How the Pandemic Inspired Tori Amos’ First Album in Five Years: ‘Ocean to Ocean’

tori amos

Four years after the release of her last studio album, Native Invader, Tori Amos is delivering up a fresh batch of music that promises to be her most personal work in years.

Ocean to Ocean was born of the pandemic and the torturous lockdowns in the UK (Amos splits her time between Cornwall and Florida) which saw the multi-platinum selling artist land in what she calls a “tough place mentally” — which, in turn, inspired her to write.

Speaking to NME, Amos said, “In my life, I’ve found the only way to get myself out of some kind of mental health [issue] is to write myself out of it – whether that’s with [my 1992 debut album] ‘Little Earthquakes’ or [2002’s] ‘Scarlet’s Walk’.

“When I’m in that place, I can’t just step out of it. I have to find the tools or the sonic elixir to get out of that space… I get out of certain situations by writing myself out of hell.”

Written over the course of a few months this year (2021) Ocean to Ocean is a universal story of going to rock bottom and renewing yourself all over again.

“This is a record about your losses, and how you cope with them,” Amos said in a press statement.

“Thankfully when you’ve lived long enough, you can recognise you’re not feeling like the mum 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…”

Amos burst into the global music scene in 1992 with her first solo album Little Earthquakes. The record was followed up in 1994 with Under the Pink, the album that spawned the hit single ‘Cornflake Girl’. Known for exploring themes of sexuality, feminism, politics, and religion in her lyrics, Amos has been nominated for eight Grammy Awards over the course of her career and has sold millions of albums worldwide.

“I made a commitment to try and look at things in a way that get me to empowerment,” Amos says.

“But what is power? Sometimes you are not ready to stand up yet – you have to start from sitting on the ground. We have all had moments that can knock us down. This record sits with you where you are, especially if you are in a place of loss. I am fascinated when someone has gone through a tragedy, and how they work through their grief. That is where the gold is.”

Ocean to Ocean will be released via Decca Records on 29th October 2021.

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