As an artist who thrived on real-life exchanges with other musicians to create songs, the Boston-based Borges was faced with a daunting question in 2020: How to connect and continue as a vital and viable working artist amid an uncertain future.
She started by writing songs such as “Wasting My Time,” which serves as a thematic link for the new album, “wondering whether time, in this context, is actually wasting us, rather than the other way around”. Even the job Borges took as an airport courier during the pandemic to keep the bills paid and home hearth burning proved creatively useful to her with a new track, “She’s a Trucker,” based on four-wheeling across state lines, carrying occasionally strange cargo.
The title track “Together Alone,” was written across, and about, dividing distances on the road: “It’s the little things I’m missing / Now that they’re gone, Lines across faces, and photos from places / Our shadows growing long.”
Working with Producer Eric Ambel (Joan Jett & the Blackhearts to Steve Earle and the Dukes) on the album remotely, Borges were forced to use what she calls a “MacGyver Method” of recording songs. One by one, Borges would send her home-recorded guitar and vocal demos, with Borges singing into her iPhone, and utilizing her clothes closet as a vocal isolation booth, to Ambel’s home recording setup. He’d listen carefully to the rudimentary tracks, and then sort out who in his musical Rolodex might play what, where, when, and how.
Ambel comments on the process:
“I got songs to them in a very specific building order. Basically, we all went back to the ’70s in recording style, working on one song at a time until it was complete. Time and geography didn’t really matter. It was exciting to be on the virtual receiving end of all these great songs and performances.”