Indie-folk artist Shannon Lay has announced a new album titled August, set for release in its titular month, on Aug. 23. She’s also laid out her new lead single, “Nowhere,” alongside a fresh music video.
The 12-track LP will be the latest from the Los Angeles singer-songwriter since her 2017 record Living Water and is her debut release on Sub Pop, the label credited with popularizing grunge through Seattle groups Nirvana and Mudhoney, among others.
Very excited to announce my third record, ‘August’, will be out August 23rd on Sub Pop! Recorded in LA with Ty Segall it is a tribute to my appreciation for music and all those who enjoy it. I can’t wait to share the whole thing with yous but until then here’s the first single “Nowhere”! Check out the video directed by @chrisgslater and myself and have a listen on all your streaming dealys!! Link in bio cover photo by @team_ream
A post shared by Shannon Lay; (@shanny2dope) on
The album’s title, August, refers to the month in 2017 that the transcendent folk-pop songstress quit her day job and fully dedicated herself to her music. She calls the month her liberation as an artist.
“It’s a thank you to the universe,” Lay said of her new album in a statement.
Lay takes us to her blissful “Nowhere” in her chilled-out new track. The video features kaleidoscopic images of Lay transposed over travel footage of waves, flowers and blue skies as she sings, “Soon we’ll get to nowhere, and we’ll talk to no one and not meet them.”
“It’s about getting somewhere and not doing anything or meeting anyone,” Lay explains, “the idea of just having a quieter journey, zero expectation.”
The video features tranquil settings plucked from different areas around Lay’s home as she sings about the bounty of spring, and urges us to enjoy the journey and embrace the unknown with the words, “Nobody knows where I am going. Just close my eyes and I find, find, find a place in my dreams.”
Described as an uplifting aural baptism, the album as a whole promises to capture Lay’s renewed purpose in making music using lush, yet simple natural imagery and the bare bones of mostly guitar and her voice. A recurring river metaphor also snakes through the full-length, driving the lyrics and composition forward, Lay said.
“I always picture music as this river,” Lay said. “Everyone’s throwing things into this river. It’s a place you can go to and feed off of that energy and feel nourished by the fact that so many people are feeling what you’re feeling. It’s this beautiful exchange.”
The new single “Nowhere,” in particular ,surges forward with steady momentum, invoking the rapids of a river. The hope, Lay says, is to leave a spot by her river for people to sit and enjoy.
Lay promises to leave listeners quiet, solitary moments all through her next LP, which was mostly written in three months during her first solo tour for Living Water.
The album will include the simple, anecdotal narrative “Shuffling Stoned,” which details a snapshot of when Lay watched an employee at a New York City record store buy some weed as a tiny spider crawled across the records.
“It was such a cool, weird moment,” Lay said.
In a similar vein, Lay will lead listeners by hand to a solitary, breezy shore in “Sea Came to Shore,” with light guitar contrasting with slightly askew violin. The song is meant to be a reminder of how small we are as we look out at the vast ocean.
Departing from the rest of the album’s simple guitar-based tracks, the opener and centerpiece “Death Up Close,” weaves ascending violins with saxophone in an Eastern-influenced song that grows increasingly avant-garde.
“With that song, I wanted to recognize that everyone else is going through something and reflect on that,” Lay explained. “Don’t be so close-minded to think you’re the only one who’s got issues, in fact, find comfort in the thought that everyone is on their own journey.”
Lay hits the road for an 18-date North American tour with Mikal Cronin starting Nov. 8 and stretching until Dec. 1. Watch Lay’s music video for “Nowhere” below, and check out her tour schedule and album details further down.
01. Death Up Close
04. Shuffling Stoned
05. Past Time
08. Sea Came to Shore
09. Sunday Sundown
10. Something on Your Mind
12. The Dream
August Album Art:
Shannon Lay Tour Dates:
08 – Portland, Ore. @ Mississippi Studios *
09 – Vancouver, B.C. @ The Fox Cabaret *
10 – Seattle, Wash. @ Tractor Tavern *
14 – St. Paul, Minn. @ Turf Club *
15 – Chicago, Ill. @ Lincoln Hall *
16 – Detroit, Mich. @ Deluxx Fluxx *
17 – Toronto, Ont. @ Horseshoe Tavern *
18 – Montreal, Que. @ Bar Le “Ritz” P.D.B. *
19 – Allston, Mass. @ Great Scott *
20 – New York, N.Y. @ Bowery Ballroom *
22 – Philadelphia, Pa. @ Underground Arts *
23 – Washington, D.C. @ U Street Music Hall *
24 – Durham, N.C. @ Motorco Music Hall *
25 – Atlanta, Ga. @ The Earl *
26 – New Orleans, La. @ One Eyed Jacks *
27 – Austin, Texas @ Barracuda *
30 – Tucson, Ariz. @ Toole *
01 – San Diego, Calif. @ The Casbah *
(* – with Mikal Cronin)