of instruments, from ukulele to synth bass. Skye Steele’s haunting strings add poignancy. Isabel Castellvi, Findlay Brown, Neal Evans (of Soulive), and drummers Miles Arntzen, Adam Deitch, Lee Madeloni and Mathias Kunzli leave their mark on the album as well.
The album was recorded twice: once with money she raised through a PledgeMusic campaign and a second time with funds she gathered herself. We Come Apart caps a period of growth and reinvention for Kitchell who was 17 when she released her first album Words Came Back to Me in 2006. Kitchell followed her acclaimed debut with the 2008 LP The Storm and an EP collection of string quartets Convict of Conviction in 2010.
We Come Apart explores the remnants of things, the space in between our atoms. The album represents years of Kitchell’s years of growth: learning from masters, reexamining her expectations, and remaking herself as a vivid, fresh voice.The 12-track collection is due January 22 and features the dreamy debut single “Mexico.” Listen to it below.
Words: K. Hules.