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  • Friday, July 14, 2017
    Offa Rex—New Project from Olivia Chaney, The Decemberists—Release "The Queen of Hearts," Out Now on Nonesuch

    The Queen of Hearts, the debut album from Offa Rex, an adventurous new project featuring English singer-songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Olivia Chaney and The Decemberists, is out now on Nonesuch Records. Produced and recorded by Tucker Martine (Modest Mouse, My Morning Jacket, Neko Case) and Colin Meloy at Martine's studio in Portland, OR, and mostly arranged by Chaney, the thirteen tracks on The Queen of Hearts draw largely on traditional English-Irish-Scottish repertoire to create a transatlantic musical conversation that flirts with psychedelia and folk rock while maintaining its own inimitable identity.

    To pick up a copy of The Queen of Hearts, head to your local music shop, iTunes, Amazon, or the Nonesuch Store, where CD and vinyl orders include a download of the complete album at checkout, and listen to the album on Apple Music and Spotify.

    You can watch a studio performance video for the title track, as well as album tracks “Blackleg Miner” and “The Old Churchyard” below.

    "It's a match made in folk-rock heaven," exclaims NPR Music. "The result is both a tribute and translation, connecting the dots between contemporary indie music and a deeper cultural legacy ... The Queen Of Hearts hums with the resonance of bygone eras and ancient ways, of doomed love and arduous hardship—all of it embroidered into the patchwork tapestry of life itself."

    The Independent names The Queen of Hearts its Album of the Week and gives it a perfect five stars, calling it "a sublime collection of old songs given contemporary heart transplants without ever betraying their essential original truth and spirit."

    The Guardian gives the album four stars, saying: "Chaney has a magical voice, full of heft, soul and sunlight, reminiscent of Sandy Denny and Maddy Prior, while feeling refreshingly heartfelt and true. Add Colin Meloy’s brilliant band, and this collection of traditional songs sounds stirringly new. Everything works, loudly and proudly." The Observer gives the album four stars as well, saying that "Offa Rex has its own compelling identity, and should win Chaney an international name."

    The Australian gives it four-and-a-half stars, calling it an "adventurous alliance that makes use of [Chaney's] ear for inventive phrasing and sates her penchant for experimentation without impinging on the pristine quality of her crystalline singing."

    fRoots magazine says that Chaney "has never sounded better and sounds completely at ease with a rock band behind her … Beautifully recorded, there’s something inspirational and electrifying when the band kicks off in earnest."

    Lenny calls it "a love letter to British folk music ... An excellent introduction to the genre, with ... songs that capture the spirit of the originals while putting their own modern spin on them."

    The origins of Offa Rex can be traced to a tweet. Meloy, a fan of Olivia Chaney's 2015 Nonesuch debut, The Longest River, struck up a dialog with her over Twitter, which eventually led to her supporting The Decemberists on a US tour. Chaney says: "Every so often [on the tour] Colin and I would have these fleeting but quite intense conversations about songwriting and singing traditional songs. One night he asked me, grinning, 'Have you ever thought of having a backing group? We'll be your Albion Dance Band.'"

    Meloy adds: “There’s this weird relationship between British and American music, this interesting trade and theft that goes back and forth. My hope was that if we—the neophytes, the dilettantes, the pretenders—brought Olivia to Portland to work with Tucker, perhaps these traditional British songs would be infused with something different.

    From the heady harpsichord swirl that engulfs album opener "The Queen of Hearts" to the warm, delicate drone of "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face," or the cold, grey riff that heralds "Sheepcrook and Black Dog," it's evident that Offa Rex is different indeed, upending its folk roots and imbuing these songs with exploratory verve.

    Offa Rex will tour this summer, including performances at the Newport Folk Festival, Town Hall in New York, and at The Aladdin in Portland. They will also be performing at Travelers' Rest, The Decemberists' two-day curated festival in Missoula, MT, on August 12. Additionally, Olivia Chaney will support The Decemberists during their August tour, during which she will join the band on stage to perform songs from The Queen of Hearts. Chaney will also do a few solo shows around these dates. Complete list of shows are below.

    OFFA REX ON TOUR

    Jul 23 Aladdin Theater (Sold Out) Portland, OR
    Jul 26 The Town Hall New Yok, NY
    Jul 28 XPoNential Festival Camden, NJ
    Jul 29 Newport Folk Festival (Sold Out) Newport, RI
    Aug 3 Joe's Pub* New York, NY
    Aug 8 Orpheum Theatre** Vancouver, BC
    Aug 9 MacEwan Hall** Calgary, AB
    Aug 12&13 Traveler's Rest Festival Missoula, MT
    Aug 15 Red Butte Garden** (Sold Out) Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug 17 Fox Theater** Oakland, CA
    Aug 18 Mondavi Center** Davis, CA
    Aug 19 Britt Festival** Jacksonville, OR
         

    * Olivia Chaney solo show
    ** Olivia Chaney opening for The Decemberists

    Journal Articles:Album ReleaseArtist News

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Offa Rex—New Project from Olivia Chaney, The Decemberists—Release "The Queen of Hearts," Out Now on Nonesuch

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on July 14, 2017 - 8:45am
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Friday, July 14, 2017 - 08:45
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The Queen of Hearts, the debut album from Offa Rex, a new project from Olivia Chaney and The Decemberists, is out now. Produced and recorded by Tucker Martine and Colin Meloy at Martine's studio in Portland, OR, and mostly arranged by Chaney, The Queen of Hearts draws largely on traditional English-Irish-Scottish repertoire to create a transatlantic musical conversation that flirts with psychedelia and folk rock while maintaining its own inimitable identity. NPR calls it "a match made in folk-rock heaven." Offa Rex will tour this summer, including performances at the Newport Folk Festival, Town Hall in New York, and at The Aladdin in Portland.

