You might know a number of the songs on Diana Krall’s new album, Turn Up The Quiet, out May 5, but you’ve never heard them like this before. For her 13th studio album, singer, pianist, and bandleader Krall—a five-time Grammy winner—has reimagined 11 songs of jazz and American classics to create an upbeat, atmospheric, and utterly charming collection.
"This album represents a time in my life when I’m most comfortable with who I am and what I’m doing," Krall tells Town & Country of the record, which she produced alongside her longtime collaborator, the late Tommy LiPuma. One of the album’s standout tracks, "Moonglow," dates back to 1933, but in Krall’s hands feels entirely contemporary. "We didn’t want to revisit a theme we’ve already done, so I assembled three different ensembles and we went into the studio with about 50 songs," she says. "I brought about 25 more songs than I’ll be able to finish, and it turned out to be more upbeat than I originally envisioned—but that’s not a bad thing."
Here, Town & Country has an exclusive first listen. Beyond that, Krall—who’ll be heading out on a U.S. tour beginning June 2—takes our "Creative Questionnaire," offering us a peek inside the mind of a creative genius.
How do you prepare yourself to be creative; what’s your ritual?
Quieting my mind is usually what I need to do. My husband [Elvis Costello] can write when there’s a storm going on; if I hear a pen clicking, I get distracted.
What place is most conducive in which for you to work?
I love working in the studio with the people who I love like I did for this record.
An amazing piano is always great. Each one has such a personality; for me, it’s got to be a piano with a darker vibe.
At what time of day do you prefer to work?
Late night. My perfect hours are between 3 p.m. and 3 a.m., which doesn’t always work with getting kids up at 6:30 in the morning to go to school.
What’s your go-to snack?
Avocado with a squeeze of lime on a rice cake. Or one of those mini brownies from Pret a Manger—I have one sitting on my dresser right now.
How do you take your coffee?
I stopped drinking it! But then I started again. Only decaf, lately.
Who’s your favorite collaborator?
What do you most often do to procrastinate?
I’m very much a last-minute person. I need to get all the ideas in my head before I sit down; it’s part of my process.
What’s your best trick for overcoming a block?
When I’m in British Columbia, I hike with friends. In New York, I do boxing with my trainer. I’m not a good boxer, but we do it to Miles Davis music and it’s great.
It’s said that genius is one percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration. What is that ratio like for you?
When I think of geniuses in the arts, I think of Joni Mitchell or Louis Armstrong or Miles Davis. I think you need to have
What’s your dream project?
I just worked on something with [the animator] Swampy Marsh, an adaptation of a children’s book called Pete the Cat. I play the mother and Elvis plays the father. I always wanted to do an animated film, to play a character and do music. Then I don’t have to worry about lighting.
What have you learned from a failure?
For me, failure is essential. I’ve known that since I was very young, but I was reminded of it recently when my son had an amazing baseball coach who said, “You’re considered a good player in baseball when you only fail seven times out of 10.” That really resonated with me.
What’s your favorite creation thus far?
A very dynamic, spirited, intense, fun family.
What do you hope your creative legacy will be?
I hope I won’t be remembered just for the music I played, but for other things I could do to help people.
*This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.