Keep Your Courage

Submitted by nonesuch on Thu, 10/27/2022 - 15:19
Release Date
DescriptionExcerpt

Keep Your Courage is Natalie Merchant’s tenth solo studio album and the first of new material since her 2014 self-titled record. An eclectic album, produced by Merchant, it features lush orchestrations throughout, two duets sung with vocalist Abena Koomson-Davis of Resistance Revival Chorus, contributions from the Celtic folk group Lúnasa and Syrian virtuoso clarinetist Kinan Azmeh, and horn arrangements by jazz trombonist Steve Davis. There are nine original songs by Merchant and an interpretation of a song by Ian Lynch of the Irish band Lankum. The vinyl LP edition includes four bonus tracks from earlier albums, previously unreleased on vinyl. Nonesuch Store pre-orders include access to an exclusive virtual pre-release listening event on April 6 via FlyMachine featuring songs from the album and a conversation between Merchant and a host. Further details will be sent prior to the event. A link and unique access code will be sent on April 5.

Description

Nonesuch Records will release Natalie Merchant’s Keep Your Courage, her tenth solo studio album and first of new material since 2014’s self-titled record, on April 14, 2023. An eclectic album, produced by Merchant, it features two duets sung with vocalist Abena Koomson-Davis (Resistance Revival Chorus), contributions from the Celtic folk group Lúnasa and Syrian virtuoso clarinetist Kinan Azmeh, and horn arrangements by jazz trombonist Steve Davis. There are lush orchestrations throughout by seven composers including: Gabriel Kahane, Stephen Barber, Colin Jacobson, and Megan Gould. Keep Your Courage comprises nine original songs by Merchant as well as an interpretation of “Hunting the Wren” by Ian Lynch of the Irish band Lankum. The vinyl LP edition of Keep Your Courage includes four bonus tracks from earlier albums, previously unreleased on vinyl.

Nonesuch Store pre-orders include access to an exclusive virtual pre-release listening event on April 6 via FlyMachine featuring songs from the new album and a conversation between Natalie Merchant and a host. Further details will be sent prior to the event. You will receive a link and unique access code on April 5. Re-stream access will be available for 72 hours.

Merchant writes in her album’s liner notes, “The songs contained within this album were written and recorded during the global pandemic that began in the winter of 2019 and is in its fifth wave as I write, in the autumn of 2022. It has been, and continues to be, a period of great flux and fear on every level: global, national, communal, familial, personal. But this is not an album about the coronavirus or the chaos it caused. For the most part, this is an album about the human heart.” She continues: “The word ‘courage’ has its root in the Latin word for heart, cor, and we see it over and over in many languages: le coeur, il cuore, o coração, el corazón. This is a song cycle that maps the journey of a courageous heart.”

Over her forty-year career Natalie Merchant has attained a place among America’s most respected recording artists. She has earned a reputation for being a songwriter of quality and a captivating stage performer and has distinguished herself as a social justice and environmental activist. Merchant began her musical career as the lead vocalist and lyricist of the pop music band 10,000 Maniacs and released one platinum, two double-platinum, and one triple-platinum records with the group: The Wishing Chair (1985), In My Tribe (1987), Blind Man's Zoo (1989), Hope Chest (1990), Our Time in Eden (1992), and 10,000 Maniacs MTV Unplugged (1993). Merchant left the group in 1994 and has subsequently released nine albums as a solo artist with combined sales of seven million copies: Tigerlily (1995), Ophelia (1998), Natalie Merchant Live (1999), Motherland (2001), The House Carpenter’s Daughter (2003), Leave Your Sleep (2010), Natalie Merchant (2014), Paradise Is There (2015), and Butterfly (2017).

