Olivia Chaney, who most recently fronted a Grammy-nominated album, The Queen of Hearts, forming a new outfit, Offa Rex, with the Decemberists, has announced a follow-up to her 2015 Nonesuch debut, The Longest River. Shelter, set for release on June 15th and produced by Thomas Bartlett (The Gloaming, Father John Misty, Sufjan Stevens…) features eight original songs, along with Chaney’s interpretations of Henry Purcell’s ‘O Solitude’ and Frank Harford and Tex Ritter’s ‘Long Time Gone’, first recorded by the Everly Brothers. The first single to be released from the album is IOU which is available now (and also features in our Spotify playlist). Watch the accompanying video below:
Olivia both owns and truly inhabits the song – David Kidman for Folk Radio UK
Two album launch shows have so far been announced for London’s Hoxton Hall on June 19 and at New York’s National Sawdust on July 31. Further tour dates will be announced shortly.
Chaney describes her time writing songs for Shelter: “I had been on the road a lot and was struggling with the grit and loneliness of urban life. I think I’d been questioning what home, belonging, a sense of purpose, and my own culture even meant. I’d been craving wilderness and a return to essentials for a long time. Then, while touring in the US, I realized the place I needed was already in my life. It was ancient, barely habitable, and remote.
“Thus a crumbling eighteenth-century cottage in the austere but magical hills of the North Yorkshire Moors – a family retreat since my teens, with no electricity or plumbing, where the only water comes from a spring – became the home for my work on Shelter,” she continues. “We brought out an Arts and Crafts Bechstein piano and an old wood burner to the house; and as summer’s end turned to autumn’s shorter, colder days, the room with the upright and stove fueled my stay.”
Chaney says of working with Thomas Bartlett, “His close affiliation with such a varied and acclaimed group of artists was of enormous importance. His taste and sphere of understanding were as diverse as mine. He prioritized my compositions’ meaning and lyricism, rather than jumping on the bandwagon of noisy popularity. I wanted a recording as intimate as the songs and their form. The only other musicians are Thomas and Jordan Hunt, my longtime collaborator who adds strings and background vocals on select songs. It’s just the three of us playing every sound you hear, using our instrumental and compositional craft, and Thomas’ musician-producer’s ear extraordinaire.”