Singer-songwriter Christina Perri is moving to the next stage of her journey as an artist and musician with the release of her second album, Head or Heart
"The album is very different, but not too different from the first one - it feels just right for a second album," Perri said.
The album, released on April 1, is a full-length follow up to her debut studio album lovestrong, which was released in 2011.
Perri said that she felt she learned a lot during the process of making the second album - which she considered a collection of cathartic songs that sought to reconcile how people make decisions in love and life - and walked out of it as a better musician.
"I am three years older [than when the first album came out] and I think I am a little better at my music. I wrote the new album with a wider, dynamic point of view; this is not a breakup album. The first album was definitely a breakup album," the 27-year-old said during a phone interview on Friday.
"Head or Heart captures all of the things that I didn't think I could write. It's not just about love, but also about myself - learning how to be me, facing the world and chasing my dreams. It is emotionally different and sonically a much bigger album."
The new album's first song, "Trust", was penned in October 2012 after Perri toured for more than two years supporting lovestrong., an album that grappled with the aftermath of a breakup - Perri was married for 18 months between 2007 and 2009.
"Trust" defined the whole album. I kind of owe the album to the song. It is the first track of the album; it is the question and all the songs that follow are the possible answers," said the artist who hails from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Between October 2012 and May 2013, she wrote a total of 49 songs.
Although she had written dozens of songs, Perri said she knew immediately which to take into the studio to paint the overall picture she wanted the album to show. A big factor in the song selection was also a concern for how they would translate onstage.
She chose 16 songs and flew to London to meet with producer Jake Gosling to record the songs from May to November last year.
The pair finally selected 13 songs and mixed and mastered the album in February.
"It was a long process, but it was really wonderful. I have really good memories about it. It sounds long, but it was actually pretty quick. I was working everyday; it was a huge learning experience with lots of highs and lows. It was not easy but it was really fulfilling," Perri says.
The singer broke into the music industry after her song "Jar of Hearts" was featured on the So You Think You Can Dance TV show back in 2010. Following its exposure on the show, the song sold 48,000 digital copies in its first week and more than 100,000 copies within a month.
Perri, then 24 years old, signed a deal with Atlantic Records in July 2010. She then recorded an EP and released singles before launching her debut album and undertaking a world tour in 2011.
One of the highlights in her career came in 2012 after she re-recorded her song "A Thousand Years" for The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2 soundtrack. She is reportedly a big fan of Stephenie Meyer's vampire saga.
Despite all that she has achieved, Perri says she still feels that she is the same person. "I'm pretty nerdy. In my off time, I really like to read books, watch TV shows and have dinner with friends and family," she said.
Although she enjoys having dinner with family, Perri said she does not cook.
"I just never get to learn. My dad's Italian. You just don't go to the kitchen; they'd never let you. My whole life I just [have to] sit at the table and never be allowed to touch the pasta," she says.
"But maybe when I have a break I want to have a little garden and grow tomatoes and cucumber and start to cook."
And just like many other Americans, she binge-watches television series. She has just finished watching Breaking Bad and Boardwalk Empire. "I'm watching Downton Abbey right now, but I don't watch Hannibal, I'm scared of scary things," she said with a laugh.
In terms of her new album, Perri says she has nothing to achieve and has zero expectations.
"I'm just excited that I can do music for a living, get to see the whole world. I am grateful to be asked to come to cool places. Whatever happens next is completely out of my control," she said.
As a memento to the new album's long recording process in London, Perri had a small British crown tattooed onto her right knuckle.
She has more than 50 tattoos inked on her body, with the latest one being a cheese burger.
"I will always have more tattoos. I will never stop until I'm covered with them. However, I don't have a list of tattoos to get - I'm spontaneous, whenever I want one, I go get it."