American singer-songwriter and musician Donna Missal’s debut album, This Time, is now available on Harvest Records. The 11-track album infuses Missal’s timeless, fiery vocals with scorching production by Tim Anderson (Solange, BANKS, Halsey), harkening back to the heyday of classic soul music, all the while creating something fresh and contemporary.
The album includes standout cuts like “Driving,” “Transformer,” “Girl,” “Thrills,” and current focus track, “Jupiter,” an impassioned anthem with a driving bassline and massive chorus.
The album also includes her latest single “Keep Lying,” which has been steadily climbing the charts at Alternative radio with 18 stations adding the track. Following Zane Lowe’s premiere of Missal’s original demo version of “Keep Lying” on Beats 1, the song shot to the top of the Spotify Viral and HypeMachine charts.
Blending elements of soul, hip-hop and rock & roll, Missal shaped This Time’s sonic landscape partly by laying live recordings down on tape, then sampling those recordings to imbue her songs with a fresh yet timeless energy. Much of that live recording took place at the iconic Different Fur Studios in San Francisco, where she was joined in the studio by Nate Mercereau (Leon Bridges).
“I really wanted this album to reference my history of playing in bands,” she explains. “It’s all these very pure, talented musicians playing together in a room, but then we took that and sampled it and altered in a way that creates something totally new.”
With its title taken from a track Missal co-wrote with her frequent collaborator Sharon Van Etten, This Time is an uncompromisingly honest look at living entirely on your own terms.
“I’ve spent most of my life being hyper-focused on time, which I think is something that a lot of women obsess over,” says Missal. “We’re in such a rush to make things happen, when really we should take the time to figure out what we actually want out of life. And even though it’s so fucking hard to have that kind of patience, I think it’s so important to believe in yourself enough to let things develop in a way that feels right to you.”
Throughout the album, Missal crafts her lyrics with the kind of idiosyncratic detail that instantly etches each line onto your heart, exploring self-empowerment on tracks like “Transformer”- a fiercely charged anthem about “having the courage to take what you want from life, without apology,” and on “Thrills,” which sees Missal musing on self-love and sexual confidence, her voice soaring over a gently swaying groove and dreamy guitar tones.
“’Thrills’ is about owning what makes you real,” says Missal. “There is a shift happening in our societal standards of beauty and sexuality, and the more we embrace our flaws the closer we become to effecting real change. I’d love for people to hear the song – and not just women, but anyone who feels disenfranchised— and remember that being sexy and confident comes from self-acceptance.”
Elsewhere on This Time, Missal infuses social commentary into songs like “Girl”: a stripped-back yet intricately textured track that unfolds with both gentle playfulness and piercing vulnerability.
“I wanted to address this idea that women need to be pinned against each other in order to succeed, or need to point out the flaws in other women just to feel good about themselves,” says Missal. “That kind of thinking has been around forever, and it doesn’t feel like it’s going away – but the more we talk about it, the better it’s going to get.”
And on “Driving,” Missal delivers one of the album’s most mesmerizing moments, with her flowing melody, hypnotic rhythms, and ethereal vocals merging with a quiet grandeur that’s simultaneously escapist and inspiring.
“‘Driving’ is about being on the precipice of taking control over your life – that feeling of seeing something you want in the distance and making the decision to go for it,” says Missal. “It’s about saying ‘Even if it takes a long time, or I hit some bumps along the way, it’s all okay because I’m the one behind the wheel.’”
To date, Missal’s songs have racked up more than 11 million combined streams, and now with the release of her debut album This Time, Missal is excited to provide her fans more of what they love so much about her music.
“This isn’t a record about love and loss and relationships,” Missal explains. “It’s about taking chances for yourself, figuring out who you are and really standing behind that. I made a point of putting myself out there as a real person navigating this life at this moment in time, because I want to do whatever I can as an artist to help people feel more confident in navigating their own lives. I’d love for the listener to receive the message that you can take your time to learn and love yourself. That’s been the most important discovery that I want to share with this album.”
Missal is confirmed join Bishop Briggs on tour and make her Austin City Limits Music Festival debut. For more information and tickets, please visit donnamissal.com.
Missal’s is a voice that comes around once in a lifetime, and This Time is an album for the ages.
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