Merchant has collaborated with a wide range of artists, including Billy Bragg, Gavin Bryars, David Byrne, The Chieftains, Cowboy Junkies, Philip Glass, Kronos Quartet, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Mavis Staples, REM, and Wilco. She served on the New York State Council on the Arts from 2007 to 2011 at the appointment of Governor Elliot Spitzer and was recently appointed to the Board of Trustees of the Library of Congress’ American Folklife Center by New York State Senator and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Merchant’s awards include: The Library Lion Award from the New York Public Library (2011), The American Society of Authors Composers & Publishers (ASCAP) Champion Award, and The John Lennon Real Love Award. 

ProductionCredits

PRODUCTION CREDITS
Produced by Natalie Merchant
Engineered by David Snyder, assisted by Matt Hall
Recorded at Guilford Sound in Guilford, VT (October 2021–February 2022)
Mixed by Ryan Freeland at Stampede Origin Studio Studios in Chicago, IL (March 2022)
Mastered by Kim Rosen at Knack Mastering, Ringwood, NJ

Design by Anabel Sinn & Natalie Merchant
Portrait by Andrea Camuto
Album Cover: This rotogravure image, a marble Joan of Arc by the sculptor Princess Marie Christine d’Orléans {1813–1839}, appeared in the bimonthly American magazine The Mentor in 1916 as part of an issue devoted to the French martyr written by journalist Ida Minerva Tarbell. The photographer is unknown.

Track 11 from the album Leave Your Sleep (2010)
Produced by Natalie Merchant and Andres Levin
Recorded by Nick Wollage with Eli Walker
Mixed by Steve Rosenthal
Mastered by Bob Ludwig

Tracks 12 and 14 from the album Butterfly (2017)
Produced by Natalie Merchant
Recorded by Eli Walker and George Cowan
Edited & Mixed by Eli Walker
Mastered by Scott Hull

Track 13 from the album Natalie Merchant (2014)
Produced by Natalie Merchant
Recorded by Eli Walker & George Cowan
Mixed by Steve Rosenthal
Mastered by Bob Ludwig

Album Status
Artist Name
Natalie Merchant
MusicianDetails

MUSICIANS
Natalie Merchant, vocals (1-14), orchestration (11)
Abena Koomson-Davis, vocals (1, 2)
Carmen Staaf, grand piano (1, 2, 4-6, 8-10), Rhodes piano (1, 3), mellotron (5), Hammond organ (5)
Erik Della Penna, acoustic guitar (1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 12), electric guitar (1, 2, 4, 5, 8, 14), 12-string acoustic guitar (3), classical guitar (6, 10)
Mike Rivard, electric bass (1-3, 8), upright bass (4-7, 9, 10)
Allison Miller, drums (1-10, 14), percussion (1-3, 8, 14)
Marandi Hostetter, violin (1, 3-6, 10, 12, 14)
Megan Gould, violin (1, 3-6, 10, 12, 14), orchestration (4), string arrangements (5, 10), horn arrangement (5)
Dana Lyn, viola (1, 3-6, 10)
Eleanor Norton, cello (1, 3-6, 10, 12)
Tony Kadleck, trumpet (1, 2, 8)
Kris Jensen, tenor saxophone (1, 2, 8 ), baritone saxophone (1, 8)
Steve Davis, trombone (1, 2, 8), horn arrangement (2, 8)
Alex Sopp, alto flute (3)

Andrew Price, oboe (3-5)

Clark Matthews, French horn (3-5)

Joseph Foley, trumpet (3), flugelhorn (3)

Angel Subero, trombone (3), bass trombone (3)
Kinan Azmeh, clarinet (6)
Cillian Vallely, uilleann pipes (7)
Kevin Crawford, celtic flute (7)
Matt Mancuso, fiddle (7)
Sandra Park, violin (11)

Sharon Yamada, violin (11)

Lisa Kim, violin (11, 13)

Ann Lehmann, violin (11)

Arnaud Sussmann, violin (11)

Minyoung Baik, violin (11)

Shan Jiang, violin (11)

Matt Lehmann, violin (11)

Robert Rinehart, viola (11, 13)

Karen Dreyfus, viola (11)

Eileen Moon, cello (11)

