Dori Freeman has shared her latest single "Almost Home" (listen/share) as well as, a video for her previous single "I Am" (watch/share). Both songs are from the Galax, Virginia-based singer/songwriter's forthcoming studio album, 'Ten Thousand Roses,' due September 10 on her own boutique label, Blue Hens Music. Written and recorded during the pandemic in 2020, the 10-track collection was produced by Freeman's husband Nicholas Falk. Whereas as her previous recordings lean towards folk and acoustic-Americana stylings, this time around Freeman explores a tougher country-rock sound, playing electric guitar for the first time on record and embracing bigger drum sounds.
"This group of songs seemed to call for a more electric, lo-fi, grunge-country approach that wasn't too pretty or polished," says Freeman. "It wasn't so much a conscious decision to go in a different direction as it was just a natural evolution of trying new things and picking up on a new sound."
No track better exemplifies this sonic approach than 'Ten Thousand Roses' second single "I Am." It also represents an underlying lyrical theme found throughout the album, in which Freeman pushes back against stereotypes whether they be preconceived ideas of femininity or her Appalachian roots. "I ain't a good girl, though everybody thinks I am/ I got a mind that's dirty as a bottom of a coffee can," she sings in a meditation on the multi-faceted nature of a women who are so often seen as one-dimensional. The accompanying video, which was premiered by Holler.Country, captures the sentiment, filmed on her iPhone in one day with $50 spent on set props.
"Up until recently I think a lot of people saw women country singers as having to be 'pure,' 'wholesome' and 'devout,' and a whole bunch of other patriarchal bullshit," declares Freeman. "But now we're really starting to speak our whole minds and be like 'I'm not a good girl' and maybe I do have a dirty' mind' and that's totally fine for us to write and sing about."
While 'Ten Thousand Roses' is more raw than previous work, Freeman doesn't completely abandon her angelic vocal leanings as evidenced by the album's third single "Almost Home," a tender ballad written by Falk with banjo added by Victor Furtado, the youngest-ever recipient of the Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo. The track was added upon its release to Spotify's "Fresh Folk" playlist.
"While the album's production is a bit more raw, this group of songs tend to be shorter, and that was intentional. I'm a big fan of the radio-ready tight three minute song," Freeman says. "I think there's just something nice about a concise, but effective song. It's like a couple sweet moments you can live in."
'Ten Thousand Roses' is available September 10 on vinyl, CD and digital formats. Pre-order is available at: http://orcd.co/tenthousandroses