It’s been five years since BettySoo bubbled out of the Austin scene with Heat Sin Water Skin. Her third album garnered raves for its mix of country, folk, and pop, earning comparisons to fellow Austin tour-de-force Patty Griffin. But the intervening time has been filled with heartache: when not touring around the country, BettySoo was traveling to comfort friends and family through divorce, rehab, and mental illness–in short, dealing with life in all its messiness.
BettySoo poured all of these experiences into her new record, When We’re Gone, out May 27. With local luminaries like Lloyd Maines on pedal steel and Glenn Fukunaga on bass, the album retains its Austin roots, but expands beyond them too. “Listen” kicks off When We’re Gone with orchestral flourishes and a slowly building groove. “I’ve been wondering what we might pick up on if we had audio instant-replays,” BettySoo told American Songwriter, “if we could go back and pay closer attention to all of the sounds in our lives, what might we catch that we had previously missed?”