Monday, September 15, 2014

Annie Lennox tackles American classics on next album

Blue Note Records will release Nostalgia, the seventh solo album from singer-songwriter Annie Lennox, this fall. 

Produced by Lennox and frequent collaborator Mike Stevens, the 12-track collection features her takes on American compositions like “Memphis In June,” “Strange Fruit,” “I Can Dream, Can’t I?” and “God Bless The Child.”

Nostalgia will arrive Sept. 30 on vinyl – the format the album was intended to be heard in – allowing listeners to experience Lennox’s interpretations of these classic songs as they would have sounded when they were first introduced in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s. (See below for track listing.)

Packaging for Nostalgia was created by Lennox. The vinyl will be contained in a gatefold jacket that will also include a 12-page book, which has photos and lyrics.

The album will be available digitally, on CD and in a deluxe CD/DVD edition on Oct. 21. The deluxe CD/DVD package, which will be available exclusively at Amazon, will include Nostalgia plus a 36-page book with photos and detailed notes on the songs and lyrics as well as a DVD that features Annie discussing the album and a video of Lennox performing “I Put A Spell On You” live. Nostalgia will be released internationally by Island Records on Oct. 27.

Annie talks about the personal meaning she found in the songs of Nostalgia and offers fans a first listen to some of the tracks in this album trailer, which premiered today on the newly launched, an online companion to the album. The site features track-by-track song histories, beautiful photography and artwork, videos and expanded song descriptions by Lennox. New content will be added on a regular basis leading into the release of Nostalgia.

The pre-order for Nostalgia launched today on Amazon (exclusive deluxe CD/DVD), iTunes and Google Play. Annie's take on Screaming Jay Hawkins' "I Put A Spell On You" is available at all digital stores and streaming services today and fans will receive the track immediately if they pre-order the full digital album at either iTunes or Amazon.

"To have been given the opportunity to record these classic, timeless songs on such a significant label as Blue Note, representing 75 years of legendary jazz history, is truly a privilege for me," said Annie Lennox.

On Nostalgia, Annie pays tribute to some of the greatest artists of the 20th century – including Hoagy Carmichael, Duke Ellington, George Gershwin, Billie Holiday and Screamin’ Jay Hawkins – and interprets compositions that have moved her, stripping them down to their emotional and musical core and making them her own.

“I went deeper because, for me, the origin of these songs is the blues. Blues comes from something beautiful and painful – and it’s the mixture of the two things. And that’s an area that I know very well,” Lennox explains. “I thought, if I’m going to try this, I’m going to get right to the nub of the song. You commune with the song and if the melody is speaking back to you, it guides you into where you need to go with it.”

Lennox’s nuanced takes on songs such as Side One’s “Strange Fruit,” “Summertime” and “I Cover The Waterfront” remind us how these songwriters took a stand on issues like poverty, bigotry and social inequalities in the years leading up to the U.S. Civil Rights movement. On Side Two, Annie savors some of the era’s most unabashedly tender and romantic songs, including “You Belong To Me,” “September In The Rain” and “The Nearness of You.”

Nostalgia - Track Listing

1. Memphis In June
2. Georgia On My Mind
3. I Put A Spell On You
4. Summertime
5. I Cover The Waterfront
6. Strange Fruit
7. God Bless The Child
8. You Belong To Me
9. September In The Rain
10. I Can Dream, Can’t I?
11. The Nearness Of You
12. Mood Indigo

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