By Maxim Mower
Allison Russell has unveiled her brand new album, The Returner, which is due to be released on September 8th. The title-track from the eagerly awaited project has been made available immediately.
The Returner serves as Russell's follow-up to her widely acclaimed 2021 debut album, Outside Child, which powerfully and movingly confronted issues such as abuse and racism.
Outside Child was Russell's first project as a solo artist, following her role in bands such as Our Native Daughters, Birds of Chicago and Po’ Girl, and solidified critics’ suspicions that the Canadian singer-songwriter was about to become a pioneering force in modern roots-pop.
The Returner looks set to cement Russell's status at the forefront of the genre, with the title-track carrying an insurmountable sense of joy, celebration and empowerment.
Speaking as part of the album announcement, Allison Russell delved into the inspiration behind the new project, “My goal with The Returner – sonically, poetically, and spiritually – is a radical reclamation of the present tense, a real time union of body, mind, and soul. This album is a much deeper articulation of rhythm, groove, and syncopation. Groove as it heralds the self back into the body, groove as it celebrates sensual and sexual agency and flowering, groove as an urgent call to action and political activism”.
The four-time Grammy nominee went on to try and boil down the record into one core idea, “In just a word, it's funkier. But as is the history of anything funky, it’s never just a party. It is a multiverse of energies that merges the celebration and the battle cry. For while an embrace of the present tense is a celebration, it is equally an unquestioning leap into battle – cultural, political, environmental”.
As well as featuring Russell's ‘Rainbow Coalition’ band of female musicians, The Returner will also include high-profile guest appearances from Hozier and Brandi Carlile, with Russell joining up with both artists out on the road throughout 2023.
In addition, The Returner has received contributions from Brandy Clark and Wendy & Lisa. Hozier, Carlile and Clark all provide backing vocals on the album's finale, ‘Requiem’.
Allison Russell co-wrote each of the ten songs on The Returner, as well as co-producing each track alongside Dim Star, comprising Russell's partner, JT Nero, and Drew Lindsay.
For more on Allison Russell, see below: