Photo Credit: Desmond Murray
Trailblazing musician, author and activist, Tori Amos’ new album Ocean to Ocean was recently released to widespread acclaim by fans and media alike. Today, she shares a brilliant new animated lyric video for album single “Spies”.
Propelled by locomotive bass and drums and Tori’s singular lush pop production, “Spies” is an endearing account of the bats and other creepy-crawlies that entered the Cornish house terrorizing her daughter Tash at night. The song’s Helen Ward-illustrated visual is a breathtaking and playful work of art that will be sure to transfix viewers.
Tori Amos was never going to enjoy a lockdown. She’s been playing live since she was thirteen years old. She splits her life between Cornwall, Florida and the road – and her songs are written with the act of traveling and observing. Her last studio record, 2017’s Native Invader, pulled together four impossibly disparate strands – a Tennessee road trip, stories inspired by her ancestors, the ascension of Donald Trump and the slow loss of her mother to a stroke – with an energy and cohesion that made your skin bristle. But without live music, and travel, and much at all to observe, Amos had a difficult pandemic; holed up in Cornwall, she hit a place of personal crisis familiar to anyone who suffered during the third UK lockdown – the one in winter, that seemed to go on forever…
Against all odds, that crisis resulted in Ocean to Ocean, Amos’ most personal work in years – an album bursting with warmth and connection, with deep roots in her earliest song writing. She descended to an emotional state lower than she had been to for a long time – but the depths became creative, forcing a return to the kind of introspection she recognised from her debut album Little Earthquakes.
“This is a record about your losses, and how you cope with them,” she says. “Thankfully when you’ve lived long enough, you can recognise you’re not feeling like the mom you want to be, the wife you want to be, the artist you want to be. I realised that to shift this, you have to write from the place where you are. I was in my own private hell, so I told myself, then that’s where you write from – you’ve done it before…”