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Cori Nora's encapsulating debut album 'Flowers and Fences' is out now. The Swiss singer-songwriter invites us into her etherial world filled with electronic pop, profound lyrics and... you guessed it, flowers.

The title ‘Flowers and Fences’ is symbolism for tearing down those boundaries that are manufactured to keep us apart and allowing the beauty to grow from within and flourish. F Word couldn't wait to discover more about Nora's song-writing and process, the importance of discovering self-worth, and how her late Grandmother's lamp may have lit up the path for this exciting new artist's musical journey that we can't wait watch blossom and grow.


Maisie Daniels: Hey Cori, welcome to F Word! Can you talk us through the ethos behind your wonderful new album, including the origins and symbolism behind the name Flowers and Fences.

Cori Nora: Hi Maisie, thanks for having me and listening to my music. The original idea behind my album was to make a record that speaks my truth and reflects my view of the world. Hence the decision to make a solo project with my name on it. I never felt that urge before as I’m not someone searching for the spotlight. But I believe that the female gaze is still underrepresented in lots of art and music. I think it is needed to offer different and more diverse perspectives that tell their own truth of the world we live in. I grew up in a binary, hetero-normative world that saw and defined itself through a male gaze and I’m very happy today that I found a way out of it. Not saying this happened all naturally and effortlessly, I had to unlearn and redefine many things as a member of this patriarchal society. And the process is ongoing. Flowers And Fences is about finding your own place in the world, taking up space and overcoming the fears and boundaries that might keep you from it. The symbolism behind the name is us being the flowers that are growing and blooming in all shapes and colours on both sides of the fences which were installed to keep us apart. Let’s tear them down.

MD: You tackle some big, cultural topics in the album including social injustice; how do you find that impacted you? 

CN: I try to find my voice in all of this craziness and violence that’s happening in the world today. And that’s been happening for ages. It often makes me feel overwhelmed, powerless, sad and angry. Meanwhile staying aware of the privileges I hold; living in a safe place, having enough to eat, never had to experience racism in my life, being able to travel where I want to etc. I try to make the best out of this position which I feel is a profound reflection of the things I witness and can speak up against, or for. Hopefully leading to more awareness and connection.

The devastating fires in the refugee camp in Moria, Greece, in 2020 led to the song ‘Halo of September 8’. 'Force Quit' demands a shortcut out of the patriarchal structures we’re living in meanwhile sending out an encouraging message of collective power and joy to all the sisters, mothers, daughters of now. ‘Modern Intimacy’ is about connection and the way we approach love in the digital age. I don’t like sarcasm, but I like sharp and playful lyrics which address serious issues.

MD: If you had to assign a temperature, a colour and a taste to this album, what would they be?

CN: A lazy summer afternoon by a cool pond, laying under lush trees of green and yellow, smelling the taste of wet soil after the rain, hearing beetles crawling under the leaves and bees buzzing in the air. Thinking of nothing.

MD: Is there a song that speaks most to you on the album and why?

CN: I feel particularly close to 'Fake Flowers' as this one changed its shape a lot over the course of writing it, being an example of the fluid process making music is for me. Somehow it turned out as this lush piece, still quite open and ethereal. Forever linked to a fond memory I have of my grandmother - if you watch the music video to the song look out for the flower lamp, it used to sparkle in her living room, I was deeply fascinated by it as a kid. The story behind dates back to the '70s when a Vietnamese family fleeing from the war gave it to my grandmother as a present for helping them finding their ways upon arriving in Switzerland. After my grandmother passed away I took care of the lamp and it moved rooms, apartments, cities and countries with me many times over the last few years. Maybe it’s the most travelled lamp on earth? It was also my grandmother who always encouraged me to pursue music and who’s voice I hope still rings through mine when I sing today, as she was an incredible singer who always used to sing at family gatherings.

MD: You’ve collaborated closely with your brother Christoph Huber. How was that?

CN: Oh yeah Christoph, where should I start? Or when did our collaboration start? Probably back in our early childhood days. Our father is a pianist who plays improvised music, we used to jam and invent musical theatres at home a lot when we were little. And we continued making music together ever since. It’s like our secret language. It’s such a privilege to share this with somebody, we don’t need to explain things to each other. He just gets me. Of course we are also our sharpest critics, and from time to time it becomes heated up. But we've found our way of dealing with this energy.

As for the album, we did everything DIY style in different locations over several lockdowns. I started by myself in my room in London back in 2020, then we went to a tiny cottage in the Swiss alps in summer with all our gear to record the basic tracks. I lived in Berlin for a few months after that, that’s where I wrote all the lyrics and we recorded the vocals. We also spent a lot of time in Christoph’s studio in Basel, listening to the recordings and shaping the sounds. In the end we went to Margate for mixing the album with Ash Workman. So it’s quite a wide-spread album in this sense.

MD: What’s the biggest change you would like to see in the world right now, and how do you think it can be achieved?

CN: There are no more billionaires. Wealth would be equally distributed. There is really absolutely no need for a super rich and elitist class that owns most of the planet and directs the way power goes. We all see the devastating outcome it generates. As it can’t be achieved with their consent I think there is no way around a revolution of the working class and the people suffering most from the hyper capitalist system we live in. It can only be achieved through connection and community.

MD: What is the biggest change you have seen in yourself through making 'Flowers and Fences'?

CN: I freed myself of old patterns and images of the world and myself that are no longer serving me. I left toxic environments and relationships. I cut ties. I feel I became more of myself - or the multitudes of self - and less of other people's idea through the process of making this album and finally releasing it into this world. It’s quite a good feeling, I have to admit.

MD: What do you hope this album will do for others?

CN: I hope that the music meets the listener at eye level and can be this fluid thing that changes shape and be whatever they need right there in this moment. Be it a warm embrace, a wake-up call, an empowering reminder of your self worth, a close friend in finding your own voice or your way of gently settling into the day in the morning or letting go of the day at night.

MD: And finally, favourite F-word?

CN: Flowers And Fences, of course, just F-words for my album! (such as Fake Flowers, my favourite song on the album - I see a pattern there)


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