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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