Anaïs Mitchell’s unique musical style has produced memorable folk albums for the past decade, exploring stories that range from simple subjects all the way to 2010’s folk-opera Hadestown—a variation of a classic Greek myth. With her new album, Young Man in America, Mitchell continues to seek out richly-detailed stories, but has chosen to examine multiple angles in an epic tale throughout the different stages of the country.
“I’ve always been interested in songwriting as a storytelling device,” Mitchell explained about the album. “There’s a lot of characters [on Young Man] that speak on this. There’s a lot of stories, but it’s not a concept record. It’s more of a collection of short stories that belong in the same book.”
Mitchell didn’t have a grand plan heading into the album, and she’s adamant that she didn’t choose the stories, but the stories chose her. Lyrics and characters would just appear in mid-air due to emotions she felt herself, which she channeled into telling with as much vivid detail as possible.
Young Man’s emotions are the soul of the record, with carefully crafted instrumentation adding a relaxed personality and flair to each of songs. Mitchell took her time on the process for this record to ensure everything she felt was portrayed exactly how she felt was deserved.
She’s ready to release the album on Feb. 28 via Wilderland Records/Thirty Tigers and is heading out on tour in support of Young Man. Check out the tour dates below and stream the album in its entirety before its release.
22 – Newmarket, N.H. @ Stone Church Music Club
22 – Boston, Mass. @ Club Passim
24 – Burlington, Vt. @ Higher Ground
25 – Peace Dale, R.I. @ Unitarian Universalist Church
27 – Northhampton, Mass. @ Iron Horse
28 – New York, N.Y. @ Joe’s Pub
29 – Annapolis, Md. @ Ram’s Head
1 – Philadelphia, Pa. @ Tin Angel
2 – Vienna, Va. @ Jammin’ Java
3 – Charlottesville, Va. @ The Southern
4 – Charleston, Va. @ Mountain Stage
6 – Charlotte, N.C. @ Evening Muse
7 – Asheville, N.C. @ Grey Eagle
8 – Atlanta, Ga. @ Eddie’s Attic
9 – Knoxville, Tenn. @ Square Room
10 – Nashville, Tenn. @ The Basement
28 – Doug Fir** – Portland, Ore. @ Doug Fir †
29 – Seattle, Wash. @ The Tractor †
4 – San Francisco, Calif. @ Freight & Salvage
6 – San Diego, Calif. @ USCD at the Loft
7 – Los Angeles, Calif. @ Edye Theater
12 – Harrisonburg, Calif. @ Eastern Mennonite University
13 – Staunton, Va. @ Mockingbird
14 – Lewisburg, W. Va. @ Carnegie Hall
19 – Ann Arbor, Mich. @ The Ark
20 – Evanston, Ill. @ Space
22 – Minneapolis, Minn. @ 7th Street
-† = performing Hadestown