Sunday, February 21, 2010
Natalie Merchant to Tour Europe in May Following Release of Nonesuch Debut, "Leave Your Sleep," April 12
Nonesuch Records will release Natalie Merchant’s new album, Leave Your Sleep, on April 12 in the UK and the following day around the world. The album is the culmination of six years of research and collaboration and is, in Merchant’s words, “The most elaborate project I have ever completed or even imagined.” It is her first studio album since 2003 and her first for Nonesuch. To coincide with the release, she has announced a European tour in May–her first in eight years–including seven dates in the UK. Dates and venues are listed below. Tickets are on sale now. For links to purchase tickets, visit nonesuch.com/on-tour.
Merchant performed a live acoustic session for the BBC back in November, featuring songs from Leave Your Sleep and old favorites. The BBC Radio 2 Bob Harris show is airing one track each week this month. The third, "I'm Not Gonna Beg," from her 2001 album Motherland, aired this past Saturday. You can listen in online at bbc.co.uk. Natalie's segment begins at around 37 minutes in.
A two-disc set, Leave Your Sleep is a collection of 26 songs adapted from poems selected by Merchant including pieces by both well-known and obscure writers. Featured are works by British Victorians, early- and mid-20th century Americans and contemporary writers, as well as anonymous nursery rhymes and lullabies. Among the poets included are Ogden Nash, E.E. Cummings, Robert Louis Stevenson, Christina Rossetti, Edward Lear, Gerard Manley Hopkins, and Robert Graves. The album includes an 80-page booklet featuring extensive liner notes by Merchant as well as the original poems. Leave Your Sleep will also be available in a 16-song one-disc abridged version.
In addition to a new method of lyricism, Merchant collaborated with a broad spectrum of artists on Leave Your Sleep, including the Wynton Marsalis Quartet, Medeski Martin & Wood, The Fairfield Four, The Chinese Music Ensemble of New York, the Ditty Bops, members of the New York Philharmonic, The Klezmatics, Lúnasa, and Hazmat Modine. “The poems inspired vastly different musical settings with themes that ranged from humorous and absurd to tragic, romantic, and deeply spiritual. The sessions involved 130 musicians and were recorded in live ensemble settings to capture a fresh and spontaneous energy,” notes Merchant. “They were some of the most magical experiences I’ve ever had making music.” Leave Your Sleep was co-produced by Merchant with Andres Levin, and engineered by Nick Wollage.
NATALIE MERCHANT MAY 2010 UK TOUR
||HMV Hammersmith Apollo
||The Sage Gateshead
||Birmingham Symphony Hall