Aus­tralian singer-song­writer and pianist for Matthew Houck, aka Phos­pho­res­cent, Jo Schornikow has cre­at­ed an album of alt Amer­i­can indie which ‘explores the com­plex­i­ties and lone­li­ness of moth­er­hood’. Our first peep is this beau­ti­ful track called Visions. The new album is called Altar, to be released on May 20, via Keeled Scales.

With woozy, rever­by gui­tars and its hushed vocals, Visions sends you deep down into a calm space. This is an intense and deeply per­son­al work. Schornikow’s vocals have a wist­ful, touch­ing and vul­ner­a­ble qual­i­ty and there’s a def­i­nite sense of a War on Drugs influ­ence with that propul­sive dri­ve under­pin­ning it. I hope this soul­ful track gets some air­play in the UK.

I had­n’t lis­tened to Schornikow before so I spent time doing some research and I’m delight­ed to dis­cov­er Phos­pho­res­cent – aka Matthew Houck, who is a remark­able singer-songr­witer. I rec­om­mend the Dylanesque sound­ing Song for Zula as a good start­ing point, emo­tion-laden and exquis­ite­ly melancholic. 

Jo Schornikow’s life has involved plen­ty of trav­el: she is based in Nashville, was born in Mel­bourne and then brought up in New York; and she has toured around the world with ​​her part­ner Matthew Houck. Visions and the upcom­ing album reflects her loss of self amidst bring­ing up chil­dren. Hence the ‘Altar’ in the album title: spot those items on top of her piano? They are her own per­son­al altar, a reflec­tion of all her dif­fer­ent ‘selves’.

The accom­pa­ny­ing video to Visions was shot under a sur­prise severe weath­er warn­ing at a small-town Ten­nessee fair, and was direct­ed by Noah Hanson.

Web­site: Jo Schornikow
Schornikow tour dates, more to come soon:
Mar 13 – Mem­phis, TN @ Her­nan­do’s Hide­away 
Mar 15 – Fort Worth, TX @ The Post at Riv­er East,
Mar 18 – Austin, TX @ Bethell Hall at St. David’s Epis­co­pal Church (Offi­cial SXSW show­case)

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