RIYL: Vashti Bunyan, Anne Briggs

Label: Fire Records

Josephine Foster‘s new record is huge, 18 Songs on a double vinyl record. It’s a return to form, more minimal, more somnambul and takes much more risks that her last one “No More Lamps In The Morning“. Mostly accompanied only by guitar, piano, organ, harp & autoharp. The songs are sad and heartfelt with an edge. They’re never too beautiful on one side and never to freaked out on the other end. Of course you have to like her arty and versatile voice that moves from whisper to grief to extravagant and crossing borders. This record will take you on a long and personal journey.

The Details

Josephine raises a stained-glass lamp and shepherds us spelunking the depths of spirit in this four-part double album. Following the fame of her voice are choruses of winged entities (and a space shuttle) that ascend and descend a maze of spirituals: ritual prayers, blues laments, vestal hymns and jubilant benedictions. The edges of the natural world are revolving backdrops from which our narrator perches upon symbolic precipice or saunters desolate snow-blanched forest, exploring eternal themes of mortality and morality, beneath the moon and in occasional dialogue with a mysterious lord of love, an ambiguous mystical figure.

Accompanying herself on guitar, piano, organ, harp & autoharp, this cycle of 18 new songs hearken back to various facets of Foster's anachronic oeuvre (the esoteric balladry of This Coming Gladness, native rhythms of Blood Rushing, somnambulist waltzes of I'm a Dreamer, the Shaker primitivism of Hazel Eyes, I Will Lead you). Celestial humor and devastating innocence are delivered with contributions from Victor Herrero (lead guitars), Gyða Valtýsdóttir (cello), Chris Scruggs (pedal steel), Jon Estes (bass), as well as cameos by members of The Cherry Blossoms and others. Recorded, engineered and mixed by Andrija Tokic at his Nashville Bomb Shelter Studio, mastered by John Baldwin, and produced by Josephine herself.

Price $28

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