Ro Myra

Video Premiere: Ro Myra's Powerful Video for 'Irene' is a Call for Self-Love

Ro Myra draws on her upbringing in the windswept grasslands of Nebraska for her debut album, Nowhere Nebraska, an exploration of pain, uncertainty and finding peace in small town life.

The album's latest release, "Irene," was born out of a fortunate meeting in an airport.

"Once when I was flying out of Denver, a really kind Southwest Airlines attendant helped make sure that I could board my flight to Austin with my guitar. I was incredibly grateful for his kindness, because I had bought the cheapest ticket possible and would've probably had to check my guitar," Myra tells Wide Open Country. "As a musician, some of the worst words you can hear before a flight is, 'I'm going to need you to check that guitar.'  I wanted to show my gratitude in some way and fumbled through ideas until I blurted out, 'Hey, I'm flying to meet other songwriters in the desert and write some songs. Can I write a song for you?' He smiled and said, 'Well, I have five beautiful granddaughters. I'd love to hear you write a song for one of your grandparents.'"

Inspired by the magic of the Big Bend country, Myra fulfilled his request.

"After a short plane ride and a long 10-plus-hour drive to the Texas/Mexico border, some friends and I arrived at Chinati Hot Springs for what would be one of the most magical creative experiences of my life," Myra says. "It was there in the arroyo of the desert that 'Irene' flooded my mind into its preliminary existence. The first line of the first verse came to me first, "In the desert, you either dry up or drown, just like that small town you never left, the hope you lost and never found."

Myra says the name "Irene," her middle name, which has been passed down for generations, took on a powerful meaning.

"I grew up in a small, dried up oil and farming town in the middle of nowhere, Nebraska. Starting with my great great grandparents, generation after generation have built their lives on those flat, golden plains. My middle name, Irene, has been passed down through my family for generations. When I was writing this song, Irene presented itself as a symbol representing generations of trauma and curses passed through the women of my family line," Myra continued. "I believe that I will be a part of ending those cycles of dysfunction and abuse in my family. I'm finding it takes a lot of self-love and self-reflection to not repeat the patterns so deeply ingrained in your bloodline."

The video, directed by Ben Hess, centers on a woman's struggle with domestic violence and her friend's desperate attempt to help her. Starring Matison Card and Myra, the video won Best Music Video at the IMDb qualifier Independent Shorts Awards and the Venice Shorts Film Festival.

"I hope that this video speaks to each person, whatever it is they need to hear, to feel a deeper sense that there's always hope where there's love," Myra says. "In this case, it's self-love, which is sometimes the hardest type of love."

Watch the video for "Irene" below.

Myra says she hopes the song helps to connect humanity and let listeners know they're not alone.

"I've had some folks come up to me after shows and say, 'Hey, that song was about me,' or 'That's my song.' I love hearing that," Myra says. "I'm not just trying to tell my story, but I'm working to tell our collective story as humanity.  We're all healing from something, and that pain can feel isolating. But I think a song can make our personal pains into more of a connective and collective experience. It moves us from 'me' to 'we,' which is something I think we could really use right now. More of WE."

Nowhere, Nebraska was recorded in Denver, Nashville and Austin.

"Irene" is available to pre-save here. To pre-order Nowhere Nebraska, visit here.

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