HEART's Nancy Wilson, who released her debut solo album, "You And Me", on May 7 via Carry On Music, spoke to Meltdown of Detroit's WRIF radio station about the fear and challenges of stepping out on her own and making music away from the band. She said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "[There was] definitely a lot of challenge for me to kind of screw up my courage enough to be the singer, 'cause I used to have troubles trying not to compare myself to my sister's voice [HEART singer Ann Wilson], 'cause her voice is so incredible. But then she actually gave me a good advice one time when she told me, 'Don't worry about being perfect. Don't stress the perfection. Just tell your story.' And that's kind of how I approached it on this album; I found myself remembering what she told me. As a singer, just tell the story. Don't sweat the big stuff. Just tell your story. And I got really comfortable being the singer on this one."
She continued: "Being a writer was a little daunting in a way, 'cause I've only written for HEART mainly or instrumentals for score music for film mainly, so I had to really go back to myself before I joined HEART — college girl self. Before I joined, I took a couple of classes first at university — creative writing and some music theory and some literature classes. So I wanted to bring that toolkit into the band when I finally joined the band. So I kind of went back to that same toolkit a little bit for this album, because it was not the assignment to write for HEART for a change; it was the assignment to write for myself. So I thought that was really uplifting and inspiring to do it. And I finally have a studio of my own to do it in where it's not gonna disturb the household at all. Anyway, [the way] it all came together, really, [was] serendipity for me."
"You And Me" was recorded primarily in Wilson's California home studio, working with band members and special guests remotely. Most of the tracks are originals, but Wilson decided to include a handful of covers by a few of her favorites, including a female perspective of PEARL JAM's "Daughter", a stirring turn of SIMON & GARFUNKEL's "The Boxer" featuring Sammy Hagar, and an ethereal cover of THE CRANBERRIES' "Dreams", featuring Liv Warfield (Prince) from Nancy's previous band ROADCASE ROYALE. The first single from the album was Bruce Springsteen's "The Rising", which dropped last fall.
The other eight tracks are originals, mostly acoustic ballads, but there are also some rousing rockers like "Party At The Angel Ballroom" which features a superstar backing band, including Duff McKagan of GUNS N' ROSES and Taylor Hawkins of the FOO FIGHTERS. The album ends with a song that captures the full spectrum of loss, love and redemption in one instrumental coda. Titled "4 Edward", it is Nancy's tribute to Eddie Van Halen, whose 2020 loss still looms large over music.
The title track "You And Me", as with several of the songs on the album, reunites Wilson with longtime collaborator Sue Ennis, who co-wrote many of HEART's classics with Nancy and sister Ann.
With her band HEART, Nancy Wilson has recorded 16 albums, sold over 35 million albums worldwide and has four Grammy nominations. She had previously released one other album with just her name on it, "Live At McCabe's Guitar Shop", which captured her playing a set of covers and new songs in 1999. But Nancy considers this her first true solo album, a positive creative move amid a surreal year of loss; life during lockdown.