Amos's newest LP, Ocean to Ocean, arrives four years after it's predecessor Native Insider. In that time, the world has changed beyond recognition and Amos, like the rest of us, has been forced to battle with trauma resulting from the pandemic and ensuing isolation - but has also had to deal with the personal trauma of losing both her mother and best friend in 2019. The emotional centrepiece of this album - lead single "Speaking With Trees" - explores both simultaneously; referencing the ashes of Amos's mother, which she hid in a treehouse in Florida (and was unable to visit during lockdown).
It’s been nearly 30 years since Tori Amos made her memorable debut with Little Earthquakes, and in that time she’s slowly moved away from the accessible pop-folk that made her name. Amos’ recent albums have been contemplative, quiet affairs that have heavily lent on her background as a classically trained musician. Like most of the records that will appear this year, Ocean To Ocean was inspired, amongst other things, by the pandemic and recorded under lockdown conditions.