Penned amidst the global pandemic, Andrea Ramolo’s new single “Dust” delineates between human connection and toxic attachment. The Toronto native wrote the song because she “needed to.” Her latest release details an experience that unfolded over the last year, allowing her to reflect on it without a sense of polarity.
“During a time in our human history where more of us were forced into extreme isolation, human connections became few and far between. And I was lucky enough to make one, to share some human intimacy,” Ramolo tells American Songwriter. “But because there were so few interactions with others—with flesh, with spirit—the dynamics of how we connect and how we attach as humans became crystal clear to me.”
Her prior life as a dancer exposed the artist to a spanning collection of music from a young age. When her mother was diagnosed with cancer, songwriting stepped in as a natural coping mechanism as she navigated the uncertainty. Ramolo further credits her entrance to a childhood love affair with Janis Joplin and a handful of failed relationships that continued to fuel her artistic fire over the years.
In “Dust,” Ramolo draws upon the healing power of songwriting to process a relationship, seeking pros in a seemingly overwhelming sea of cons.
“In this person’s shadows, I saw my own,” she continues. “In their addictions, mine came to light. So it’s interesting when we meet and share a moment as human beings because we bring layers of stories and pain and the ways in which we try to run and hide and escape. And essentially, we are more alike than not. I needed to acknowledge that. Writing it helped me transcend our differences and this sense of loss I carried.”
For several years, her advice to aspiring songwriters was to write all the time, to try to engage in some regimented routine that made the practice habitual. Now, with seven studio albums under her belt, Ramolo realizes that for many, you simply write when you need to.
“It’s more of a spiritual experience and I don’t get that calling all the time. So when I do, those moments propel me into writing,” she explains. “Find what works for you. If it’s carrying a little notepad around with you or swiftly recording a vocal idea down into your phone, do that. And keep doing that until you find a voice that feels like yours and use it, courageously.”
At home during the pandemic, that calling was urgent. “Dust,” was just one of several moments that coalesced into her forthcoming album, Quarantine Dream. With the help of friend and producer Sarah MacDougall, the collection is a progressive next step into her ambient alt-folk artistry. “Dust” is a well-suited introduction to a collection of candid chartings of her darker and brighter sides, with memorable melodies.
“That there’s an acceptance that comes with the realization that we are all connected more than we know. Through our battles and struggles and joys, we reflect one another. We are each other’s mirrors,” says Ramolo.
She feels this realization, etched longingly throughout “Dust,” allowing us to choose radical acceptance. “That means loving and embracing all those shadow parts of ourselves and others who grace our path. I think only then, true love can be experienced. True love and equality.”
Watch the video for Andrea Ramolo’s new song, “DUST,” below.