Danielle Durack Provides Post-Breakup Catharsis With ‘No Place’ LP

Photo Credit: Eunice Beck

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.”

Follow Danielle Durack on Facebook and Instagram for ongoing updates.



Heat Thunder, aka Joe Montone, hailing from Doylestown, Pennsylvania, is a folk musician whose music you’ll want to become quickly acquainted with. He recently opened for Anthony Green of Circa Survive on his Pixie Queen Tour and also released his long-awaited EP Phoenix. His thought-provoking lyrics and entrancing guitar chords are enough to make anyone more than slightly curious about the man behind the music — it’s immediately apparent upon first listen that Montone has an enviable natural and clear connection with music that goes far beyond being a hobby. Passion is embedded in his music because it has become so deeply ingrained in his life, and Montone’s appreciation for the process behind creating and performing music is humbling.

AudioFemme got a chance to chat with Montone about a bit of his musical history and what plans he has for the future.

AudioFemme: Tell me about your musical background. How did you get to this place in your musical career?

Joe Montone: The summer before I began high school, my suburban world changed and expanded. Skateboarding and music were still cultural rites of passage, and I knew I needed the good stuff. But all I had was Kmart. That year, 2003, my older sister Mary picked me up and drove me an hour away to get my first skateboard. That’s what it took to get to a REAL shop.

She bought me a skateboard video that day—the music behind those skate parts still gives me chills thinking about it. Sunny Day Real Estate, Placebo, and Built to Spill were featured. My cousin John further contributed to this expansion infinitely. He brought me to Warped Tour that same year. 2003 was still legit: Coheed, Taking Back Sunday, Brand New (before Deja Entendu was released!). It’s funny to think about now.

I aspired to start a band all throughout high school. Writing lyrics, playing piano and guitar—it was something I demanded, and it was my entire life.

It was then I found the Doylestown’s punk and hardcore scene and later joined my first band, I Am Alaska, featuring ex-members of Phineas, which was my favorite band at that time. Getting invited to sit in on one of their practices and then becoming a full-time member was an insane honor. I played piano and synth. We signed to a label, toured, put out EPs, and then the main songwriter left. So I followed.

For the next three years, I started really crafting my own songs. I released my first EP as Heat Thunder (Melody, Love & Soul) in 2010 while everyone else was graduating college. It was during this time that I really just played guitar, absorbed music, and worked in a coffee shop on repeat every day.

I have been guided to ever-changing, natural progressions in my life inspired by new friends sharing sounds and art. And I am so grateful.

What does Heat Thunder mean to you?

“Heat Thunder” to me means a space given to listen and express. However fast or slow the rhythm may be. Something I can be enveloped by.

What was the inspiration that led you to create Phoenix?

Phoenix was created while the four-piece band variation of Heat Thunder was fizzling. Another gigantic shift began to happen. I began reading The Artist’s Way,” living on my own, and listening to Scott Walker featuring Sunn O))), Roy Orbison, as well as any honky tonk/country western song before 1980. The main theme during all of this though was to begin honoring myself and listening to my heart. I began to cultivate a deeper relationship with myself and the artistic process.

How was it touring with Anthony Green on the Pixie Queen Tour?

It was an honor to be invited onto that tour by Anthony. Throughout the past 11 years, Circa Survive has also been a constant. Being on that tour was so deep because I felt like I knew everyone in those audiences. This was also the first time I ever played my own music in a different city other than Philadelphia. With a friend and inspiration like Anthony? It’s an indescribable feeling.

What was the most unique or interesting thing that happened while on the Pixie Queen Tour?

The most interesting and unique thing was on this tour was to meet so many people. Reflecting on mine or Anthony’s music with them reinvigorated and further instilled my own bond with music and the journey of life. This sort of connection was impacting. Everything since has felt more personal than I could have ever comprehended. It is all a gift.

Who are some of your musical inspirations?

Besides The Beatles: Nirvana, Springsteen, Circa Survive, old Western stuff, weird awesome afro-beat grooves, endless YouTube discoveries—mmm—old blues records. Anything I can get my hands on, truly. It comes back to rhythm and soul for me. Something that moves and I can believe in.

What do you enjoy doing when you aren’t creating music?

I like hanging. Whether with my girlfriend or close friends. Riding my bike or swimming. Eating sushi. Listening to music.

What are your plans for the future? Any musical milestones or goals you’re looking to hit?

Right now I am navigating how and where to play in other cities. I would like to put out something with label support in the future and connect with a manager. My goal is to keep sharing and feel the changes that come with growing.

TRACK OF THE WEEK: Heat Thunder “Wind Whips the Veil”


Singer/songwriter Joe Montone, under the moniker Heat Thunder, is serving up tasty folk tracks, the latest of which comes in the form of “Wind Whips the Veil.”

An accompaniment of strings alongside acoustic guitar and Montone’s crooning vocals leads to a track you’ll want to either sway or cuddle to (or both). It’s passionate and fiery yet subdued and vulnerable, the perfect accompaniment to a chilly fall afternoon spent indoors sipping tea. Listening to “Wind Whips the Veil” brings you to a musical place that you might not have known existed before, a quality you can find in much of Montone’s music.

Heat Thunder recently opened for Anthony Green of Circa Survive on his Pixie Queen Tour and also released his latest EP, Phoenix. With so much going on lately, it seems that Heat Thunder might be a good artist to keep a tab on.