Copy: 

The Queen of Hearts, the debut album from Offa Rex, an adventurous new project featuring English singer-songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Olivia Chaney and The Decemberists, is out now on Nonesuch Records. Produced and recorded by Tucker Martine (Modest Mouse, My Morning Jacket, Neko Case) and Colin Meloy at Martine's studio in Portland, OR, and mostly arranged by Chaney, the thirteen tracks on The Queen of Hearts draw largely on traditional English-Irish-Scottish repertoire to create a transatlantic musical conversation that flirts with psychedelia and folk rock while maintaining its own inimitable identity.

To pick up a copy of The Queen of Hearts, head to your local music shop, iTunes, Amazon, or the Nonesuch Store, where CD and vinyl orders include a download of the complete album at checkout, and listen to the album on Apple Music and Spotify.

You can watch a studio performance video for the title track, as well as album tracks “Blackleg Miner” and “The Old Churchyard” below.

"It's a match made in folk-rock heaven," exclaims NPR Music. "The result is both a tribute and translation, connecting the dots between contemporary indie music and a deeper cultural legacy ... The Queen Of Hearts hums with the resonance of bygone eras and ancient ways, of doomed love and arduous hardship—all of it embroidered into the patchwork tapestry of life itself."

The Independent names The Queen of Hearts its Album of the Week and gives it a perfect five stars, calling it "a sublime collection of old songs given contemporary heart transplants without ever betraying their essential original truth and spirit."

The Guardian gives the album four stars, saying: "Chaney has a magical voice, full of heft, soul and sunlight, reminiscent of Sandy Denny and Maddy Prior, while feeling refreshingly heartfelt and true. Add Colin Meloy’s brilliant band, and this collection of traditional songs sounds stirringly new. Everything works, loudly and proudly." The Observer gives the album four stars as well, saying that "Offa Rex has its own compelling identity, and should win Chaney an international name."

The Australian gives it four-and-a-half stars, calling it an "adventurous alliance that makes use of [Chaney's] ear for inventive phrasing and sates her penchant for experimentation without impinging on the pristine quality of her crystalline singing."

fRoots magazine says that Chaney "has never sounded better and sounds completely at ease with a rock band behind her … Beautifully recorded, there’s something inspirational and electrifying when the band kicks off in earnest."

Lenny calls it "a love letter to British folk music ... An excellent introduction to the genre, with ... songs that capture the spirit of the originals while putting their own modern spin on them."

The origins of Offa Rex can be traced to a tweet. Meloy, a fan of Olivia Chaney's 2015 Nonesuch debut, The Longest River, struck up a dialog with her over Twitter, which eventually led to her supporting The Decemberists on a US tour. Chaney says: "Every so often [on the tour] Colin and I would have these fleeting but quite intense conversations about songwriting and singing traditional songs. One night he asked me, grinning, 'Have you ever thought of having a backing group? We'll be your Albion Dance Band.'"

Meloy adds: “There’s this weird relationship between British and American music, this interesting trade and theft that goes back and forth. My hope was that if we—the neophytes, the dilettantes, the pretenders—brought Olivia to Portland to work with Tucker, perhaps these traditional British songs would be infused with something different.

From the heady harpsichord swirl that engulfs album opener "The Queen of Hearts" to the warm, delicate drone of "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face," or the cold, grey riff that heralds "Sheepcrook and Black Dog," it's evident that Offa Rex is different indeed, upending its folk roots and imbuing these songs with exploratory verve.

Offa Rex will tour this summer, including performances at the Newport Folk Festival, Town Hall in New York, and at The Aladdin in Portland. They will also be performing at Travelers' Rest, The Decemberists' two-day curated festival in Missoula, MT, on August 12. Additionally, Olivia Chaney will support The Decemberists during their August tour, during which she will join the band on stage to perform songs from The Queen of Hearts. Chaney will also do a few solo shows around these dates. Complete list of shows are below.

OFFA REX ON TOUR

Jul 23 Aladdin Theater (Sold Out) Portland, OR
Jul 26 The Town Hall New Yok, NY
Jul 28 XPoNential Festival Camden, NJ
Jul 29 Newport Folk Festival (Sold Out) Newport, RI
Aug 3 Joe's Pub* New York, NY
Aug 8 Orpheum Theatre** Vancouver, BC
Aug 9 MacEwan Hall** Calgary, AB
Aug 12&13 Traveler's Rest Festival Missoula, MT
Aug 15 Red Butte Garden** (Sold Out) Salt Lake City, UT
Aug 17 Fox Theater** Oakland, CA
Aug 18 Mondavi Center** Davis, CA
Aug 19 Britt Festival** Jacksonville, OR
     

* Olivia Chaney solo show
** Olivia Chaney opening for The Decemberists

featuredimage: 
Offa Rex: "The Queen of Hearts" [cover]

Comments

Dee McClimans's picture

Coming to Phoenix area I hope

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