Pennsylvania-based singer-songwriter Andrea Nardello had a case of writer’s block two years ago when a love song, inspired by her relationship with her now-wife, came to her and cut through her creative stall.
“After I released my second album [My Aeroplane] I think I had a little bit of writer’s block,” Nardello said. “I think I was just kind of stuck a little bit and “Home to Me” was the song I used to propose to my wife. It was interesting because that was the one song that brought me out of my writer’s block so it was good to finally get something out that felt like a really good song.
“It’s one of those things where she inspired the chorus, because she always says that like no matter where we are, as long we’re together, it feels like home. I live a life where I travel all the time. I’m constantly doing things and she can either come with me or she can’t. So it’s really important for us to have that kind of connection.”
Nardello has a couple of road dates coming up in the next week, starting with a show she’s playing at Jammin’ Java tonight in Vienna, with Crys Matthews and Kipyn Martin.
She said that once she got that first song out, it helped free her mind up to write a bunch of new material, some of which ended up on her latest album Echo, which was released last February.
She also joined a songwriter’s group that challenged her to create new material. The group would send out a phrase every week and each of the songwriters in the group had to write a song that incorporated those lyrics and turn it in every Sunday.
“I had never really done anything like that before…it sparks ideas that you probably aren’t really thinking of, which for me I think really helped get the creative ideas going, almost like a brainstorm, so that was a great prompt,” Nardello said.
“So I did that for almost a year. And sometimes I had really great songs that came out of that and sometimes I had not, you know, I didn’t write a hit song every week.”
She also began co-writing songs with other musicians and said that both experiences helped her “get groove back” after breaking through that initial writer’s block. She co-wrote a song called “I Am the Water” with Matt Duke.
All of Nardello’s hard work has resulted in a big year in 2014 and her success is bleeding into 2015. In addition to releasing the critically-acclaimed Echo, Nardello went on a tour last summer and got married to her “Home to Me” muse in October.
This year, she’ll be playing with Brandi Carlile on March 8 at World Cafe Live, which she touts as a personal achievement. The show will kick off a few dates she has in Georgia and the Carolinas. In May, she’ll be back on the road, touring through Virginia, Pennsylvania and New York with Matt Duke.
But she’s happy to have Jammin’ Java as one of her warm up dates tonight.
“I love playing at Jammin’ Java, I love Vienna and I love the people that support music in that community, so I was really excited when Crys asked me to do the show there,” Nardello said.
“It seems to me that the people that go to shows there are really genuinely interested in hearing the original music and making it a listening environment, which I absolutely love.”
• For more information about Andrea Nardello, visit andreanardello.com.