Naomi Shore calls it her six months of sadness.
It was the winter of 2016, and she had packed up on a nine-year relationship, moved her ambitions to the the tiny town of Oliver in the Okanagan Valley, and, with a mountain view, began to muse on the prospect of starting over with a life once lived faded in the rearview.
"I thought, it's wine country, it's gorgeous. It'll be the perfect place to get through all my feelings," Shore says.
Those feelings would start to be hummed and formed into lyrics and melody during what became a weekly ritual for Shore, sorting through boxes of belongings from her past: figuring out what to keep, what to return to her ex-boyfriend, and what to donate to the thrift store.
"I chose to leave, but songwriters are usually dramatic," Shore says with a laugh. "I'd drive to Penticton, drop off a box of belongings at Value Village, go to the brewery and pick up a growler, and drive home."
It would help form the chorus of Shore's new single, Piece by Piece, released on Friday and streaming through Spotify, iTunes, and Google Play: "Piece by piece, I moved out of our life and a little closer to mine."
At first, it was just supposed to be a little dose of break-up song self-therapy. But the more Shore played it, the less she cried, and slowly it turned into something a bit more, something she began to get more comfortable with sharing.
"It's pretty relatable, that idea of starting over," Shore says.
"I really felt like not only was I starting over, now I was finally getting to live the life I wanted to. I never lived alone. I had never done all these things that I thought a grown-up 30-year-old would have done by now. A part of it too was figuring who I am and what I want."
The song would prove to be a turning point for Shore, who realized maybe it was time for a solo effort, after recording two albums and touring with her friend Lindsay Pratt in Twin Peaks. So, she penned a few more tunes and took them to Cumberland, B.C., in August 2018, where she recorded them with Canadian roots musician and producer Corwin Fox.
Piece by Piece would become the title track of Shore's new album of the same name, set for release on March 16.
It's Shore's first as a solo artist, and she lays down its foundation with a ukelele, a vintage '76 Rhodes piano organ, and her voice. Friends Jodie Ponto and Noah Walker (Kitty & The Rooster) make appearances on drums and the electric guitar.
"I thought I was going to record six ukelele songs by myself and then it turned into eight songs and this full production," Shore said. "It was incredible to see these bare bones, vulnerable songs turn into epic jams."
Shore met Fox on the festival circuit while touring with Twin Peaks. He adds a layer of ambience to Piece by Piece that Shore said she was looking for in a producer. It turned out to be a great fit and a great experience, Shore says.
"He said the songwriting feels classic, like one of those songs you feel like already know, in a good way," Shore says. "I'm curious for the record to come out, and send it out to see what total strangers have to say about it."
Shore will release Piece by Piece to a sold-out crowd at Whole Wheat and Honey on March 16.
She plays the Rolla Pub on March 17. Kitty & The Rooster and Corwin Fox are also on the bill.
Keep tabs on future shows at naomishore.ca.
Email Managing Editor Matt Preprost at email@example.com.