Tuesday, January 11, 2022
– Allison Moorer today released "Wish for You," the title track of a four-song EP inspired by her son, who has autism.
"These songs are about soul communication, love, and the universal language of music," said Moorer of her digital EP. "When I first realized John Henry was making up his own melodies and humming them on repeat, I learned them too so I could sing them with him. Any chance for communication with my son is one I can't ignore. So he'll sing a line, and then I'll sing a line...it's a conversation."
"Wish For You" will be released on Feb. 11 through Moorer's own Autotelic Records via Thirty Tigers.
Moorer's son, John Henry Earle, now 11-years-old and the son of Steve Earle, was diagnosed with autism when he was 23-months old. He has a severe speech disability, which hinders his capacity for spoken language. Wish For You features songs that Moorer wrote around melodies that John Henry has created.
"I know I was channeling for most of the writing on this collection of songs. For instance, I wrote 'One Voice' on the spot. I will never forget this — it was a Saturday in June 2021, and I stayed up late one night. All day long I'd planned to write after John Henry went to bed, and when he was finally asleep, I sat at the dining room table and recorded 'Stardust & Freedom.' I knew that the lyric I'd written for 'One Voice' was connected to it, but didn't know exactly how. I just spontaneously joined the two songs while the tape was rolling, and it worked. I feel like John Henry was coming through me for certain that night. We have a kind of telepathy. We've had to develop one, and I'm so grateful for it."
Most songs began while Moorer sat on her living room floor surrounded by instruments and figured out how to record her ideas in Garage Band. They were brought to fruition with her longtime collaborator, producer and guitarist Kenny Greenberg, at his studio. Greenberg and Moorer played or programmed all of the instruments themselves except for the live drums and percussion and one flute part.
"Doing this EP set me free as a singer. John Henry's melodies are so interesting. They lean classical to my ear, and they're not necessarily western in tone. Who knows how he's coming up with his tunes? I tried to get out of my comfort zones and be as open as possible when writing music around them. These songs sound like what I think John Henry might like, and they reflect how I feel when I'm with him in our calm and joyous moments. They also indicate how little I have to prove as an artist anymore. I'm just grateful to be here and to still be making music however I'm called to do it."
Moorer released I Dream He Talks to Me: A Memoir of Learning How to Listen, chronicling her life with her son in October 2021.
"Kenny Greenberg, who wrote and produced these songs with me and is an integral part of this project, asked me what genre I thought it goes in. I said, 'I don't know. I call it spirit music. These songs don't really have anything to do with who I've previously been as an artist except that I feel like everything I've previously done on record finally adds up. It got me here, to the most meaningful and positive music I've ever made."
The track list is:
All We Have is Now
Wish For You
Stardust & Freedom/One Voice