Posts Tagged ‘The Natalie Merchant Collection’

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Nonesuch Records announces the digital release of two Natalie Merchant albums, previously unavailable: “Butterfly”, a studio album featuring four new songs and six reinterpretations from her catalogue arranged for string quartet, and “Rarities”, a collection of 15 rare and previously unreleased tracks recorded between 1998 and 2017. For Rarities, Merchant curated a selection of unique home studio demos, album outtakes, live tracks, and collaborations with diverse artists like Billy Bragg, David Byrne, The Chieftains, Cowboy Junkies, and Amy Helm (complete track list below). Both albums were created for inclusion in The Natalie Merchant Collection released by Nonesuch in 2017, and previously only available as part of the deluxe ten-CD box set.

“Since 2010 I’ve performed mainly as soloist with string ensembles and chamber orchestras. I love the subtle emotional quality strings give to my songs and it’s such a pleasure to reinterpret them in this way. In 2015, we celebrated the twentieth anniversary of my first solo album, Tigerlily, with an album featuring string quartet versions of that material; with Butterfly, I was able to give ‘My Skin,’ ‘Frozen Charlotte,’ ‘Ophelia,’ and ‘The Worst Thing’ the same attention,” Merchant says.

“There are four songs on this album that I think represent some of the best writing of my career: the title track, ‘Butterfly,’ ‘She Devil,’ ‘Baby Mine,’ and ‘Andalucía’,” she continues. “Written over a period of twenty years, these songs represent such different phases of my life and career. What they all share is that none of them fit into previous albums or I was unable to capture a performance that did them justice. Listening to them today, I hear how they truly belong together.”

Merchant notes, “We have all found ourselves living through a very frightening period of history. Our rare and exceedingly beautiful planet is in peril and all the creatures (our species included) feel on the brink of chaos. In the face of crisis, we still search for meaning and reach out for beauty. I hope that Butterfly is received as my offering of beauty and meaning for these times and that it gives solace to anyone willing to listen.”

Merchant’s career began in 1981 when, as a college student, she joined the seminal alternative rock band 10,000 Maniacs. As lead vocalist, lyricist, and sometimes pianist, Merchant released six critically acclaimed studio albums with the band. She left the group in 1993, and in 1995 released her multi-platinum solo debut, Tigerlily, followed by the platinum Ophelia (1998) and Motherland (2001). In 2003 she independently released an album of traditional and contemporary folk music, The House Carpenter’s Daughter. In 2010, Merchant returned with a double album, Leave Your Sleep, her debut for Nonesuch Records. In 2014, Nonesuch released Natalie Merchant, her sixth solo album and first of entirely original songs in thirteen years. Nonesuch most recently released Paradise Is There: The New Tigerlily Recordings in 2015, and the Natalie Merchant Collection box set in 2017.

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