Since the world met Jones, she has been consistently making music with some of the best in the business (Ray Charles, Q-Tip, Willie Nelson…), and that voice, thank God, is very much still with us. Do you do consider yourself a calm or an anxious person in your day-to-day life?
GQ: Having done so many interviews, what’s one question you’re sick of being asked? “It says it’s a kindred spirit to your first album? ” And it’s like sure, but can’t you form your own opinions? I also get kind of sick of people asking - it’s weird, because I love my kids, of course I love my kids - but people ask a lot of questions about being a mom and sometimes it’s kind of like: are we talking about the album or…? I’m definitely a normal human - I have both sides to me. But when I get busy, I get more anxious and agitated and I try to do yoga and stretches and remind myself not to sweat the small stuff.
There's the brown poodle puppy she adopted and named Ralph. Bernard on the cover of her new album, , which closes with a dog-themed song called "Man of the Hour." (Key lyric: "You never lie/And you don't cheat/You don't have any baggage tied/ To your four feet.") The tune ends with a cheerful "woof." "I just felt like my dog-ological clock was ticking," Jones, 30, says.
"I know a lot of girls my age who have gone through a similar thing recently, just really wanting a pet to take care of.
Norah Jones: Probably if I agree with the press release for this album [laughs]. Yeah, well people like to put motherhood at the centre of female careers, don’t they? And they also want to know how it “changed my process”. Wow, yeah, I actually deliberately am not asking you anything do with that. Since you started out on the music scene around 2002, the Internet has really disrupted the way that music careers are built.
And I’m like, how has parenthood changed you and your job? Do you think the Internet is a good or a bad thing for musicians?
"It was great to get out of my circle," says Jones."But the band I was touring with for seven years" — which included Alexander — "we'd come to this crossroads." Primarily because of her adoration of Tom Waits' 1999 classic, , she connected with engineer-producer Jacquire King, who also worked with Modest Mouse and Kings of Leon.Says Jones, "That's when everything fell into place."The tracks Jones and King recorded — open, sparse sound collages — "have a different sonic landscape than anything I've done in the past," Jones says.She also began writing songs — but had no idea how to go about finding a band to record them."Once I had a batch of songs that I was proud of, I thought, ' I like these, I should demo them up,'" she says.She spent her first four years living with her mother in an apartment on Lexington Avenue and 24th Street, before they moved to the Dallas suburb of Grapevine to be closer to her mom's family in Oklahoma. Her sun-soaked East Village space might not be equipped with a bunk bed and arcade games, but it's a total dream pad for a bachelorette musician, with its old Victrola, a massive kitchen where she has spent hours perfecting pasta and fried-chicken recipes, and a soundproof home studio — where, under an old playbill advertising a performance by the Band, sits a grand piano.