Debórah Bond. Credit: S Pakhrin / Flickr. Licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Compass: I

When D.C. R&B singer-songwriter Debórah Bond got to work on her latest album, compass: I (that’s “one”), she was already at a crossroads in her life. “I have had some major changes,” admits Bond. “I ended a 14-year relationship. I had my longtime band personnel shift a bit and just going through, to be really frank, a midlife crisis.” The personal turmoil and free time provided by the pandemic allowed Bond to reset her compass, so to speak, recording from her home studio while having other musicians provide their parts from their individual homes. The results are impressive. “Every instrument that’s live on this album was done in someone’s home,” says Bond. “When I listen to ‘stride,’ in particular, I can’t even believe how polished everything sounds—like we’re rocking in the studio. Where legendary drummer Nate Smith recorded his part in Nashville. There’s keys that were recorded in L.A. I made it come together.” Bond also managed to film a music video for the album’s first single “radio,” working with director T.L. Benton on an outdoor, socially distanced shoot. “We went to downtown Silver Spring,” explains Bond. “There’s this really cool building on Georgia Avenue that has this great rooftop.” The one downside to the outdoor setting? “It was really cold!” laughs Bond. Having done a series of livestream performances in recent months, Bond is now inching towards normalcy, looking to get live in-person dates on her calendar. “Fingers crossed, I’ll be in Richmond, Virginia at the top of the summer and the Keystone Korner jazz club in Baltimore sometime in April or May.” The album is available on Spotify and other streaming platforms.