4x GRAMMY-nominated singer, songwriter, poet, activist, and multi-instrumentalist Allison Russell has released her highly anticipated new album, The Returner via Fantasy Records. Anyone who witnessed Allison Russell at Bluesfest Byron Bay this year will realise what an amazing talent she is. Listen to the album HERE.
Previously, Russell shared four songs from The Returner, the title track, “Stay Right Here,” “Demons” and “Snakelife.” Russell has also announced a major U.S. headlining tour. The shows kick off October 13th at The Ark in Ann Arbor, MI and wrap up in January of 2024. Highlights include The El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles on November 1st, Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn on November 30th, and The Basement East in Russell’s adopted hometown of Nashville on January 11th. Prior to the headlining dates she’ll appear at Bristol Rhythm & Roots Festival, FreshGrass Festival, Farm Aid, XPoNential Music Festival and more. This week she has also announced an appearance at Stagecoach and will support Tyler Childers on his US arena tour.
The Returner was written and co-produced by Allison along with dim star (her partner JT Nero and Drew Lindsay) and was recorded over Solstice week in December 2022 at Henson Recording Studios in Los Angeles, CA. It features Russell’s “Rainbow Coalition” ensemble: Elenna Canlas, Elizabeth Pupo-Walker, Ganessa James, Joy Clark, Kerenza Peacock, Larissa Maestro, Mandy Fer (Sway Wild), Megan Coleman, Meg McCormick , SistaStrings (Chauntee & Monique Ross) , Wendy & Lisa (Wendy Melvoin & Lisa Coleman aka The Revolution) and Wiktoria Bialic.
Since the release of her debut solo LP two years ago, Outside Child, Russell’s often devastating, deeply moving, cathartic celebration of survivor’s joy has become one of the most acclaimed albums of the past 10 years. Now comes the second chapter, The Returner, a body-shaking, mind-expanding, soulful expression of liberation, love, and self-respect that serves as a fierce declaration of joy for all survivors that have made it to the other side.
Allison, JT, and Drew built The Returner from the bottom up with a rhythm-first, genre-fluid approach. The improvisational energy of great female artists sparked the album’s fierce joy, and provided a wider canvas for Allison’s immense, unlimited talent. In all, the new album doesn’t just deliver on the promise of the last two years, it exceeds all reasonable (and unreasonable) expectations and affirms Allison Russell’s place among music’s most vital artists¾and The Returner, as one of 2023’s most essential recordings.
Following a diverse career as a featured member of acclaimed bands including Po’ Girl, Birds of Chicago and Our Native Daughters, Russell finally dared to release her solo project in 2021. “It’s an album of strength and affirmation, not victimization,” said The New York Times in their profile on Russell and Outside Child. Following the album’s release, Russell performed on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Ellen, Late Night With Stephen Colbert, CBS Saturday Morning, Austin City Limits, The Kelly Clarkson Show made her Opry debut and appeared at the Country Music Hall of Fame and performed at the 2022 GRAMMY’s Premiere Ceremony.
The accolades for Russell have been immense. In addition to her four GRAMMY nominations, she has earned three 2022 Americana Award nominations and a win for Album of the Year, two International Folk Music Award wins, a 2022 Juno nomination for ‘Songwriter of the Year,’ and her first-ever Juno Award win for Contemporary Roots Album of the Year. Russell received two 2021 Americana Awards nominations, won three Canadian Folk Music Awards, two UK Americana Music Awards, and more. She was recently nominated for Song of the Year and Artist of the Year for the 2023 Americana Awards. In addition, Russell has consistently used her newfound platform to elevate, educate and inspire; curating the history making Once And Future Sounds: Roots and Revolution set for the Newport Folk Festival in 2021 and mobilizing this year’s triumphant Love Rising All-Star benefit concert in support of LGBTQIA+ causes in Nashville – raising over $550,000 and calling national attention to Tennessee’s dangerous anti-trans and anti-drag laws. Russell has also announced a book deal with Flatiron/MacMillan for her debut novel, a memoir based on her life and the material that inspired Outside Child and The Returner.
The Returner – Track List:
2. The Returner
3. All Without Within
5. Eve Was Black
6. Stay Right Here
8. Rag Child
9. Snake Life