Anticipation has been high for Norelle to release a follow-up to her 2018 project To Sade, Love Norelle, and the Cleveland-bred artist hits the mark in a major way with her latest EP A Story About Love. But it wasn’t an easy road to get here. She explains, “When I first started writing this music in 2018, it came from a very broken place. I was hurt, ashamed, scared and really traumatized by past experiences in my life….I felt defeated…but, I was determined to push past what I felt in my heart and use it as motivation.” The end result is a beautiful, honest collection of music worthy of your attention, and your coin.
With Dami “Mr. DaMention” Adeoye taking the lead on production, Norelle (who also served as co-producer) utilizes her pen and her voice throughout the album’s seven tracks – blowing us away with pristine vocals while sharing personal lessons on the highs and lows of love. Each song highlights a specific theme (referenced in the titles), offering an overall sense of cohesion as we listen to the set. We’re immediately struck by her gorgeous tone set against lovely strings as she takes a hard look in the mirror on “Reset (Introspection).” The inward journey continues on “A Letter To My Younger Self (Self-Love)” as she offers timely advice underscored by muted trumpet.
The focus shifts to relationships on “Is It Over? (Boundaries)” and “Life Is But A Dream (Accountability),” both hard, but necessary dialogues on protecting space, setting parameters, ownership of actions and making wiser decisions. Meanwhile, previous singles “Back Into You (Triggers),” “Deeper (Honesty)” and “Planted (Vulnerability)” delve into intimate spaces of desire, sincerity, openness and trust.
It’s easy to become enamored with A Story About Love. Norelle’s elastic vocals can easily dip into her lower register and soar above clouds, delivering warmth, lightness, ache, sensuality and joy as needed. Not to mention the mesmerizing background harmonies and stellar production. But listeners will also relate to the lyrics, which offer a form of music therapy. Sadly, Norelle lost her mother during the pandemic, so being able to push through and complete the album – without management, distribution, or the backing of a label – is catharsis for her as well.