She recently chatted from her Atlanta home about the album’s title, her current musical selections and the timely Police cover available on her website.
Q: Your new album comes out in February, but was it also delayed from 2020?
A: Everybody was focused on so many other things — politics and the pandemic — and it didn’t feel like the right time to put new music out. Baby Robot (Media) wanted to help me with distribution and PR, so we worked out a new timeframe for getting it out. In the midst of this, my husband and I had to move into a smaller place (while getting things done to our house), so I don’t have my home studio right now and I’m working off of a little laptop.
Q: It’s kind of of eerie that the album title was inspired by sickness you dealt with in 2019, considering what so many people experienced in 2020.
A: I had strep throat for a few weeks and before that I had a fever and I just had convinced myself it was because the pollen was so bad. But it came back and I said to myself, “The fever returns!” I was spending so much time by myself and at that point I was kind of in writing mode and my guitar was always out and I started writing that (title) song. A recurring thing with me is being thankful that I keep finding the desire and the passion to create music. I feel like it can’t be ignored when it does come up with me.
Q: You have a cover of The Police’s “Truth Hits Everybody” on your website (kmichelledubois.com). Were they part of your ’80s influences?
A: I’m a huge Police fan. That cover is one of the ones I produced in my home studio and took it to Dan to do the mixing. I was thinking right now, what do we want more than anything? We want the truth. I figured sooner or later the truth is going to hit everyone in the face, so it’s so appropriate for right now. I wanted to transform it.
Q: What have you been listening to?
A: Recently I asked Alexa to play me some Dr. Hook and it was cracking me up and I was enamored. But my husband and I both have loved the new album by The Weeknd (“After Hours”). I also listen to Stevie Nicks — I play a mix of her stuff all the time — and Fleetwood Mac. I’m enjoying Siouxsie and the Banshees. I’m always listening to ’80s music mixed in there. There are a couple of songs that I brought up in the studio where I was like, ‘I love this guitar tone from Killing Joke.’ I’ve got to say, we pretty much nailed it!
Q: You moved here from Nashville when you were a teenager, but what kept you here when Shonali moved to New York?
A: Before I moved to Atlanta, I was in Santa Cruz (California). I did that thing where you graduate from college and go West and work in a coffee shop for a year and stay stoned the whole time. But there came a time that I had to get away from a dude and if I didn’t go to the other side of the country we’d never break up! I thought Atlanta would be temporary. It’s the friends that I’ve become so close to. Shonali is my closest friend, but I kind of knew that maybe it was time for us not to be attached at the hip. I came to Atlanta with her so she could go to law school at Emory. I’m lucky that she’s in New York because I love it there and I can visit, but I never felt like I wanted to live there.