Jeanne LeBlanc, cello (11)

Jeremy McCoy, bass (11), double bass (13)

Sherry Sylar, oboe (11)

Marc Goldberg, bassoon (11)

Lino Gomez, bass clarinet (11)

Phil Myers, French horn (11)
Michelle Baker, French horn (11)

Erik Ralske, French horn (11)

Howard Wall, French horn (11)

Mike Davis, tenor trombone (11)

Birch Johnson, tenor trombone (11)

George Flynn, bass trombone (11)

Kyle Turner, tuba (11)

Erik Charlston, percussion (11)

Ina Zdorovetchi, harp (11)
Uri Sharlin, grand piano (12, 14)
Logan Coale, acoustic bass (12, 14)
Scott Moore, viola (12, 14)
Gabriel Gordon, electric guitar (13)

Jesse Murphy, electric bass (13)

Shawn Pelton, drums (13)

Johanna Warren, vocals (13)

Elizabeth Mitchell, vocals (13)

Sharon Yamada, violin (13)

Quan Ge, violin (13)

Joanna Maurer, violin (13)

Sein Ryu, violin (13)

Kyle Armbrust, viola (13)

Alan Stepansky, cello (13)

Ru Pie Yeh, cello (13)

Kurt Muroki, double bass (13)

Noah Hoffeld, cello (14)
Stephen Barber, string arrangement (1, 12, 14)
John Mills, horn arrangement (1)
Gabriel Kahane, orchestration (3)
David Spear, orchestration (4)
Colin Jacobsen, orchestration (6)
Sean O’Loughlin, orchestration (11)
Nadége Foofat & Tony Finno, string arrangement (13)

reissues?
new-release
Cover Art
UPC/Price
Label
Translucent Red 2LP+MP3+Livestream
Price
38.00
UPC
075597907193
Label
2LP+MP3
UPC
075597907780
Label
CD+MP3+Livestream
Price
18.00
UPC
075597907773

News & Reviews

  • Keep Your Courage, Natalie Merchant’s tenth solo studio album and the first of new material since her 2014 self-titled record, is due April 14. An eclectic album, produced by Merchant, it features lush orchestrations throughout, two duets sung with vocalist Abena Koomson-Davis of Resistance Revival Chorus, contributions from the Celtic folk group Lúnasa and Syrian clarinetist Kinan Azmeh, and horn arrangements by jazz trombonist Steve Davis. There are nine original songs by Merchant and an interpretation of a song by Ian Lynch of the Irish band Lankum. The vinyl LP edition includes four bonus tracks from earlier albums, previously unreleased on vinyl. Merchant will tour the US in the spring and fall. Nonesuch Store pre-orders include access to an exclusive virtual pre-release listening event on April 6 via FlyMachine featuring songs from the album and a conversation between Merchant and a host.

  • In honor of National Teacher Appreciation Day this Tuesday, May 4, the children at Irving Park Elementary School in Greensboro, NC, chose to thank their teachers with a special performance of Natalie Merchant's "Kind and Generous" you can watch here.

  • About This Album

    Nonesuch Records will release Natalie Merchant’s Keep Your Courage, her tenth solo studio album and first of new material since 2014’s self-titled record, on April 14, 2023. An eclectic album, produced by Merchant, it features two duets sung with vocalist Abena Koomson-Davis (Resistance Revival Chorus), contributions from the Celtic folk group Lúnasa and Syrian virtuoso clarinetist Kinan Azmeh, and horn arrangements by jazz trombonist Steve Davis. There are lush orchestrations throughout by seven composers including: Gabriel Kahane, Stephen Barber, Colin Jacobson, and Megan Gould. Keep Your Courage comprises nine original songs by Merchant as well as an interpretation of “Hunting the Wren” by Ian Lynch of the Irish band Lankum. The vinyl LP edition of Keep Your Courage includes four bonus tracks from earlier albums, previously unreleased on vinyl.

