As a folk singer and songwriter for more than 15 years, Kris Delmhorst is able to colorfully capture what’s in her mind — for example, “Bright Green World.” The evocative song is a highlight of her first new album in six years, Blood Test, arriving May 13 on Signature Sounds.
“This song was one of the ones that descend more or less whole from the sky, and you just write it down,” she tells CMT Edge. “I think the ‘bright green world inside the mind’ is a pure place — not necessarily all happy, but true, strong, vivid and wild.”
Delmhorst lives in western Massachusetts with her husband, singer-songwriter Jeffrey Foucault, and she says that preparing for the birth of their daughter helped set the stage for the song.
“The bright green world maybe represents raw nature, the truest essence of what is happening underneath the more fleeting business of the day-to-day,” she says. “Leading up to having my daughter, I fooled myself a little bit, like I think most people do, that not that much would change and I would be more or less the same and so would my life. Of course, then you find out that couldn’t be further from the truth, but by that point, you’re immersed in this new adventure that is worth the price of admission.”
Quoting one of the song’s lyrics, she adds, “‘It takes all that you have/All that you don’t,’ for me, refers specifically to parenthood, the degree to which it makes you dig for resources you don’t even really have, but it could just as easily be about the daunting challenges involved with being a spouse, an artist, a human being in this messy, taxing world. There’s joy in the song … but it’s partly the wild joy of surrendering to being totally out of your depth and out of control.”
Delmhorst enlisted a different batch of musicians than usual for Blood Test and happily notes that “Bright Green World” was one of the easiest songs to get in the studio.
“There was a window right above the drummer’s head. It’s so nice to have windows in a studio. So often, they’re concrete bunkers where you lose all contact with the day outside, and there was a giant weeping willow tree out there — in Brooklyn, no less! So the whole window was filled with these trailing green branches,” she says. “The day we worked on this song, it was windy, and they were blowing around like crazy out there. That was a real focal point for me the whole time, just watching those branches sway.”
Enjoy the CMT Edge premiere of Kris Delmhorst’s “Bright Green World.”