Alice Howe channels vintage ’70s California singer-songwriter music in her new music video for "Twilight," premiering on Billboard exclusively below today (Aug. 29). The dreamy new track, featured on her debut album Visions, was also filmed in a historic location.
The video was shot at the Abbey San Encino in Los Angeles' Highland Park neighborhood. The 100-year-old facility was the childhood home of Jackson Browne, and its courtyard was featured on the cover of his 1973 album For Everyman. His brother, Severin Browne, still lives there.
"It's obviously such an evocative, beautiful place with so much history, and, creatively, there's a lot of good vibes there floating around," Howe, who recently moved to Los Angeles from New England, tells Billboard. "The song is really special to me because I feel that it says a lot about my journey. It's the first track on the album and an introduction to me] and incorporates a lot of different styles and influences that I grew up with."
For Howe, "Twilight" also represents being at a moment of questioning and following your calling and committing to that. “I wrote it when I was transitioning to pursuing music full-time and deciding that was indeed what I wanted to do with my life. So, it makes sense to me that in the video] I would be almost like a spirit walking around this beautiful place, contemplating who I am and how I got there. I think it's the vibe that carries over."
Visions, released in May, was produced by Daniel "Freebo" Friedberg, who's worked with Bonnie Raitt, John Hiatt, Crosby, Stills & Nash, among others. The two met at a Folk Alliance International Conference shortly after Howe's first EP was released, and she says Freebo helped jump-start the Visions project even though she had no immediate plans to start an album.
"I'd never worked with a producer before," Howe says. "The whole recording process was a journey of a year and a half of my going from being very new at calling myself a professional singer and songwriter to really settling into that role and becoming confident with it. I gained a lot of confidence in myself throughout the process. I can still listen to it and feel really proud of every song, which makes me really happy."
Howe will be playing live dates into the fall, when she'll also be in Muscle Shoals, Ala., to do some recording at FAME Studios. "Not for a specific next album project," she says, "but I have some new songs and we're going to enjoy being at that space and recording a little bit."
It's another nod to musical heritage, of course, and Howe acknowledges that she's grappling with how that reflects on her.
"I don’t want people to think, 'Oh, she's trying to do this throwback thing,'" Howe explains, "but at the same time that's the music I love, so I'm totally OK with that being my wheelhouse. I hope it's seen as timeless and something that's really authentic and coming from my heart. I don't care if it fits in a neat little box. It doesn't have a fad associated with it. It's just real."