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Album: That GirlReleased: 2014
This slow Country ballad was penned by Nettles
whilst in the later stages of her pregnancy with her son, Magnus. The singer explained to Radio.com
that she was sent a photograph and was asked to use it as inspiration for a song as part of a collection of related projects. "My friend Sally Taylor is doing an art project called Consenses. It is an artistic version of the game telephone where you all sit in a circle and there's one message and it gets passed around and you see if it remotely resembles to the original message," she explained. "She's doing that with art and all across different mediums. She started with a photograph. The photograph was sent to a songwriter, which is me, and then the song goes to the painter and the painter only listens to the song."
Nettles added that the experience made her focus away from what she wanted to say and instead recount the story that the photograph was telling.
That Girl was produced by Rick Rubin (Johnny Cash, Aerosmith, Eminem). Nettles recalled on her website that their collaboration started with a phone call. "To my excitement, a phone call gave way to a dialogue about what I wanted sonically for this project and what I had written," she wrote. "Writing work tapes, not fully produced demos, became the backbone of conversations discussing which songs needed work and rework, and which ones felt closer to ready. I volleyed ideas for requested changes. We talked about my musical hopes as an artist for this album, and we discussed my fears as a new mother going into the necessary vacuum of the studio experience while nursing an infant."
We set up a 'nursery,' in one of the studio rooms," Nettles continued. "Each day I would sing until Magnus let my husband or my mom know that he was hungry. At which point, off went the headphones and on went the baby for a feeding. We tracked each take live, so between the focus and excitement of my singing and the focus and attention of my mothering, I was nervously wrung out at the end of each day. We tracked 21 songs this way. Out of those 21, Rick and I made our own independent lists of "yes/no/maybes". Those we had in common made the album."