With fresh energy and bright intuition, Abby Johnson’s confident self-titled debut (due in late 2021) offers timeless folk songwriting teeming with a classic Nashville golden-era sheen. Johnson draws upon genre-spanning influences and wrangles them effortlessly into her own expression: “I want my songs to sound familiar, but tell you something new,” she says. The duality of Laurel Canyon nostalgia and indie rock blend effortlessly in her songs, polished further by the airtight backing band of fellow Nashvillians, Ornament (and produced by the band’s drummer, Ryan Donoho). Raised in North Carolina on the earnest mythos of Taylor Swift, she describes her first songs as “diary entries — playing guitar alone in my bedroom until I was twenty three.” Moving to Nashville for college introduced her to an immersive musical community, where she steeped in the influence of folk-and-country stalwarts like Emmylou Harris and Bonnie Raitt in equal proportion to more contemporary indie songwriters like Phoebe Bridgers. In addition to music, Johnson is known and admired for her film and photography work. Capturing the mood of a scene in a single snapshot is an ability she translates to her vivid songwriting: bringing the subtlest details into sharp focus — vignettes in a soft-grained atmosphere. Intimacy and longing push and pull thematically, as well as a sense of motion: driving through the desert; penning love letters in the mountains; and pulling up a chair to a grandmother’s kitchen table. These songs are rooted but travelling, moseying through American folk-pop traditions and toward something altogether fresh and dreamlike.