Phoenix-based singer-songwriter Danielle Durack’s latest album No Place describes a turbulent relationship, but you could be fooled by the deeply gentle, soothing sounds. Durack considers the album a breakup record, taking the listener through various stages of grief and longing with graceful harmonies, infectious melodies, and soft guitar.
The 10 tracks incorporate pop, country, and folk influences, providing a glimpse into Durack’s mind and emotions with candid, confessional lyrics. In “Mistakes,” the opening track, her crisp, airy voice sings about her regrets from a relationship, and the next few tracks describe the push and pull of pining for an ex and resolving to stay away from them.
“You’re a special kind of tragic/and so naturally, I’m attracted,” she sings in the catchy opening verse of “Broken Wings,” the first single off the album. In the chorus of the fifth track, “Billy,” she reflects in high notes on how “trouble comes easy/when you go asking for it.” The tempo picks up and the guitar takes center stage for the last track, “Eggshells,” where she makes peace with the fact that “it’s nothing I would say/it’s nothing I could change/but you’re gonna watch me walk away/no, you don’t know how to make me stay.”
“I wrote pretty much all the songs on the album about the same person,” says Durack, whose vocal style is reminiscent of Colbie Callait. “They’re all about the downfall of a relationship just kind of imploding, and it’s like a timeline of that, so it goes from just trying to make up my mind about it and really giving it a shot, and it just falling apart regardless and coming to terms with that and accepting it.”
The process of creating the album helped her work through the indecision described in the lyrics. “A lot of the reason that I write songs in the first place is to figure out how I feel,” she says. “A lot of the songs that I wrote before the actual split almost helped me make the decision to call it off – and furthermore, to then stay away and commit to that decision. And then recording it was really tough emotionally, but I think it was also pretty cathartic, being able to feel everything and move through it in a real, tangible, physical way and put it out into the world and let it go.”
Working with producer Samuel Rosson, she aimed to take more risks and incorporate a greater variety of sounds than in her previous albums, 2017’s Bonnie Rose and 2019’s Bashful. Bringing in additional musicians, particularly Alex Hardison on electric guitar and bass, helped her expand her sound. Rather than planning every note before going into the studio, they allowed the songs to take shape as they recorded them.
“There’s an array of genres within the album itself, which I was a little scared of while we were recording it,” she says. “Now that it’s all done and I can listen back, there’s a through-line, but it’s more diverse than the last record, and I just think it sounds more full and lush.” She’ll livestream an album release show via Bandcamp this Saturday, January 16th, at 9pm EST.
Durack, who works at a pizzeria in downtown Phoenix to support her music career, also tells the story of the album with videos for the singles. In the “Broken Wings” video, she blithely goes on dates, sleeps next to, and marries a literal red flag.
The video for “Eggshells,” in contrast, shows her on her own, walking down a suburban street, pausing and looking back, and then breaking into a run. “It was kind of the physical representation of walking away from the relationship,” she says. “By the end of the video, I’m in a full sprint, and it’s not a happy sprint, but it’s kind of trying to get to a better spot, where maybe there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, and doing the best thing for yourself even when it doesn’t feel entirely right in the moment.”
Since the experiences Durack sings about on the album are nearly universal, her goal is for listeners to feel seen. “I hope that people who are going through loss can get some comfort in it, and I hope that it resonates with people who are struggling with similar experiences,” she says. “Mostly, I just hope that it’s true and genuine and authentic and people can feel that, and I hope it inspires people to do the right thing for them and be their truest, most authentic selves.”