John Moreland drops surprise new album “Visitor”

Photo: Pearl Rachinsky

Oklahoma  singer-songwriter John Moreland  has dropped his surprise new album ‘Visitor’, digitally, on his label Old Omens via Thirty Tigers.  A physical release will follow on 31st May. Recorded after a year in isolation from the chaotic world around him, the album sees Moreland encapsulating both the political and personal. You can listen to ‘Visitor’ here.

In November 2022, Moreland stopped working entirely. He took an entire year off from playing shows and didn’t use a smartphone for 6 months. Moreland says  “At the end of that year, I was just like ‘Nobody call me’. I needed to not do anything for a while and just process”.

Moreland recorded the album at his home in Bixby, Oklahoma, in only ten days, playing nearly every instrument himself (his wife Pearl Rachinsky sang on one song, and his long-time collaborator John Calvin Abney contributed a guitar solo), as well as engineering and mixing the album.  Moreland adds “I recorded it in my living room, with help from my wife.  I wanted to make a natural sounding folk-rock record”.

Cover art for John Moreland album 'Visitor'Moreland begins the album where he begins his year-long process of healing: doom scrolling through images of political turmoil, war, and environmental destruction, where we constantly bear witness to ongoing disasters while feeling powerless to do anything about them.

So what’s Moreland’s solution to this impasse? Simplicity. No shows for a whole year. No smartphone. No studio time. No additional musicians. Both seismic and subtle, his songs, the unsettling ‘One Man Holds The World Hostage’, and folk-rocker ‘Gentle Violence’ reflect on the personal while challenging the status quo.

Of ‘Gentle Violence’, Moreland states, “[It] is a song about a strained relationship with a loved one, in the hyper-political post-pandemic USA. The tension and sorrow around the tough relationship are a microcosm of the tension and sorrow we feel as citizens of this broken world.”

About Richard Parkinson 129 Articles
London based self-diagnosed music junkie with tastes extending to all points of big tent americana and beyond. Fan of acts and songs rather than genres.
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