Norah Jones has shared “How I Weep,” the second single and opening track from her upcoming LP Pick Me Up Off the Floor. The simmering track sees Jones feeling a full-body mourning for something she’s lost: “Inside I will weep/For a loss that’s so deep/That it hardens and turns into stone.”
“My friend got me into poetry this year,” Jones said of the song’s inspiration in a statement. “Her poetry, then she gave me poetry books. That plus reading Dr. Seuss and Shel Silverstein to my kids every night got me into a word maze and I wrote this poem. I liked it but doubted I would ever release a book of poems and started thinking how to turn it into a song. I edited it down quite a bit and sat with it and a very different kind of song emerged. I immediately thought of this string duo I saw to do an arrangement and I loved how it turned out as if they played the main role of the subject, or the ‘loss’.”
“Living in this country — this world — the last few years, I think there’s an underlying sense of, ‘Lift me up. Let’s get up out of this mess and try to figure some things out,’” she has said of the album’s inspiration. “If there’s a darkness to this album, it’s not meant to be an impending sense of doom, if feels more like a human longing for connection. Some of the songs that are personal also apply to the larger issues we’re all facing. And some of the songs that are about very specific larger things also feel quite personal.”
The project also features contributions from bassists Christopher Thomas, John Patitucci, Jesse Murphy, and Josh Lattanzi; drummers Nate Smith, Dan Rieser, and Josh Adams; keyboardist Pete Remm, pedal steel guitarist Dan Iead, violinist Mazz Swift, violist Ayane Kozasa, cellist Paul Wiancko, percussionist Mauro Refosco, background vocalists Ruby Amanfu and Sam Ashworth, trumpeter Dave Guy and tenor saxophonist Leon Michels.