Lori McKenna Draws on Her Roots For New Album ‘Massachusetts’
Singer-songwriter Lori McKenna's small town New England roots have often played a role in her lyrics. For her recently-released sixth studio album, 'Massachusetts,' she not only drew from her life, she also tracked the album in her hometown of Stoughton, Mass., recording live with her band in a converted barn.
"You know, my last few records have been made in Nashville. Over the last five or six years, Nashville has become such a big part of my music and my career," McKenna tells CMT Edge. "When we started talking about wanting to make this record, the first thought in my head was, 'I want to make a record back here in Boston with my band.' They're such a great group of guys, and every time I play a show up here, someone asks me, 'When are you going to make a record with this band?' So that was almost the whole point of making this record."
McKenna admits that the unconventional recording process was difficult for her. "When we went to make this record, [producer] Mark [Erelli] and I would have these long talks about production. He really wanted to do it live, and I was always on board," she relates. "However, when we got in there, I'm not going to lie to you, I was miserable. I was like, 'What have I gotten myself into?'"
She adds, "I'm so happy with the way it came out, though, and so proud of how it sounds because I know how hard it was for me and how anxious I was during the process."
With songs like 'Smaller and Smaller,' 'Make Every Word Hurt,' 'How Romantic Is That' and 'Grown Up Now,' the album isn't exactly an upbeat Taylor Swift record. "I always say to people, 'I guess my songs are sad, but I don't think of them as completely dark,'" McKenna relates. "But I'm drawn to those songs because I don't know how to make people dance, and if you can't make them dance, you got to try and make them cry. The whole point is you want to make them feel something."