How I Knew Her

Album: How I Knew Her (2013)
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Songfacts®:

  • In this heart-rending song, Nataly Dawn sings about her grandmother, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. It's not just about the grandmother; it's also about Dawn and her mother becoming caregivers and thinking about the past. "I wish you had told me before, before your mind was too old," she sings, "Cause I would have liked to have known you better."

    "There's a real sense of loss with her," Dawn told the Chicago Tribune about her grandmother. "She always hid from the camera. She always hid from everyone's eyes. She never really wrote down her thoughts. She's always going to be this mystery. We'll never know what she was like."
  • Nataly Dawn is best known as the singer in Pomplamoose, her duo with Jack Conte, whom she married in 2016. Pomplamoose does a lot of quirky covers and lighthearted songs, so when Dawn wanted to get serious and expressive, she opted to release a solo album, which she titled after this track. Conte produced the album and played many of the instruments, but instead of releasing it independently - a Pomplamoose tenet - she put it out on Nonesuch Records - home of Emmylou Harris and the Punch Brothers - in a traditional release.
  • A theme runs through the album of the women in Nataly Dawn's life, who are an interesting bunch - her mother was a missionary. "It's about relationships and people in my life who surround me and who influence me, specifically the women in my life, mothers, grandmothers, cousins, best friends," she told Glide. "Those people and their stories and how through the investigation of these relationships, it helped me figure out what I was thinking. I just found myself thinking a lot about what matters to the women in my life, like matters of space and trust and things like that."
  • The How I Knew Her album was funded with a Kickstarter campaign that far exceeded expectations, raising over $100,000. Later in 2013, Jack Conte launched a competing crowdfunding service called Patreon, which asks fans to make monthly subscription payments instead of one-time donations. Pomplamoose was one of the original users and quickly signed up a lot of subscribers, opening a new income stream.

    Perhaps you're wondering how Conte started a major company while still making music. He's really smart, and so is Dawn. They both went to Stanford, where they met. Conte's roommate was Sam Yam, a whiz on the technical side who started a company called AdWhirl that he sold in 2009. Conte and Yam co-founded Patreon.

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