With a career spanning two decades, five studio albums, over 16 plus million records sold world-wide, and a plethora of accolades, Nelly Furtado is a proven chart-topping luminary. Furtado now presents her sixth studio album, The Ride, which finds the pop wunderkind teaming up with Grammy-winning producer John Congleton (St. Vincent, Explosions in the Sky, Blondie, Erykah Badu, Franz Ferdinand).
The Ride serves as a culmination of Furtado's journey, living life through experiences that oftentimes felt like a carnival ride you get on and sometimes have to get off. "I let experience be the most important thing," Furtado explains. Experiences birthed several songs which found their way onto the new album. There's the pensive "Pipe Dreams," which was written on a water walk in Kenya, where Furtado learned how Kenyan women find water for their villages. A trip to Chile to visit her best friend also proved to be fortuitous, as Furtado penned "Magic" while sipping on wine in Santiago and reflecting on unrequited love.
The true glue of The Ride is songwriter/producer Congleton. The two met through Annie Clark of St. Vincent and had a musical chemistry from the moment Nelly entered his Dallas studio. Together they formulated the heart of the album, including the emotional "Flatline," "Cold Hard Truth," "Paris Sun," and the apropos "Carnival Games." "It's kind of like the oh fuck moment," she says of the latter track. "You're kind of at a carnival and it looks fun, but fundamentally what is actually going on?" Working with John allowed Nelly to experiment with new sounds and arrangements, leaning on Congleton's punk beginnings.