Just nine months after the release of her critically acclaimed 2014 album Runaway’s Diary, Amy LaVere has a sweet surprise for fans – Hallelujah I’m A Dreamer, recorded with husband and noted guitarist Will Sexton, released April 7 via Archer Records.
Hallelujah is a sonic portrait. In these 11 tracks, Amy and Will have captured the immediacy of the live show they’ve developed on the road together, reveling in a more stripped-down sound and celebrating the freedoms and limitations that come with it in stunning form.
Recorded to magnetic tape (with the help of engineer Daniel Lynn and longtime band mate guitarist Dave Cousar) in the course of a few afternoons at Music+Arts Studio, the arrangements are lithe and uncluttered, allowing Amy and Will’s disarming harmonies to rise to the top. At times their voices blend so well you can hardly find the place where they split – it’s a dance matched only by the complimentary guitar work of Sexton and Cousar.
The gems of the album are its new tunes – the playful and evocative “Cricket (At Night I Can Fly)” and “It’s the Thing to Do,” a co-write with Will – plus a new almost sunny take on the macabre “Red Banks,” which originally appeared on Amy’s 2011 studio album Stranger Me and a sublime cover of David Egan’s “Hallelujah I’m A Dreamer,” the album’s namesake.
Hallelujah I’m A Dreamer is immediate and striking, a masterfully played (and curated) mix of old, new and reimagined.
Amy played several SXSW shows, including the New West Showcase with Luther Dickinson (who produced her 2014 critically acclaimed Runaway’s Diary LP) as well as a handful with John Paul Keith as Motel Mirrors. Now, Amy and Will continue doing what they’ve long done best: touring relentlessly across the U.S. and, this summer, in Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia and more.
Hallelujah I’m A Dreamer is out now on Archer Records.
“Recorded live in the studio in just a couple of days, it combines LaVere’s textured, haunting vocals with Sexton’s sweetly layered guitar work that is pure bliss. LaVere’s swing jazz bass lines along with her lyrics results in a collection of mini-noir movies that are to die for. I cannot recall hearing two artists who are as simpatico as these two.” – Amos Perrine, No Depression
“Buoyed by Sexton’s soulful picking and LaVere’s supple singing, the album’s centerpiece, “It’s the Thing to Do” — a jaunty love song cowritten by the couple — offers a tantalizing preview of what an all-new studio set from the duo might sound like.” — Bob Mehr, GoMemphis
“Easily, my favorite is a stretched out, luxurious ‘Last Rock and Roll Boy to Dance’ that was on Runaway’s Diary. It mines the undercurrents of desire. It’s like a Robert Mitchum noir movie sprinkled with surrealistic splashes of longing: “I clearly see that he’s a thief/ But he can take what he likes/Cause he’s giving me some feeling/That’s worth anything he could be stealing/There shouldn’t be rules in rock and roll/And who/what are we saving our broken hearts for?” You can see Jane Greer walking towards you on that beach before the storm blows through the Mexican screen door as she throws Mitchum a towel. All the while Sexton’s guitar entices and teases, ultimately LaVere’s vocalizing tempts you into that last seduction.” – Amos Perrine, No Depression
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