Eilen Jewell has announced the release of Gypsy on August 16, 2019 (Signature Sounds). Like the many-headed marvels of Greek mythology and Godzilla movies, Eilen Jewell's first album of original material since 2015 is a formidable creature of more than one mind. By turns personal and political, pissed off and blissed out, Gypsy expands brief moments of joy into lifetimes, and distills epic sentiments and persistent doubts into succinct songs. 

What distinguishes Eilen Jewell's eighth studio record from the aforementioned fantastic beasts is how well she reconciles the disparate impulses that drive her creation. Rather than pulling artist and listener this way and that, the tensions within and between these twelve tracks propel Gypsy forward as a remarkably cohesive full-length, yielding one of the Boise, Idaho songwriter's best yet.

The disc kicks off with "Crawl," a rollicking country rocker that revels in indecision, pitting the terrifying urgency of now against nostalgic longing:  

I want to crawl right out of my skin
Go back in time, cake walk in red fringe
I want solitude, don’t want to be alone
Want to put down roots, want to be a rolling stone

"I've been
writing bits of that one for close to eight years now," says Jewell.
"I've felt that polarity in my life a lot, ever since I can remember, and
I wanted to capture that discomfort and angst. Putting it into words and music
felt cathartic. Now, whenever I feel that tug-of-war, I can sing my song about

Agitated by the state of the world, Eilen gave herself permission to tip-toe into protest music on Gypsy, too. "79 Cents (The Meow Song)" skewers sexism and discrimination with pointed humor, while "Beat The Drum" lifts up a rallying cry to fellow travelers struggling to maintain hope in the face of adversity. Startled by backlash from both sides when she casually spoke some common sense about the Chief Executive in a recent interview, she decided to speak out rather than shut up. "I don't see politics as separate from the rest of life. They're intertwined. This is personal, especially in the past few years."

Further testing her limits, Jewell played electric guitar on Gypsy, the first time she's recorded on the instrument. "That posed its own set of challenges," she admits. "Playing it on stage, where there's more room to have things sound not exactly the way you want them, is one thing, but in the studio I'd think 'Is this really the way I want to portray this song?'" Not only did certain sounds elude her, so did the words to express precisely what she was seeking. "I lacked the vocabulary, but it's great to feel humbled in that way. You realize that the world of music is so vast that even one aspect can represent a lifetime of learning, and that's what makes it so cool." 

Dutch tourdateS:

Nov 24 - Rotterdam, NL - Lantaren Venster
Nov 25 - Eindhoven, NL - Muziekgebouw Eindhoven
Nov 27 - Arnhem, NL - Luxor Live
Nov 28 - Groningen, NL - De Oossterpoort
Nov 29 - Haarlem, NL - Patronaat Haarlem

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