Corinne Bailey Rae is set to release her third album, The Heart Speaks in Whispers, on May 13th and the British singer-songwriter’s re-emergence (it’s been a whopping six years since her sophomore album The Sea) comes at a time of inspiration and creativity for the 37-year old star.
“It’s about transformation and new life and confidence and joy,” Rae explained to The Boombox. “I love the record.”
The singer’s first husband, Jason Rae, died in 2008 of an accidental overdose of methadone and alcohol. She remarried in 2013, to another musician, (Steve Brown, who co-produced The Heart Speaks…), and she seems to be in a happy place these days. In an interview with the Daily Mail, Rae shared how she coped with Jason’s death. There was no blaming–only grieving for the loss of life.
“I felt bad for him,” she said. “It was something accidental and I felt like it wasn’t deliberate on his part. The main thing I felt was sorrow: sorrow that it happened and sorrow for him. I realized it happened to him, it didn’t happen to me.”
Her new album features noteworthy collaborators like Pino Palladino, Esperanza Spalding and Marcus Miller, and is a decidedly less blissfully summery than her 2008 debut. But The Heart Speaks In Whispers is driven by Rae’s ability to find beauty in the life’s tragedies and triumphs; that bittersweet middle place served as her inspiration.
Rae has also been inspired by the raised awareness and visibility of Black women embracing each other. She was on-hand at BETs Black Girls Rock! 2016 and shared just how much it meant to her to be in a room full of Black women celebrating each other.
“These girls all rock because they know that they have value as individual people and they’re not trying to be someone else,” she told The Boombox’s Eeshe White. “And so there’s a lot of, like, unique style and presence–and a lot of confidence here. That’s really inspiring to me and i love to be a part of that.”