After nearly three years, Deidre Thornell is back, and she’s back in a big way with her new single “Keep On Loving Me;” her first acoustic release that features huge vocal deliveries throughout.
Last time we heard from Deidre, she was riding the success of Dallas, her second EP and its two singles, “Somewhere Wild and Free” and “Ghost Town,” which earned nearly 60,000 combined streams and saw her dipping her feet into a more contemporary sound, also allowing her to showcase her chops as a songwriter, as she co-wrote five of the six songs on the EP.
As the release of “Keep On Loving Me” drew closer, Thornell says she was “PUMPED” to be releasing music again, and even more pumped to be releasing her first acoustic song, which allows her to reach a new audience.
“I wanted to reach a different type of listener through this song. I’m usually known for upbeat, heavily produced, driven kind of tunes, and this song was written so naturally and so quickly that I felt it should be one of the first releases out of the gate,” says Thornell. “I already have ideas of what the full production on this track will sound like, so stay tuned for the EP!”
When writing her new single, Thornell says the song poured out of her; something she had not previously experienced.
“Most friends and family that know me know that I don’t play guitar very well. I play enough to get by, but one day I was strumming in three-quarter time, (a ‘waltz-feel’ in other words), and the first verse just went from my heart, to my brain, to my mouth in seconds. It was the coolest feeling. I’ll never forget it, and I’ve never experienced that as a songwriter before,” says Thornell. “I was so excited about it, about love, about life, about my minimal guitar playing, so I wrote most of the song and took it to my guitar teacher, Dave Isaacs, to help me finish the melody and start a bridge.”
Thornell says that the song, which comes from a personal place, took some time to “get right” in the studio, but when she found the right team, she felt the magic of the song, and hopes others feel it as well.
“The inspiration behind the song came from my first love, Josh. All of my feelings started pouring out into a love song, which I had never written before. It was beautiful. I planned on releasing another song instead, but when I performed this out, people would come up to me raving about the song, so I hopped on recording it the first chance I got,” says Thornell. “The first go-around in the studio was a growing pain; the producer was amazing, but it wasn’t what I was looking for at the time, and I didn’t even know it until I found it; recording at The Record Shop with Sean Giovanni months later. He hired Carl Miner to accompany me on guitar and we talked about the different voicings that would make this simple song something special to me, and it clicked. When I close my eyes and sing this song, I imagine standing in front of Josh speaking these words to him. I hope when others hear it, they feel hope, happiness, love and get butterflies like I do.”
While the Dallas EP focused heavily on love lost and leaving love behind, “Keep On Loving Me” is a change up for Thornell, who delved into falling in love for the first time with her music.
“I’m wholeheartedly in love with Dallas. It was an emotional, vulnerable, transitional time in my life which my writing reflected, plus my feelings on leaving Dallas and planting new roots in Nashville. Living, exploring and soaking up every minute in Nashville opened my heart, soul and mind over the past several years,” says Thornell. “I am so headstrong, so driven on taking my music and career to the next level that sometimes it’s hard focusing on other aspects in life that are also important: love and what that means. Of course, I wasn’t expecting to fall in love, in fact, I resisted it with all my being, but I found myself drawing closer and closer to it. Opening one’s heart is so important, and I didn’t know that until I found it.”
As the three year anniversary of Dallas approaches and the seven year anniversary of her debut EP Destination Unknown passed a day before her newest release, Thornell says she has learned a lot on her musical journey so far, all of which has allowed her to identify who she is as an artist.
“The biggest thing I’ve learned is that taking it day by day, one step at a time, leaning on faith and believing so hard that I will get to where I want to be, without comparing myself to others’ journeys is so important,” says Thornell. “I have also learned to keep my heart and mind open to any and every opportunity, otherwise, things might pass me by without realizing it. I want to continue growing in these ways, and hopefully that will be recognized throughout my writing in the future, but also listening to my past records, hopefully there is a common theme, that is simply ‘Deidre.’”
As the first quarter of 2020 ends, Thornell has more new music on the way that will be released throughout the year.
“After this song, the goal is to release another two between now and Christmas, and FINGERS CROSSED, release a Christmas Album this year!!!” says Thornell. “SO EXCITED FOR 2020!!!!”
Additional note from Deidre: “I want to make a shout out to all my Nashville friends going through hard times at the moment; dealing with the Tornado disaster and/or COVID-19. I don’t think we, as a Nation, saw 2020 starting like this, but I really feel in my heart that we will all push through together for a stronger, motivated, determined, healthy Nashville Community and Nation. That is my wish and prayer, at least. Everyone stays safe out there and help your fellow friend, neighbor and family.”