    Nonesuch Store pre-orders include access to an exclusive virtual pre-release listening event on April 6 via FlyMachine featuring songs from the new album and a conversation between Natalie Merchant and a host. Further details will be sent prior to the event. You will receive a link and unique access code on April 5. Re-stream access will be available for 72 hours.

    Merchant writes in her album’s liner notes, “The songs contained within this album were written and recorded during the global pandemic that began in the winter of 2019 and is in its fifth wave as I write, in the autumn of 2022. It has been, and continues to be, a period of great flux and fear on every level: global, national, communal, familial, personal. But this is not an album about the coronavirus or the chaos it caused. For the most part, this is an album about the human heart.” She continues: “The word ‘courage’ has its root in the Latin word for heart, cor, and we see it over and over in many languages: le coeur, il cuore, o coração, el corazón. This is a song cycle that maps the journey of a courageous heart.”

    Over her forty-year career Natalie Merchant has attained a place among America’s most respected recording artists. She has earned a reputation for being a songwriter of quality and a captivating stage performer and has distinguished herself as a social justice and environmental activist. Merchant began her musical career as the lead vocalist and lyricist of the pop music band 10,000 Maniacs and released one platinum, two double-platinum, and one triple-platinum records with the group: The Wishing Chair (1985), In My Tribe (1987), Blind Man's Zoo (1989), Hope Chest (1990), Our Time in Eden (1992), and 10,000 Maniacs MTV Unplugged (1993). Merchant left the group in 1994 and has subsequently released nine albums as a solo artist with combined sales of seven million copies: Tigerlily (1995), Ophelia (1998), Natalie Merchant Live (1999), Motherland (2001), The House Carpenter’s Daughter (2003), Leave Your Sleep (2010), Natalie Merchant (2014), Paradise Is There (2015), and Butterfly (2017).

    Merchant has collaborated with a wide range of artists, including Billy Bragg, Gavin Bryars, David Byrne, The Chieftains, Cowboy Junkies, Philip Glass, Kronos Quartet, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Mavis Staples, REM, and Wilco. She served on the New York State Council on the Arts from 2007 to 2011 at the appointment of Governor Elliot Spitzer and was recently appointed to the Board of Trustees of the Library of Congress’ American Folklife Center by New York State Senator and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Merchant’s awards include: The Library Lion Award from the New York Public Library (2011), The American Society of Authors Composers & Publishers (ASCAP) Champion Award, and The John Lennon Real Love Award. 

    Credits

    MUSICIANS
    Natalie Merchant, vocals (1-14), orchestration (11)
    Abena Koomson-Davis, vocals (1, 2)
    Carmen Staaf, grand piano (1, 2, 4-6, 8-10), Rhodes piano (1, 3), mellotron (5), Hammond organ (5)
    Erik Della Penna, acoustic guitar (1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 12), electric guitar (1, 2, 4, 5, 8, 14), 12-string acoustic guitar (3), classical guitar (6, 10)
    Mike Rivard, electric bass (1-3, 8), upright bass (4-7, 9, 10)
    Allison Miller, drums (1-10, 14), percussion (1-3, 8, 14)
    Marandi Hostetter, violin (1, 3-6, 10, 12, 14)
    Megan Gould, violin (1, 3-6, 10, 12, 14), orchestration (4), string arrangements (5, 10), horn arrangement (5)
    Dana Lyn, viola (1, 3-6, 10)
    Eleanor Norton, cello (1, 3-6, 10, 12)
    Tony Kadleck, trumpet (1, 2, 8)
    Kris Jensen, tenor saxophone (1, 2, 8 ), baritone saxophone (1, 8)
    Steve Davis, trombone (1, 2, 8), horn arrangement (2, 8)
    Alex Sopp, alto flute (3)
    
Andrew Price, oboe (3-5)
    
Clark Matthews, French horn (3-5)

    Joseph Foley, trumpet (3), flugelhorn (3)
    
