Adela Skowronski shares her love story through her new Adela’s album
Finding love might be a goal for many. For Adela Skowronski and her musical act Adela’s, the love was already there, so the album “Words of Love” was the new challenge.
And because the album is set to release on Saturday, Feb. 18 — also her wedding day — Skowronski’s 12-track album is a serenade to love in all its forms.
Skowronski said the theme grew when the pandemic sidetracked a previous plan and she started looking ahead to her upcoming nuptials with her fiance, Andrew.
“I have this really big milestone ahead of me, so I set myself this challenge creating a love album that I want to drop on the day I got married,” she said, chuckling about the interesting timing and her current frazzled state. “At first I wanted it to be all love songs in the stereotypical sense, like Frank Sinatra, crooner, goofy, lovey-dovey stuff. And then I started reflecting on our journey, me and Andrew, and some of the reasons why we’re getting married and what that means to us. And I realized that it wouldn’t be fun to write an album that’s all about the honeymoon phase of love. It wouldn’t give it the depth that I was looking for.
“Throughout the process of writing it,” she continued, “I started realizing that I want to capture more points of time in a relationship or things that happen while you’re in love, emotions that come up because you’re in love with someone.”
Skowronski, who was raised in Chicago and Elmhurst before moving to Rolling Meadows with her fiance, said the album starts with a song she originally composed for violin and piano before following the progression of her love story.
“It sounds like a little waltz out of a fairy tale,” she said, “because I was a huge nerd and I used to love reading all the fairy tale books and all the princess books.”
It progresses through puppy love (“Oh my gosh, somebody’s noticing me and, Wow, I don’t know what to do!”) and a first argument, traipsing around familiar relationship landmarks in a deeply personal way but not one exclusive to their story.
“My hope is that people will listen to the album and feel like they’ve gone through all this, too, and get a glimpse of the combination of emotions that result in a mature relationship with somebody that you very deeply love. And all the different things that strengthened that love whether or not you realize it in the moment.”
Many of the musical selections on “Words of Love” are imbued with a folksy-pop charm seemingly plucked straight from movie soundtracks of late-aught indie flicks (“Juno,” anyone?), and Skowronski narrates the journey in a sense through four interlude tracks, original poems that add context to the work and seamlessly cement some of the songs together. And while the album is essentially about her and Andrew, it also extends to love in other forms, namely grief. One track, “Everything We Are, Everything We’re Not,” laments a broken friendship, and “When A Crow Cries” dives into what’s left behind after the loss of people she has loved.
“I suffered a lot of deaths in my family in a very short period of time. And while that’s not a romantic type of love, I was only able to kind of process that loss once my dog died,” she said. “I started thinking about him, I started thinking about the family I lost. And I realized that another side effect of love is grief.”
Skowronski has been on the airwaves on 103.1 WPNA’s Afternoon Drive radio program and now at WFMT 98.7 FM’s Classical and Folk Music Radio, but she’s possibly more notably known around the Chicago and suburban music scene as one of the creators of “The Underbelly Hours,” a local podcast she and co-host Dan Asio created while attending Elmhurst College and continue to run out of Wheaton. And while her history includes a middle school-high school rock band and more recently the acoustic duo In Time, musically she’s best known as a cellist, performing both orchestrally and with various groups around the city and suburbs.
Skowronski said meeting rock acts through the radio show and podcast opened her up to a new set of musical experiences.
“It’s helped me become a better musician because you’re putting yourself into situations that you’re not trained for in classical music,” she said, noting she’s learned to handle improvisation on stage better through it. “But it’s also reinstilled my faith in music in a weird way. … You’re reminded when you’re sitting right across from somebody, not just looking at their promotional stuff on a screen, but you’re sitting with them in their music and trying to figure out their song with them. You see how passionate they are. And it reminds you that everyone kind of has a story to tell, and everyone’s art is valid because it allows people to share their stories.”
Through “The Underbelly Hours” and her work freelancing around the scene, Skowronski has helped numerous rising musicians get their voices out, and so it’s natural she kept that spirit of collaboration alive for her own album.
“In my opinion, music feels different when it’s made in a room together with other people,” she said. “It adds a different energy to the songs, a greater feeling of excitement, even if the recordings turn out to be a little less accurate.”
Adela’s will celebrate a release show Friday, March 10, at the Art Gallery Kafe at 127 Front St., Wood Dale. More details are to come on that show, but for now, Skowronski has a wedding and an album release to get ready for.