Home Read News Natalie Merchant’s Keep Your Courage Tops Today’s Album Announcements

Natalie Merchant’s Keep Your Courage Tops Today’s Album Announcements

The singer-songwriter's 10th album & first release in nearly a decade arrives in April.

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Nonesuch Records will release Natalie Merchant’s Keep Your Courage, her 10th solo studio album and first of new material since 2014’s self-titled record, on April 14. An eclectic album, produced by Merchant, it features two duets sung with vocalist Abena Koomson-Davis, contributions from the Celtic folk group Lúnasa and Syrian virtuoso clarinetist Kinan Azmeh, and horn arrangements by jazz trombonist Steve Davis. There are lush orchestrations throughout by seven composers including: Gabriel Kahane, Stephen Barber, Colin Jacobson and Megan Gould. Keep Your Courage comprises nine original songs by Merchant as well as an interpretation of Hunting the Wren by Ian Lynch of the Irish band Lankum.

Merchant writes in her album’s liner notes, “The songs contained within this album were written and recorded during the global pandemic that began in the winter of 2019 and is in its fifth wave as I write, in the autumn of 2022. It has been, and continues to be, a period of great flux and fear on every level: global, national, communal, familial, personal. But this is not an album about the coronavirus or the chaos it caused. For the most part, this is an album about the human heart.” She continues: “The word ‘courage’ has its root in the Latin word for heart, cor, and we see it over and over in many languages: le coeur, il cuore, o coração, el corazón. This is a song cycle that maps the journey of a courageous heart.”

Over her 40-year career Merchant has attained a place among America’s most respected recording artists. She has earned a reputation for being a songwriter of quality and a captivating stage performer and has distinguished herself as a social justice and environmental activist. Merchant began her musical career as the lead vocalist and lyricist of the pop music band 10,000 Maniacs and released one platinum, two double-platinum, and one triple-platinum records with the group: The Wishing Chair (1985), In My Tribe (1987), Blind Man’s Zoo (1989), Hope Chest (1990), Our Time in Eden (1992), and 10,000 Maniacs MTV Unplugged (1993). Merchant left the group in 1994 and has subsequently released nine albums as a solo artist with combined sales of seven million copies: Tigerlily (1995), Ophelia (1998), Natalie Merchant Live (1999), Motherland (2001), The House Carpenter’s Daughter (2003), Leave Your Sleep (2010), Natalie Merchant (2014), Paradise Is There (2015), and Butterfly (2017).

Merchant has collaborated with a wide range of artists, including Billy Bragg, Gavin Bryars, David Byrne, The Chieftains, Cowboy Junkies, Philip Glass, Kronos Quartet, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Mavis Staples, REM and Wilco. She served on the New York State Council on the Arts from 2007 to 2011 and was recently appointed to the Board of Trustees of the Library of Congress’ American Folklife Center. Merchant’s awards include: The Library Lion Award from the New York Public Library (2011), The American Society of Authors Composers & Publishers Champion Award, and The John Lennon Real Love Award.

Here are the rest of today’s album announcements:

February 24

Choncy | Community Chest
Mary Ocher | Power and Exclusion from Power

March 3

Natalia Beylis and Eimear Reidy | She Came Through the Window to Stand By the Door
Colpocleisis | Elegant Degradation
Goldie vs SB81 | 25 Years of Metalheadz Part 7 EP
Master Danse | Feelin’ Dead
Underoath | Let Go

March 10

Anzv | Gallas
Frost Clad | The Bastion of Pines
Rufige Kru | 25 Years of Metalheadz Part 8 EP
Joanne Robertson | Blue Car

March 17

Ando | Stingray Single
Matt Corby | Everything’s Fine
Ghosts Of Sunset | Breathe
Grub Nap | God Pile
New Death Cult | Super Natural
Doc Scott / Rufige Kru | 25 Years of Metalheadz Part 9 EP
Cosmo Vitelli | Medhead Remixes

March 24

Chris Church | Radio Transient
Cameron Graham | Go Out
The Kinks | The Journey Part 1
Ashlynn Malia | Navigating Galaxies EP
Eaves Wilder | Hookey

March 31

Black Box Revelation | Poetic Rivals
Jaye Madison | Mirror
Sissoko Segal Parisien Peirani | Les Égar​é​s

April 7

Frenzal Rhomb | The Cup Of Pestilence
Mediocre | To Know You’re Screwed EP

April 14

Brìghde Chaimbeul | Carry Them With Us
Natalie Merchant | Keep Your Courage
MuN | Nhemis
Overkill | Scorched
Stranger Still | The Songs Which Are
John Vanderslice | Crystals 3.0
MC Yallah | Yallah Beibe
Yung Bleu | Love Scars II

April 21

Damien Binder | Bright Side
Dandroid | Multiversum
Manuel Mota | XIX
Rodrigo y Gabriela | In Between Thoughts … A New World
Léa Sen | You Of Now, Pt. 2 EP
Smackbound | Hostage

April 28

Defiled | The Highest Level
Ignea | Dreams of Lands Unseen
Lumière | Glam
Bill Orcutt | Jump On It
Red Cai | Näe Bliss
Gregory Uhlmann | Again and Again

May 5

Asher Gamedze | Turbulence & Pulse
Mouraine | In Search Of Gold
Angelica Rockne | The Rose Society

May 12

Astrodeath | Vol. II
Battle Born | Blood, Fire, Magic & Steel
Iguana Death Cult | Echo Palace
Ben Miller | Feathers of Ma’at
Parker Millsap | Wilderness Within You

May 19

Mega Bog | End Of Everything

May 26

Metide | Erebos

June 2

Brandt Brauer Frick | Multi Faith Prayer Room
Ben Folds | What Matters Most
Frankiie | Between Dreams
The Revivalists | Pour It Out Into The Night

June 9

Keaton Henson | House Party
Niall Horan | The Show

June 16

SunYears | Come Fetch My Soul!

Previous articleMidweek Mixtape | More Than 150 Songs That Catch Lightning In A Bottle (Side 1)
Next articleRick Christian | Deranged Machine: Exclusive Video Premiere