Standout Track: No. 7, “Ah God.” Echoed vocal percussion is supplanted by hovering electric keys and wafting strings. Here, the Upper Marlboro singer meditates on the perils of a soured marriage. “Just turned my head, but others could see,” she sings. “Started getting the feeling, his dream wasn’t me.” The song was one of the first recorded for Wellons’ new album, Songs for Janie.
Musical Motivation: The song and album were inspired by Zora Neale Hurston’s 1937 novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God. Like the other tracks, “Ah God” was written in the voice of protagonist Janie, who sought love but ultimately couldn’t find it in another person. The story hit close to home for Wellons, who was going through her own divorce at the time. “I just related to it,” she says. “I feel like it’s a part of the healing.”
Girl Power: Wellons has different plans for her album. Rather than promoting it traditionally at local venues, she wants to perform Songs on a college tour, or in a setting mostly for younger women. As Wellons sees it, this work is more cinematic than her previous material. “I would like to hear these songs on TV and film,” she says. “I want it to reach women who have similar stories. I think the album is a blueprint for finding yourself.”