On April 20, Grammy-nominated singer songwriter Ashley Monroe will release Sparrow via Warner Music Nashville. The album, her fourth, was recorded with producer Dave Cobb in Nashville’s legendary RCA Studio A. Monroe spoke about the forthcoming album with NPR Music who also shared the music video for the first released song “Hands On You.” NPR’s Jewly Hight said, “On that song and the 11 others that round out the track list, many of which frame her voice with sumptuous strings, Monroe sounds more sensitive, sensual and comfortable in her skin than she ever has.”
Stream “Hands On You” Now:
After releasing her Grammy-nominated LP The Blade in 2015, Monroe started writing songs that realized themselves in unexpected ways – nudged loose after working through trauma and turmoil from her childhood. “I was unpacking a lot of stuff,” she says. “I was singing, and identifying what it’s like to be left. No one told me what I should do, back then, when the world started to crumble.”
After losing her father when she was young, Monroe and her mother grappled with the challenging experience of learning their new roles in his absence. Through the songs of Sparrow, Monroe and Cobb turned these experiences into moody, orchestral recordings that explore all sides of a fully formed woman unashamed of her scars – the maternal tendencies, the childlike wonder, the sultry moments behind closed doors.
Working with some of her closest collaborators, including Brendan Benson and Waylon Payne, Monroe recorded and wrote many songs on Sparrow while she was pregnant with her first child. “I felt powerful,” she says. “I wasn’t puffing, I wasn’t drinking wine, I was just singing.”
“I knew I wanted to work with Dave,” Monroe says. “All of his records are consistently awesome and classic, timeless, old and new all in one.” Together, they shared their favorite records and music moments, like early Elton John LPs and Glenn Campbell’s “Wichita Lineman,” molding Sparrow into its own unique sonic space. “Country music is a wide genre, and that’s OK,” Monroe says. “I don’t even know what genre this record is, but I know it’s me.”