Dear Nora, the long-running indie pop project of Portland songwriter Katy Davidson, has announced a new album, the first from the project in over 10 years. Titled Skulls Example, the release follows a reissue of the band’s phenomenal 2004 album Mountain Rock last year through former Casiotone for the Painfully Alone songwriter Owen Ashworth’s label Orindal Records.
Notoriously influential on an entire generation of bedroom songwriters, Dear Nora has become a sort of best-kept secret online, inspiring devotion from bands like Girlpool, Joyce Manor, Julia Brown, and more. Written between 2009 and 2017, Skulls Example represents the work of a rotating cast of musicians, many of whom have been with the project in some capacity since its beginning in 1999.
“Skull Example is about how our weird, techno-futuristic present juxtaposes so absurdly against the never-ending backdrop of inexorable, ancient elements,” Davidson says in a statement. “It’s like we live in multiple realities at once: Now Reality layered upon Ancient Reality, Virtual Reality layered upon Now Reality. The palimpset creates the illusion of collapsed time.”
Included with the album, Davidson has shared “Sunset on Humanity,” a hushed, steady rock song with bent guitar lines and a humble vocal croon. “I derived a ton of lyrical inspiration from several recent visits to Oaxaca and Mexico City,” the songwriter continues. “I’m fairly obsessed with Mexico’s culture, music, and attitude towards death. I also derived inspiration from the Mojave desert and Oregon’s high desert, places where there are creosote or juniper trees, and fields of ancient lava rock. To me there’s nothing like letting go of my thoughts and being in the dusty, sensual wilderness. Living on Earth feels like pure magic to me and I tried to bring that feeling to this album.”
Skull Example is out May 25 via Orindal Records. Listen to “Sunset on Humanity” below.