A well-known actress in her home country, Abbey always had a passion for creating music - but it wasn’t until 2019 that she decided to act on it. She went to Los Angeles for a songwriting session with Grammy Award-winning producer Rich Jacques, who had previously worked with artists such as Gold Kimono, Colin Hay, Maya Rudolph and Lisa Loeb, and who’s songs have been heard in tv shows and motion pictures like Grey’s Anatomy and The Breakup. This turned out to be a match made in heaven, and the pair ended up writing the entire album and more in barely 2 weeks. “Rich understood the deeper meaning in my stories, and together we found a way to turn these into real songs.”
Abbey’s inspiration comes from artists such as Fleetwood Mac, The Beach Boys, Billie Ray Cyrus, Dixie Chicks and Chris Stapleton. “I’ve always listened to older music - I’m just not a big fan of most things released today. When I was in high school, I used to make up that I was named ‘Abbey’ because of the famous Beatles album, I just thought that sounded cool. I started to look into older music around that same time. I do listen to current artists, for example like Kacey Musgraves, as long as the music is real and comes from the heart.”
The album has twelve songs, mostly about love, like the autobiographical ‘Mr Handsome’, a song Abbey wrote on her guitar at home about someone she fell in love with. ‘I Don’t Cry’ is about her mother, who never cries. “She’s the opposite of me in that aspect, and I’ve tried to picture myself in her shoes”. ‘Good Heart’ and ‘Following the Sun’ were gifts from the musicians she recorded with; “These were songs that I instantly connected with on a deeper personal level, as if they were written especially about me, I’m so very grateful I could include these on the album”.
‘Never Stop Dancing’ was inspired by Abbey’s grandma, who fled Indonesia when she was barely 18 years old, and arrived by boat in The Netherlands. “She was dancing back then and she still is, and she is the one who made me fall in love with country music and line dancing. We’ve spent a lot of time dancing together over the years”. It features Justin Glasco (The Lone Bellow) on drums and is mixed by Billy Centenaro, who has worked on music from Neil Young, Dave Matthews Band, Kesha, Sara Bareilles and more.
Abbey wrote the song ‘While I’m Here’ in memory of her uncle. When she was recording her album in
Los Angeles, she received a phone call he’d passed away. “This phone call had a big impact on me, and therefore the song is mainly inspired by my uncle. It’s about celebrating life and love with the time you’re given on our planet. I’m hoping it can help people get their spirits up, especially in these strange times we’re living in. The key to life is to even find beauty in every experience, no matter what.”
01. Following the Sun
02. I Don’t Cry
03. Good Heart
04. A Girl with Bad Taste
05. I Don’t Mind Growing Old
06. Never Stop Dancing
07. While I’m Here
08. Mr Handsome
09. The Days I’ve Spent with You
10. Most of the Time
11. Red Wine & Cigarettes
12. Love is a Whisper
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