Dear Nora releases “Simulation Feels,” new album ‘Skulls Example’ out 5/25

by the partae


Dear Nora, the long time project of Katy Davidson (pronouns they/them), has shared “Simulation Feels,” the third and final single from their new album, Skulls Example. She Shreds Magazine premiered the track today and interviewed Davidson, who says the song is about “how quickly we shift gears throughout the day between what we’re seeing, what we’re doing, what’s in front of us and then what’s happening inside our phones or on our laptops. It really gives a warped sense of time and space.”
Skulls Example, Dear Nora’s first new album in 12 years, continues to explore Katy Davidson’s fascination with the vast realms and intersections of wilderness, humanity, morality, technology, late capitalism, human connections and love during turbulent political times. Skulls Example is available for pre-order now and due out on May 25th via Orindal Records.
Additionally, Dear Nora hitting the road on a late spring tour to include some east coast shows. The tour includes dates with Nicholas Krgovich, Stephen Steinbrink, Hand Habits and Harmony Tividad. All dates below.
5/25 – Portland, OR @ Turn Turn Turn, Early Show (All Ages) * / Late Show (21+) >
5/26 – Seattle, WA @ Timbre Room * <
5/27 – Olympia, WA @ Le Voyeur *
5/29 – Oakland, CA @ Starline Social Club * ^
5/30 – Los Angeles, CA @ Bootleg Theater * ~
5/31 – Phoenix, AZ @ Trunk Space * #
6/1 – Palm Springs, CA @ Ace Hotel (Amigo Room) %
6/2 – San Francisco, CA @ Make Out Room (early show) *
6/8 – Boston, MA @ Lilypad = *
6/9 – Brooklyn, NY @ Knitting Factory / Northside Festival
6/10 – Philadelphia, PA @ Space 1026 + *
* w/ Nicholas Krgovich
> w/ Jessica Dennison & Jones
< w/ Your Heart Breaks
^ w/ Stephen Steinbrink
# w/ Sean Pierce
% w/ Jeffrey Brodsky
~ w/ Hand Habits
= w/ Lisa/Liza
+ w/ Harmony Tividad
Songwriter Katy Davidson (gender pronouns: they/them) revived the band Dear Nora in January 2017 when Orindal Records reissued the thirteen-year-old album Mountain Rock on vinyl. The reissue received great acclaim and the band toured the west and east coasts last year. Spurred by the momentum, Davidson decided to create the first album of new Dear Nora material in a decade, Skulls Example (release date: May 25, 2018).

Davidson has been composing, recording, and performing for nearly twenty years. Davidson is from rural Arizona, has lived in Portland, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, and currently resides in Twentynine Palms, California. Davidson has played under a handful of monikers, but Dear Nora is the one most widely recognized. Dear Nora originally started in 1999, released a handful of enigmatic, compelling albums throughout the early 2000s, and toured across the United States, Japan, Sweden and Australia. Throughout the years, the Dear Nora live band featured a rotating cast of band members, though oftentimes Davidson played solo. Davidson retired the band name Dear Nora in 2008 and began making music under the names Lloyd & Michael and Key Losers.

Davidson’s music represents a spectrum of styles encompassing classic rock, experimental music, ethereal pop, new age, punk, and R&B. Davidson writes lyrics with layered meanings that contemplate the vast realms and intersections of wilderness, humanity, morality, technology, late capitalism, and love.

I wrote the songs on Skulls Example between 2009 and 2017, and recorded most of them during the latter half of 2017. “Skulls Example” is a name I once chose for myself during a party by closing my eyes and picking two words at random from a book of magic.
I tracked most of the basic instruments for each song with my bandmates Zach Burba (bass/synth), Greg Campanile (drums), and Jessica Jones (guitar) at a studio in Portland, Oregon. We used nice microphones, ran audio into a Mackie mixer, then ran stereo audio out of the mixer to a Tascam 4-track cassette recorder. Then I bounced the individual instrument tracks from cassette to Ableton Live on my laptop. Zach overdubbed a lot of the bass and synth tracks remotely from his house in Seattle. I tracked all the vocals and recorded some guitar overdubs in a reverberant empty bedroom in my house in Portland. Engineer Tim Shrout expertly mixed the album on ProTools while I micromanaged.
It has been a decade since I have released new material under the name Dear Nora. The last time I released an album of new material was in 2011 – that was called California Lite and it was under the band name Key Losers. Thematically, California Lite makes sense as an early warm-up to Skulls Example. It’s about freeways, the internet, human connections (and broken connections), and wilderness.
Skulls Example is about how our weird, techno-futuristic present (VR, self-driving cars, drones, Tinder dates, reality TV show government, Starbucks ubiquity, iPhone as extension of human body, Blade Runner-esque income inequality, cryptocurrency “utopias”, etc.) juxtaposes so absurdly against the never-ending backdrop of inexorable, ancient elements (fire, ice, wind, storms, mountains, rocks, human instinct, etc). It’s like we live in multiple realities at once: Now Reality layered upon Ancient Reality, Virtual Reality layered upon Now Reality. The palimpsest creates the illusion of collapsed time.
The album is specifically about humanity. Our capacities and feats are so incredible – we’re godlike – and yet we’re scrounging for happiness and basic survival, we’re heavily addicted, we just want love, we want family. We’re simultaneously so brilliant and so basic. To me, this feels like the worst and best time to be alive. I experience some level of horror and bliss on a daily basis.
One of the reasons I “retired” Dear Nora ten years ago was because I couldn’t figure out how to navigate financial stability as a full-time songwriter and touring musician. And for the last three years, I’ve worked as a commercial music producer. I enjoy my work, but I constantly think about how I’m contributing to the Massive Capitalistic Garbage Dump of Life. When Trump got elected, I knew it was time to make a new album.
I derived a ton of lyrical inspiration from several recent visits to Oaxaca and Mexico City. 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.
MAY 25, 2018
2. Morning Glories
3. New To Me
6. Anyway
7. Skulls Example
8. Worship the Cactus
9. Antidote for Mindlessness
10. Black Truck
11. Creature of Habit
12. Ancient Plain
13. Long Distance
14. Walking in the Hills
Twitter @weird_cactus | Instagram @dearnorareality


You may also like

Leave a Comment

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.