“I DON’T JUST WANT TO SING ONE KIND OF FOLK-ROCK SONG ANYMORE.”
“I love that I can be exactly who I am right now, because you don’t have to explain to people how you’ve changed or why you’re doing this kind of music now,” Serena said, speaking on bringing her album to the U.S. where her exposure has been limited over the years. “With this record it is a fresh start for me. I don’t even remember who I was before.”
“Before” is largely in reference to the chapter of her life that ended when Serena says she was crippled by severe clinical depression for two years – shortly after her last studio album and hectic tour schedule. “It’s an [illness] a lot of people suffer from but also something people don’t talk about, so I never talked about it. You can only get to a certain point like that, and I just kind of imploded.”
Serena felt she was done with music at the lowest point in her life. But after many a doctor’s visit and treatment, it was writing her first song in years that made her start to feel whole again. “I got that magic feeling inside of my belly like, ‘Oh, my god. I feel so amazing,’” Serena said. “It’s just this thing that comes over you that can change your whole day or life. ” That sentiment is echoed in her mid-tempo track “Mary Go Round” about music aiding her recovery.
Ultimately, Serena wrote around 65 songs for Harmony in a home studio where she also learned to geek out on the drums, piano, harmonica and production editing software to expand her repertoire of guitar playing. “In my getting better and seeing the light again, I realized I really want to play around with all the different styles of music that I love singing and performing,” she said. “I don’t just want to sing one kind of folk-rock song anymore.”