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Singled Out: Heather Valley's Ohio River


K. Wiggins | 12-19-2019

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Heather Valley

Heather Valley recently released her debut album "Desert Message" and to celebrate we asked her to tell us about the single "Ohio River". Here is the story:

I am in love with Cincinnati. The Queen City of the industrial midwest, built with optimism, decayed by time, buzzing with a loosely braided mixture of hope and hopelessness. But for me, it was largely a ghost town. When I was there we woke up late in the afternoon, drove to the Northside and recorded until midnight in an abandoned factory. Then out onto the abandoned streets, walking just the two of us in the mild winter night, across the great bridge over the Ohio River that ran the Kentucky border. This story is set after Valentine's Day. There had been a school shooting and the flags were at half mast. The river was high, glittering black, beckoning. It was mainly in Kentucky despite its name. I asked if you ever had to hold yourself back from the edge. You said yes, and held my hand. I thought you were with me but, like the river, you were really a state away.

This is the feature track from my debut record, Desert Message. I wrote this album after I lost everything. My career, my home, my sanity, all because I loved the wrong person. These songs are dispatches from the desert after I stopped to take stock of where I was, how it had all gone so wrong, and what I had learned.

Major influences include Jason Molina (Songs: Ohia, Magnolia Electric Co), Cat Power, Wilco, Julie Doiron, Mount Eerie.

Mike "Slo Mo" Brenner, who played with Molina, contributed steel guitars throughout the record.

Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen and learn more about the album right here!


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