Posts Tagged ‘Like the River Loves the Sea’

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Joan Shelley makes music that lulls my soul. Her new album, Like the River Loves the Sea, is a serene experience. It’s music with a deep connection to British folk music from the ’60s and ’70s but with influences from this side of the world and her home of Louisville, Kentucky.

On this session Joan Shelley is joined by her musical partner and Louisville companion, guitarist Nathan Salsburg to play DJ. You can hear the roots of the music they make in the songs they chose to share, from American banjo legend Roscoe Holcomb to English folk singer June Tabor and the contemporary music of Bonnie “Prince” Billy.

Guitarist Nathan Salsburg is Joan Shelley’s longtime musical partner Joan Shelley tells the story of recording Like the River Loves the Sea in Iceland and how they had to forgo adding banjo to the album because they couldn’t locate one in Iceland. We also hear Joan Shelley’s early trio called Maiden Radio, Joan and Nathan’s new collaboration with Bonnie “Prince” Billy and how she met him at an ugly sweater party in Kentucky.

Living in the river town Louisville, Kentucky, where the Ohio River is at its widest, must be impactful for Joan Shelley, as both this album and her last, 2018 EP Rivers and Vessels, include the word “river.” This time the river led her to Iceland, where she recorded yet another exquisite collection of songs that pairs the purest voice since Joan Baez with an exploration of uncertain currents. Over the past few years, and seven albums, Shelley, along with longtime guitarist Nathan Salsburg, has quietly created a genre unto herself.

In her album announcement she said that her songs invoke a “conversation with the divine that has seen all of it. … They are also a longing cry born of all the dividing; a call across the slowly spreading ocean. Primarily, [the album] is a haven for overstimulated heads in uncertain times.” To say that she and Salsburg put you in a trance is an oversimplification, but you do get lost and want to linger in a world so slip-shaped that only heaven seems to know. Thus, I cannot pick any single song to highlight, but if you are taken with “Cycle,” a Nick Drake-Sandy Denny-like floater, you’ll be as smitten as I am.

“LIKE THE RIVER LOVES THE SEA”, the new record, is coming out in just over 2 weeks.  I can’t wait to rip off the seal and let you all into it. Two songs are out now, as singles for the record:
Click to listen to Coming Down for You featuring Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Nathan Salsburg, and James Elkington-and Cycle featuring Nathan and James as well as the Icelandic sisters, string dream-team Sigrún Kristbjörg Jónsdóttir and Þórdís Gerður Jónsdóttir. Music video animated by Douglas Miller.

From “Like The River Loves The Sea” out August 30th, 2019

Joan Shelley Announces New Album <i>Like the River Loves the Sea</i>, Releases Single “Cycle”

Louisville-based singer-songwriter Joan Shelley has released a new single, “Cycle” and announced her forthcoming album title “Like the River Loves the Sea”.

The acoustically mellow track, “Cycle” stays in the lane of Shelley’s normal folk music. Touching on the vocal and lyrical nuances of Joni Mitchell, as well as the folk undertones of Gillian Welch, Shelley’s sweetly soft vocals mixed with the wistful melody and building strings of the song are a match made in heaven.

The song is the second taste of music from Like the River Loves the Sea. The first, “Coming Down For You,” still finds Shelley diving into her singer-songwriter ways, but the track is sonically a bit bigger and less stripped-back than “Cycle.”

Due out August. 30th via No Quarter Records, Like the River Loves the Sea was recorded in only five days in Reykjavik, Iceland, and all 12 songs were written by Shelley. Following her 2017 self-titled album, Like the River Loves the Sea illustrates the ethos of love and comfort throughout nature.

“The best music would be a conversation with the divine that has seen all of it, or with the oldest trees that have witnessed the whole human story. These songs are partly that conversation, at times through the lens of lovers,” Shelley says in a statement. “They are also a longing cry born of all the dividing; a call across the slowly spreading ocean. Primarily, Like The River Loves The Sea is built as a haven for overstimulated heads in uncertain times.”

“Like The River Loves The Sea” out August 30th, 2019