Angel Subero, trombone (3), bass trombone (3)
    Kinan Azmeh, clarinet (6)
    Cillian Vallely, uilleann pipes (7)
    Kevin Crawford, celtic flute (7)
    Matt Mancuso, fiddle (7)
    Sandra Park, violin (11)
    
Sharon Yamada, violin (11)
    
Lisa Kim, violin (11, 13)
    
Ann Lehmann, violin (11)
    
Arnaud Sussmann, violin (11)

    Minyoung Baik, violin (11)
    
Shan Jiang, violin (11)
    
Matt Lehmann, violin (11)
    
Robert Rinehart, viola (11, 13)
    
Karen Dreyfus, viola (11)
    
Eileen Moon, cello (11)

    Jeanne LeBlanc, cello (11)

    Jeremy McCoy, bass (11), double bass (13)
    
Sherry Sylar, oboe (11)
    
Marc Goldberg, bassoon (11)
    
Lino Gomez, bass clarinet (11)
    
Phil Myers, French horn (11)
    Michelle Baker, French horn (11)

    Erik Ralske, French horn (11)
    
Howard Wall, French horn (11)
    
Mike Davis, tenor trombone (11)
    
Birch Johnson, tenor trombone (11)
    
George Flynn, bass trombone (11)
    
Kyle Turner, tuba (11)
    
Erik Charlston, percussion (11)

    Ina Zdorovetchi, harp (11)
    Uri Sharlin, grand piano (12, 14)
    Logan Coale, acoustic bass (12, 14)
    Scott Moore, viola (12, 14)
    Gabriel Gordon, electric guitar (13)

    Jesse Murphy, electric bass (13)

    Shawn Pelton, drums (13)

    Johanna Warren, vocals (13)
    
Elizabeth Mitchell, vocals (13)
    
Sharon Yamada, violin (13)
    
Quan Ge, violin (13)
    
Joanna Maurer, violin (13)
    
Sein Ryu, violin (13)

    Kyle Armbrust, viola (13)
    
Alan Stepansky, cello (13)
    
Ru Pie Yeh, cello (13)
    
Kurt Muroki, double bass (13)
    
Noah Hoffeld, cello (14)
    Stephen Barber, string arrangement (1, 12, 14)
    John Mills, horn arrangement (1)
    Gabriel Kahane, orchestration (3)
    David Spear, orchestration (4)
    Colin Jacobsen, orchestration (6)
    Sean O’Loughlin, orchestration (11)
    Nadége Foofat & Tony Finno, string arrangement (13)

    PRODUCTION CREDITS
    Produced by Natalie Merchant
    Engineered by David Snyder, assisted by Matt Hall
    Recorded at Guilford Sound in Guilford, VT (October 2021–February 2022)
    Mixed by Ryan Freeland at Stampede Origin Studio Studios in Chicago, IL (March 2022)
    Mastered by Kim Rosen at Knack Mastering, Ringwood, NJ

    Design by Anabel Sinn & Natalie Merchant
    Portrait by Andrea Camuto
    Album Cover: This rotogravure image, a marble Joan of Arc by the sculptor Princess Marie Christine d’Orléans {1813–1839}, appeared in the bimonthly American magazine The Mentor in 1916 as part of an issue devoted to the French martyr written by journalist Ida Minerva Tarbell. The photographer is unknown.

    Track 11 from the album Leave Your Sleep (2010)
    Produced by Natalie Merchant and Andres Levin
    Recorded by Nick Wollage with Eli Walker
    Mixed by Steve Rosenthal
    Mastered by Bob Ludwig

    Tracks 12 and 14 from the album Butterfly (2017)
    Produced by Natalie Merchant
    Recorded by Eli Walker and George Cowan
    Edited & Mixed by Eli Walker
    Mastered by Scott Hull

    Track 13 from the album Natalie Merchant (2014)
    Produced by Natalie Merchant
    Recorded by Eli Walker & George Cowan
    Mixed by Steve Rosenthal
    Mastered by Bob Ludwig