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Audrey Ochoa Returns with The Head of a Mouse

Audrey Ochoa’s best album yet features inspired and personal compositions performed by an all-star lineup with seamless live-off-the-floor execution.

“My father used to tell me ‘…it’s better to be the head of a mouse than the tail of a lion.’

I didn’t write [these tunes] with any specific musicians in mind – unlike previous albums – so when it came time to start planning the recording, I realized I was going to need different rhythm sections, strings, additional horns and a bass trombone – 12 musicians spread across 13 tracks. I tried to highlight everyone – they’re all musicians I admire so much, it wasn’t hard to find places for them to shine.

All the songs are personal – they’re about family, grief, relationships – I wrote them in late 2020/2021, when live performance was restricted, so composition was all I had as an outlet. I guess I was writing my own comfort music, borrowing from artists like Donny Hathaway and Daniel Caesar – and trying to include styles that I grew up playing, like Ska and Salsa. I even threw in a trombone chorale, a shout-out to my years playing in trombone quartets and choirs – I even sing on one of the tracks.

This is without a doubt my favourite album. We recorded all the tracks in four days, and had it mixed the following week. It was recorded live off the floor – did two to three takes of each tune. I had the artwork finished before we even started recording. Everything about this album came together very easily – it wasn’t a stressful endeavour.” – Audrey Ochoa