[Blue Note; 2012]

If you were fortunate enough to go to SXSW and caught Norah Jones’ performance at all, then you had the pleasure of seeing her play her upcoming Danger Mouse-produced album, Little Broken Hearts (via Blue Note), in its entirety. A couple of weeks ago, she released the first single from the album “Happy Pills,” which we reviewed. And with the album release only a little more than a month away, she was gracious enough to release another cut entitled “Travelin’ On.”

Whereas “Happy Pills” was an up-tempo number driven by bluesy bass lines and thick percussion, “Travelin’ On” takes a more subtle, restrained approach while keeping the same simplistic structure. Here, a minimal string arrangement highlights the slow-paced track that features a plucked upright bass and a delicate cello that back Jones’ light acoustic guitar strumming and crooning vocal melodies. Lyrically, the track carries on the album’s theme of heartbreak, softly singing the lines “hey, I’m too weak / it’s too much to fight on / a past so strong / but now I don’t think too much of the time / I’ll just try to keep on.” Clocking in at barely over three minutes, its brevity is appropriate as its message is concise and to-the-point, leaving the emotional undertone to resonate from start to finish without losing any fire.

It’s been three years since Norah Jones released her last album, but if “Travelin’ On” is any indication, Little Broken Hearts proves that she hasn’t lost a step while adding more wrinkles to her music.

Little Broken Hearts is due out May 1st.