Sun Midnight Sun, Sara Watkins' second solo album, features guest appearances by Fiona Apple, Jackson Browne, Sean Watkins, and more. The album, produced by Blake Mills, includes songs written by Watkins, several collaborations with Mills, songs by Dan Wilson and Willie Nelson, and a duet with Fiona Apple on The Everly Brothers' “You’re the One I Love.” The Los Angeles Times calls it "excellent." USA Today calls it "flawless" and "a gorgeous pop masterpiece ... pure musical pleasure." The Wrap says "it might be the finest album of the year."
Sun Midnight Sun, the second solo album from acclaimed singer, songwriter, and fiddle player Sara Watkins, will be released May 8 on Nonesuch Records in North America and May 28 outside North America. Produced by guitarist, singer, and songwriter Blake Mills, co-founder of the band Simon Dawes, the album features special guest appearances by Fiona Apple, Jackson Browne, Taylor Goldsmith (Dawes), Benmont Tench, and Sean Watkins.
Sun Midnight Sun follows Sara Watkins’ critically acclaimed 2009 self-titled solo debut produced by John Paul Jones. NPR said Sara Watkins “puts her great instrumental breadth on display as she plays the guitar, ukulele and fiddle in addition to her sweet-voiced singing,” and the Kansas City Star called it a record “for anyone who likes the sound of a good singer and a good band hammering out good music.”
In the three years since her last release, Watkins has been busy touring the world as guest fiddle player and vocalist with the Decemberists and joining Garrison Keillor on his nationwide Summer Love performance tours, as well as acting as his first and only guest host for A Prairie Home Companion broadcasts.
Sun Midnight Sun was recorded, mixed, and mastered by Shawn Everett at Zeitgeist Studio, Los Angeles, and includes songs written by Watkins (“You and Me,” “Take Up Your Spade”) as well as several collaborations with Mills (“The Foothills,” “Be There,” “The Accord,” “Impossible,” and “Lock and Key”). It also features songs by Dan Wilson (“When It Pleases You”) and Willie Nelson (“I’m a Memory”), and a rendition of The Everly Brothers classic “You’re the One I Love,” on which Fiona Apple duets with Watkins.
Watkins first gained recognition as a founding member of the Grammy Award–winning, platinum-selling trio Nickel Creek. When not on the road or in the studio, Watkins has guest-starred as fiddler and/or harmony vocalist on albums by Béla Fleck, the Chieftains, Ray LaMontagne, Ben Lee, Dan Wilson, Richard Thompson, and Alex Woodward, among others. Additionally, Watkins and her brother Sean continue an informal residency called the Watkins Family Hour at the L.A. club Largo, which often includes surprise cameos from friends and colleagues; free podcasts from the series are also available.
Produced by Blake Mills
Recorded, Mixed, and Mastered by Shawn Everett at Zeitgeist Studios, Los Angeles, CA
Design by Jeri Heiden
Photography by Aaron Redfield
Fiona Apple appears courtesy of Epic Records
Jackson Browne appears courtesy of Inside Recordings
Sara Watkins, lead vocal, strings
Sean Watkins, harmony vocal, guitar
Blake Mills, harmony vocal, all other instruments
Benmont Tench, additional keys (1, 5-7)
Fiona Apple, vocal (3), additional harmony vocal (10)
Jackson Browne, additional harmony vocal (2, 6, 10)
Taylor Goldsmith, additional harmony vocal (6)
Strings on "Impossible" and "Lock and Key" arranged by Blake Mills