Unwrapped: Jodi Heights – Lone Wolf

We had a chat with Jodi Heights about her rousing and inspiring new single ‘Lone Wolf’

As someone we have covered on the site in the past, we are well aware of the powerful capabilities of Jodi Heights and her sound and the stirring and moving nature of her songwriting and the deeply human and raw places that she can push her style into.

Her latest single ‘Lone Wolf’ is a track that does just that in resonating fashion, touching upon themes of togetherness and the need for support systems as she explores a narrative of a loved one isolating themselves and the desperation to find a way to get through to them and reaffirm your connection in order to bring them back from the deep water they’ve found themselves in. The engrossing and atmospheric nature of the artist’s sound, complete with gorgeous piano and strings does a great job of enhancing the gravity and power of the track, and her commanding vocals anchor things in her own distinctive fashion. We love this new single, and had a chat with Jodi to find out some more about the inspiration behind it and how it came together.

Hey! We love your new single ‘Lone Wolf’, what more can you tell us about it?

‘Lone Wolf’ is the first single from my night-themed album ‘Nocturne’. The song counters the idea of rugged individualism with the truth: we all need support and community.

Wolves are one of my favorite animals, and they are unquestionably social creatures. Being part of a pack creates safety. Solitary wolves do exist, but only for temporary, transitional periods of time. If a wolf is alone for too long, survival becomes much more difficult. Because of this, I use the lone wolf as a metaphor for people who are isolating themselves. Maybe they’re grieving or recovering from a physical injury or suffering from a mental illness. My song is calling out for them to come back to where they are seen, and known, and loved. Recovery is easier when we have a pack to help us find our way.

What was the process like putting it together?

This album is my second time working with engineer John Weston at Futura Productions. It’s been in the works for over a year, so I’m thrilled to finally start sharing it with everyone!  I’ve always been a night owl, so writing and recording a whole project centered around loving the dark seemed natural to me. Production-wise, for ‘Lone Wolf’ I wanted a lot of emptiness at the start, just voice and piano, to create that sense of loneliness and isolation. Cairo Marques-Neto, who arranged the strings for my song “The Storm”, created another gorgeous part for string quartet on “Lone Wolf”. As the orchestration swells, I imagined the strings as the wolf pack calling the listener home.

What were your biggest influences when creating the track?

The most important thing for “Lone Wolf” was creating the right atmosphere. My engineer, John Weston, did an incredible job creating the right mood when I recorded the vocals. He set up lighting in the studio with lots of blues and greys so I really felt like I was outside in the dark while I recorded. It was magical. Then I imagined people I know and love who are having a hard time right now, and I sang the song straight to them. I think you can really feel that when I sing certain lines, like “I know you want to be free. Come run with me. Share my territory, where once again you are seen and known.”

The track has a really engrossing narrative about community and banding together, what does that mean to you?

I was a teacher for a long time, and I am definitely a people person. I love socializing and hearing life stories. I am also fairly level-headed in a crisis and highly compassionate, so all those things combined have put me in contact with a lot of hurting people. Everything seems much worse when you’re isolated and trapped in your own head. One of the great honors of my life is earning people’s trust so they’ll allow me to hold space for them when they are struggling. I also try to remind people that none of us are truly alone. There is a group of friends and/or family who deeply love us and want to support us in the hard times. This song is my call to any lost souls listening. Come back home to yourself and to your community. You don’t have to survive by yourself.

What else do you have planned for the near future?

Along with being released to all major streaming platforms in the traditional stereo mix, all five songs from my ‘Nocturne” album will be released in Dolby Atmos, a spatial audio technology for immersive sound. Dolby Atmos allows sound engineers to place individual audio elements in a 3D space around the listener, so instead of just hearing sound from the left or right, you can also hear the songs from above, below, and all around you when you listen on headphones! In addition to releasing ‘Nocturne’ over the next few months, I am also producing a special edition “Nocturnal Journal” spanning 60 pages. It will showcase artwork inspired by the album and includes a variety of thought-provoking prompts aimed at personal introspection on nocturnal experiences. Delving into themes of darkness and the impacts of light pollution, the journal offers readers a space to explore their relationship with night. It will be available for purchase in the next few weeks.

I’m also currently in the studio creating a haunting song for harp, voice, and two cellos to be released in October, and I’m planning to record my first full-length album in Nashville in the fall of 2024. There are so many things I’m looking forward to sharing with listeners!